Hot baths are just as good for lowering your blood pressure as moderate exercise on a spin bike

© Getty/Dann Tardif Regular hot baths could provide some of the same benefits as exercise. Getty/Dann Tardif
  • Regular hot baths could provide many of the same benefits as exercise, a study suggests.
  • Researchers compared hot baths and saunas with moderate cycling, and found similar physiological responses.
  • However, baths won’t lead to fat loss, muscle gain, or improved stamina.
  • A hot bath could provide many of the same benefits as low-intensity aerobic exercise, researchers have found.

Regular baths have previously been linked to a lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, as Insider’s Samantha Crozier reported. A new mini-review by the University of Coventry suggests they provide further benefits of moderate exercise, too.

After a few minutes in a hot bath or sauna, you feel a pleasant relaxing sensation, then your heart rate rises and you feel hot and sweaty – similar sensations to those when walking, jogging, or cycling.

Researchers compared the physiological responses between spending equal amounts of time in a hot tub and moderate intensity cycling.

They assessed 50 studies, both epidemiological (which have large numbers of people, looking for patterns) and laboratory-based (which look at detailed physiology).

Study author Tom Cullen told Insider that all existing laboratory studies for heat therapy are small, and there were very few studies directly comparing exercise and use of hot tubs, baths, and saunas. “We are really quite early on in the phase of research with really only a proof of concept and no large scale clinical trials,” Cullen said.

However, he said there was enough for them to draw some conclusions.

They found that core body temperature and heart rate increases were comparable for both groups, and ultrasound scans of the arteries found similar improvements in blood flow, blood pressure, and glucose levels.

The cycling, however, did also lead to more energy expenditure (or, calorie-burning), while the bath did not.

Baths won’t help you lose fat or build muscle

Despite the study’s findings, baths don’t provide the countless benefits of exercise, and it’s worth noting that you may need to sit in a hot tub at around 40C (104F) for an hour to experience the results of the study, which could lead to dizziness and dehydration.

Hot bathing won’t help you change your body composition by building muscle and burning fat, it won’t boost your bone density, and it won’t lead to improvements in endurance, strength, or mobility.

“Using hot baths or saunas shouldn’t be considered as a substitute for exercise,” Cullen’s fellow study author Amy Harwood wrote for The Conversation. “But it can mimic some of the health benefits – and we think that when used in conjunction with exercise, it can give rise to greater health.”

Hot baths can be beneficial complements to a healthy exercise regime by reducing inflammation and helping muscles recover Harwood said.

Heat therapy has also been shown to offer some of the same antidepressant benefits as exercise, particularly if there is a social aspect such as in Finnish sauna culture.

Doing both regular exercise and frequent bathing is the best option, Harwood said.

Article by rhosie@insider.com (Rachel Hosie) for Insider©

Source: Hot baths are just as good for lowering your blood pressure as moderate exercise on a spin bike, study finds (msn.com)

You Need to Clean These Body Parts at the End of Every Day

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Cleanliness is next to godliness, or so the expression goes. But how diligent are we really about our self-maintenance? If we’re going by a report in The New York Times, countless Americans have thrown in the towel on bathing regularly over the course of the last year. Now, that probably doesn’t seem like a huge deal—and an argument could be made that showering a bit less may actually be better for your health—but it’s simply a fact that there are some parts of your body you really must clean every day, and specifically at the end of every day.

“Showering in the evening is better for your skin health for a number of reasons,” as cosmetic doctor Rekha Tailor, MD, recently explained Express. “In doing this, it removes the dirt from the air which includes germs, pollution and dust which can gather during the day, as well as sweat which accumulates. By showering at night, you are cleansing your skin of these before you go to sleep, thus enabling it to properly regenerate overnight.”

Got it? Excellent. Now read on for the parts of your body you should be scrubbing every day.

Slide 2 of 5: According to Tom Biernacki, PDM, a podiatrist and board-certified foot and ankle surgeon, "foot odor and foot fungus can only survive if there is dead skin or sweaty skin on your feet." Do you know how to get rid of those things? Give them a good wash!Now, you're doing this for reasons beyond simply not smelling. If left untended, foot and toenail fungus is likely to lead to athlete's foot or infect your nails, which may require surgery to remove them if they get seriously infected.Be sure to really scrub your feet and don't just expose them to a little hot water.  "We may miss out the part between our toes and under the nails and fungus can form, resulting in fungal infections," says Chris Airey, MD, the medical director at Optimale as well as a practicing physician with the NHS. "It's also important to keep the heel and pads of the toes moisturized or painful cracks may form."

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1. Your Feet

According to Tom Biernacki, PDM, a podiatrist and board-certified foot and ankle surgeon, “foot odor and foot fungus can only survive if there is dead skin or sweaty skin on your feet.” Do you know how to get rid of those things? Give them a good wash!

Now, you’re doing this for reasons beyond simply not smelling. If left untended, foot and toenail fungus is likely to lead to athlete’s foot or infect your nails, which may require surgery to remove them if they get seriously infected.

Be sure to really scrub your feet and don’t just expose them to a little hot water.  “We may miss out the part between our toes and under the nails and fungus can form, resulting in fungal infections,” says Chris Airey, MD, the medical director at Optimale as well as a practicing physician with the NHS. “It’s also important to keep the heel and pads of the toes moisturized or painful cracks may form.”

Slide 3 of 5: Airey explains that not cleaning behind your ears regularly can result in "infections or seborrheic dermatitis, or even just a bad smell." You'd think this would get noticed before it became a problem, but many people tend to neglect this out-of-sight area."Behind your ears you have skin folds in addition to a high amount of sebaceous glands," explains Sandra El Hajj, MD, a naturopathic medical doctor specializing in preventive health. "These glands can collect sweat while secreting sebum. This accumulation may lead to the accumulation of bacteria that may create a cheese-like smell. All these secretions are normal; however, it is your responsibility to keep that area cleansed on a daily basis." And for more hygiene facts you can use, don't miss What Happens to Your Body When You Take a Cold Shower, Says Science.

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2. Behind Your Ears

Airey explains that not cleaning behind your ears regularly can result in “infections or seborrheic dermatitis, or even just a bad smell.” You’d think this would get noticed before it became a problem, but many people tend to neglect this out-of-sight area.

“Behind your ears you have skin folds in addition to a high amount of sebaceous glands,” explains Sandra El Hajj, MD, a naturopathic medical doctor specializing in preventive health. “These glands can collect sweat while secreting sebum. This accumulation may lead to the accumulation of bacteria that may create a cheese-like smell. All these secretions are normal; however, it is your responsibility to keep that area cleansed on a daily basis.”

Slide 4 of 5: "Clean your tongue everyday when you brush," urges William L. Balanoff, science consultant for Abova Health, executive clinical director of Orthodontic Care of Georgia and the CEO of Oral Care Perfected. "Everyone knows to brush and floss their teeth everyday but most patients never clean or scrape their tongue."Balanoff adds that your tongue is a source of bad breath and can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. A buildup of this bacteria can result in gingivitis, discoloration, or even duller taste buds. "Most toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner on the backside of the brush," says Balanoff. "Use it regularly to avoid bad breath and promote a cleaner, healthier mouth."

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3. Your Tongue

“Clean your tongue everyday when you brush,” urges William L. Balanoff, science consultant for Abova Health, executive clinical director of Orthodontic Care of Georgia and the CEO of Oral Care Perfected. “Everyone knows to brush and floss their teeth everyday but most patients never clean or scrape their tongue.”

Balanoff adds that your tongue is a source of bad breath and can also be a breeding ground for bacteria. A buildup of this bacteria can result in gingivitis, discoloration, or even duller taste buds. “Most toothbrushes have a tongue cleaner on the backside of the brush,” says Balanoff. “Use it regularly to avoid bad breath and promote a cleaner, healthier mouth.”

Slide 5 of 5: Like your feet, you can tell pretty quickly when your armpits are in need of a wash. But it's also an area where the skin is sensitive and more prone to ingrown hairs and potential infection. Waqas Ahmad Buttar, MD, a family physician at Sachet Infusions, points out that armpits are among the areas of the body "where most of the pathogens attack due to increased sweating. There is also the growth of hair in the groin and armpits, which, when combined with sweating in hot, humid weather, may cause infections."While deodorant may help control issue around unwanted smells, to really ensure your body is healthy and free from damaging bacteria, it's best to reach for the bar of soap. And for more reasons you should consider bathing more, don't miss the 5 Things Taking a Hot Bath Does to Your Body, Says Science.

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4. Under Your Arms

Like your feet, you can tell pretty quickly when your armpits are in need of a wash. But it’s also an area where the skin is sensitive and more prone to ingrown hairs and potential infection. Waqas Ahmad Buttar, MD, a family physician at Sachet Infusions, points out that armpits are among the areas of the body “where most of the pathogens attack due to increased sweating. There is also the growth of hair in the groin and armpits, which, when combined with sweating in hot, humid weather, may cause infections.”

While deodorant may help control issue around unwanted smells, to really ensure your body is healthy and free from damaging bacteria, it’s best to reach for the bar of soap. 

Article by Alex Daniel for EatThis,NotThat

Source: You Need to Clean These Body Parts at the End of Every Day, Say Experts (msn.com)

A popular diet linked to lower blood pressure — and reduced cardiac injury and strain

Does the DASH diet have hidden health effects?

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Researchers from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center examined three cardiovascular indicators to determine if — and how — diet directly impacts cardiac health. They analyzed blood samples from clinical-trial participants who stuck to strict dietary regimens and found that the DASH diet, already shown to lower blood pressure, also reduces inflammation.

The conclusion, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, also found that the DASH diet — whether or not it’s adhered to in conjunction with a low-sodium diet — reduces heart injury and strain. The researchers analyzed stored specimens from 412 participants conducted at four medical centers in the U.S. between 1997 and 1999.

The DASH diet, short for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, recommends fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, poultry, fish and low-fat dairy products, while restricting salt, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Among trial participants on the DASH diet, biomarkers linked to cardiac damage and inflammation fell by 18% and 13%, respectively. Participants combining the DASH diet with reduced-sodium behavior had the most pronounced reductions in both cardiac injury and stress — 20% and 23%, respectively — although inflammation was not significantly impacted.

“Our study represents some of the strongest evidence that diet directly impacts cardiac damage, and our findings show that dietary interventions can improve cardiovascular risk factors in a relatively short time period,” said Stephen Juraschek, an assistant professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

“The data reinforce the importance of a lifestyle that includes a reduced-sodium, DASH diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains to minimize cardiac damage over time,” said Juraschek, a co-author on the study.

U.S. News and World Report named the DASH diet the No. 2 diet for 2021 in a tie with the Flexitarian diet, with the Mediterranean diet taking first place.

The Mediterranean diet focuses on olive oil rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein like fish and chicken, with the occasional piece of red meat. It also emphasizes beans, nuts, legumes, and flavorful herbs and spices, as well as cheese, yogurt and a glass of red wine in moderation.

Unlike the Mediterranean diet, the DASH diet emphasizes fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and nuts while limiting saturated fats, total fat, cholesterol, red meat, sweets and sugar-containing beverages, Juraschek and his co-authors said. It was developed in the 1990s with the specific goal of lowering blood pressure, and has been shown to help lower the chances of stroke and diabetes.

Blood pressure is one of the best predictors of cardiovascular health, and cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of people in the U.S. Previous research also suggested that a lack of sleep may offer one possible explanation for why sleep problems have been shown to increase the risk of heart attack, stroke and even death from cardiovascular disease.

Article by Quentin Fottrell for Market Watch©

Source: A new study links this popular diet with lower blood pressure — and reduced cardiac injury and strain (msn.com)

Never Clean Your Kitchen Counters With This

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Whether you’re cooking, eating, or serving, a lot of mess can go down in the kitchen. And when it’s time to sweep away crumbs or wipe up spills on your counter, you probably grab whatever is closest to clean up the mess without thinking twice. Unfortunately, that could be causing serious problems. In fact, experts say that there’s one common item you should never clean your kitchen counters with, as it may spread dangerous bacteria around the room. Read on to find out how you could be doing more harm than good when cleaning up your kitchen.

You should never clean your kitchen counters with used dish towels.

When it comes to cleaning your kitchen countertops, avoid reaching for your trusty dish towel to do so. According to Towel Supercenter, dish towels can easily be exposed to dangerous bacteria, so using them for different purposes—like cleaning your kitchen counters—can just spread that bacteria around. While reusable dish towels may seem convenient, you might want to go with a different option for your safety.

“In some scenarios, it may be safest to reach for a disposable paper towel,” the experts at Towel Supercenter explain on their website. “Tossing the paper towel after cleaning the mess helps decrease your chances of spreading bacteria, especially if you don’t throw your reusable towel into the kitchen wash right away.”

Spreading bacteria in the kitchen can give you food poisoning.

Researchers from the University of Mauritius released a study in 2018 describing the health dangers of dish towels. After culturing bacteria from 100 dish towels used for a month, they found that 49 percent of them collected bacterial growth such as E.coliEnterococcus species, and Staphylococcus aureus. And towels used for more than one purpose—like wiping utensils and cleaning countertops—had a higher bacterial count than towels that were only used for one activity. “Those are bacteria that are concerns for foodborne illnesses,” Paul Dawson, PhD, a food scientist and professor in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences at Clemson University, explained to CNN.

Common symptoms of food poisoning include upset stomach, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, and can be anywhere from mild to very serious, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If you experience bloody diarrhea, high fever, frequent vomiting, signs of dehydration, or diarrhea that lasts more than three days, you should see a doctor immediately, as food poisoning can result in long-term health problems or even death, per the CDC.

More than half of people admit to cleaning their countertops with dish towels.

A March 2021 Bounty survey of cleaning behaviors among 2,000 people in the U.S. found that 58 percent of respondents use dish towels to clean up messes or spills on their kitchen counters. And despite 18 percent of respondents saying they are aware that kitchen dish towels are one of the dirtiest items in the house, 41 percent still said they will reuse a dish towel more than five times before washing it.

“Used dishcloths can provide a flourishing environment for bacteria,” Jessica Rivera, MS, an infectious disease expert, said in statement accompanying the survey. “And what many do not realize is, when you wipe up a mess or dry your hands with a used, reusable cloth, you may be helping to spread bacteria.”

You should be changing and washing your dish towels frequently.

Only 11 percent of people in the U.S. say they replace or clean their kitchen hand towel more than once a week, according to the survey. But the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) acknowledges that kitchen dish cloths are “potential sources of bacteria,” which means they should be changed and washed more frequently than that.

Of course, how frequently each household should be washing their dish towels depends on a few different factors, per the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. This includes how often they are used and what they’re used for in the kitchen. If your towel is used to clean up anything that can contribute to bacteria growth, like raw meat, poultry, or seafood juices, it should be washed and replaced with a new one immediately. The USDA recommends that you wash dish towels in the hot cycle of your washing machine.

Source: Never Clean Your Kitchen Counters With This, Experts Warn (msn.com)

If You Sleep This Much, Your Dementia Risk Is High

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While you know not getting enough sleep can make it difficult to function the next day, many of us are still not snoozing for the recommended seven hours a night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the agency says one in three adults are getting less than that. In addition to that feeling of grogginess you have after not catching enough zzz’s, there are other long-term effects skimping on sleep can have on you later in life. In fact, a new study of nearly 8,000 adults who were followed for 25 years found proof that getting a certain number of hours of sleep per night can also affect your brain health, making you much more prone to dementia. Read on to find out what the researchers discovered and how much sleep is the real bare minimum.

Sleeping six hours a night or less puts you at risk for dementia.

The new study, published on April 20 in the scientific journal Nature Communications, found that sleeping six hours a night or less a night was linked to an increased risk of dementia in people between 50 and 60 years old.

Researchers from the French health research institute Inserm analyzed data from a long-term study by University College London, which followed 7,959 British individuals between 1985 and 2016. They compared the health of adults who didn’t get enough sleep to people who slept the recommended seven hours.

Overall, 521 participants developed dementia over the course of the study and the patients were an average of 77 years old when diagnosed. The results show that participants who slept seven hours a night had the fewest cases of dementia. There was a 30 percent increase in dementia risk in those who consistently clocked in a maximum of six hours a night in their 50s and 60s.

“Many of us have experienced a bad night’s sleep and probably know that it can have an impact on our memory and thinking in the short term, but an intriguing question is whether long-term sleep patterns can affect our risk of dementia,” Sara Imarisio, PhD, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research U.K., said in a statement in response to the new study. “We know that the diseases that cause dementia start up to two decades before symptoms like memory loss start to show, so midlife is a crucial time for research into risk factors.”

Another recent study says getting less than five hours of sleep could double your risk of developing dementia.

Earlier this year, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Boston College found that even less sleep means an even greater dementia risk. The study, published in the journal Aging in February, compiled data from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS) on people 65 and older who are eligible for Medicare. The researchers compared 2,810 seniors who got poor sleep to those who slept an average of seven to eight hours a night over the course of five years. They found that people over 65 who reported sleeping less than five hours per night appeared to be twice as likely to develop dementia.

“Sleep deficiency at baseline, when the average age of participants was 76 years old, was associated with double the risk of incident dementia and all-cause mortality over the next 4 to 5 years,” Charles Czeisler, MD, a senior author of the study and chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders, said in a statement. “These data add to the evidence that sleep is important for brain health and highlight the need for further research on the efficacy of improving sleep and treating sleep disorders on the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and mortality.”

Slide 4 of 5: Alzheimer's researcher Imarisio said one issue with the newer Nature Communications study, and with the link between sleep and dementia in general, is it "cannot tease apart cause and effect." "While it suggests that persistent lower sleep duration was linked with an increased risk of dementia, it did not find an association between longer than average sleep duration and dementia risk," she notes."We know that changes in sleep are commonly reported in individuals with dementia," Claire Sexton, DPhil, director of Scientific Programs & Outreach at the Alzheimer's Association, told USA Today last month. "There has been a chicken and the egg debate about what comes first and whether impaired sleep is a consequence of having dementia or whether it can be a contributing factor to its development."According to Sleep Foundation, people with dementia or Alzheimer's Disease frequently experience restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), REM sleep behavior disorder, and depression, all of which can affect sleep. And cognitive decline can affect how restorative sleep is. There are three stages of sleep: first comes light sleep; then deep sleep, called slow-wave sleep; and finally, dream sleep, called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, according to the Sleep Foundation. "Slow-wave sleep and REM sleep are critical parts of how sleep works to restore the body and mind," the experts explain. "People with dementia spend less time in slow-wave sleep and REM sleep and more time in the earlier stages of sleep."

People with dementia are often affected by sleep disorders, but the cause and effect is unclear.

Alzheimer’s researcher Imarisio said one issue with the newer Nature Communications study, and with the link between sleep and dementia in general, is it “cannot tease apart cause and effect.” “While it suggests that persistent lower sleep duration was linked with an increased risk of dementia, it did not find an association between longer than average sleep duration and dementia risk,” she notes.

“We know that changes in sleep are commonly reported in individuals with dementia,” Claire Sexton, DPhil, director of Scientific Programs & Outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association, told USA Today last month. “There has been a chicken and the egg debate about what comes first and whether impaired sleep is a consequence of having dementia or whether it can be a contributing factor to its development.”

According to Sleep Foundation, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease frequently experience restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), REM sleep behavior disorder, and depression, all of which can affect sleep. And cognitive decline can affect how restorative sleep is. There are three stages of sleep: first comes light sleep; then deep sleep, called slow-wave sleep; and finally, dream sleep, called REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, according to the Sleep Foundation. “Slow-wave sleep and REM sleep are critical parts of how sleep works to restore the body and mind,” the experts explain. “People with dementia spend less time in slow-wave sleep and REM sleep and more time in the earlier stages of sleep.”

In addition to getting sufficient sleep, there are plenty of other things you can do to reduce your dementia risk.

According to Imarisio, there are a few other things that can help stave off cognitive decline in addition to sleep. “While there is no sure-fire way to prevent dementia, there are things within our control that can reduce our risk,” Imarisio said. “The best evidence suggests that not smoking, only drinking in moderation, staying mentally and physically active, eating a balanced diet, and keeping cholesterol and blood pressure levels in check can all help to keep our brains healthy as we age.

Article by Danielle Cinone for BestLife

Source: If You Sleep This Much, Your Dementia Risk Is High, New Study Says (msn.com)

This is What You Need to Know About Bladder Training

‘I’m a Urologist, and This is What You Need to Know About Bladder Training’

Photo: Stocksy/Studio Firma

As you age (and especially after having a baby) you might find yourself having difficulties holding in your pee until you can rush to the bathroom. While leaking, aka stress incontinence, can be messy and embarrassing, it is actually pretty common. So remove that shame! Instead, work toward training your bladder to better hold in your urine until you can reach the toilet.

There’s something called “bladder training,” which basically conditions your bladder to be able to hold onto liquid longer. “This is usually recommended for people with overactive bladder, meaning they have excessively frequent urination, leakage, or urgent urination. But it can also be helpful for those who encounter the issues later in life or, for example, after pregnancy.

What causes overactive bladder?

Common risk factors for overactive bladder include aging, menopause, and certain neurological conditions. But more often, it’s due to having a baby. “The most common cause of stress incontinence—leaking with coughing, sneezing, and so forth—is vaginal childbirth,” says Karyn Eilber, MD, a board-certified urologist with sub-specialty board certification in female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery and the founder of GLISSANT.

Poor pelvic floor strength also plays a role. “Women with a history of pregnancy and delivery, regardless of whether it was cesarean or vaginal, may be more likely to have underactive pelvic floor muscles,” says Aleece Fosnight, PA-C and medical advisor at Aeroflow Urology, a specialist in men and women’s urological care and sexual health. And if you’re an athlete? You could have overactive pelvic floor muscles, she adds. (Sorry.)

Still, there’s no one-size-fits-all fix—and sometimes, it’s hard to pinpoint the cause of overactive bladder. (That’s why speaking to your doctor is important to properly diagnose and treat any bladder issues.) The biggest benefit of bladder training is that it helps address urinary symptoms without medication.

How does bladder training work?

The point of bladder training, says Fosnight, is to diminish leakage and the sense of urgency to urinate. “The goals are to increase the amount of time between emptying your bladder as well as expand the amount of fluids your bladder can hold,” she says. This should also make you feel more comfortable in between bathroom breaks.

On that note, says Dr. Eilber, bladder training involves gradually increasing the time interval between urination. That’s done by following a fixed voiding schedule, whether or not you feel the urge to urinate. If you feel an urge to urinate before the assigned interval, you should use urge suppression techniques—such as relaxation and/or engaging the pelvic floor muscles, such as squeezing, like a kegel. “For instance, if someone urinates every 30 minutes, for one week they would be instructed to postpone urination five minutes, then add on five minutes the following week, and so on,” she says.

How to use bladder training techniques

First, empty your bladder as soon as you get up in the morning, as this kicks off your retraining schedule. Then throughout the day, go to the bathroom at the specific times that have been discussed with your healthcare provider, and increase by minute-long increments, as advised by your doctor.

“Wait until your next scheduled time before you urinate again and be sure to empty your bladder, even if you feel no urge to urinate,” says Fosnight. Follow the schedule during waking hours only. At night, go to the bathroom only if you wake and find it absolutely necessary.

“When you feel the urge to urinate before the next designated time, use urge suppression techniques or relaxation techniques like deep breathing to focus on relaxing all other muscles,” says Fosnight.

If possible, sit down until the sensation passes. If the urge is suppressed, adhere to the schedule. “If you cannot suppress the urge, wait five minutes. Then slowly make your way to the bathroom, where after urinating, you re-establish the schedule,” says Fosnight. She advises repeaingt this process every time you feel the urge to pee.

When you’ve accomplished your initial goal, Fosnight suggests gradually increasing the time between emptying your bladder by 15-minute intervals. Increase your interval each week until you get to a voiding interval of three or four hours.

How long until you see results?

There is no specific amount of time that it will take you to reach your goal.  “A helpful and achievable timeline would be about six to 12 weeks to accomplish your ultimate goal,” says Fonsight.

Don’t be discouraged by setbacks! You may find you have good days and bad days, just like any other part of life. As you continue bladder retraining, you will start to notice more and more good days, so keep practicing. “Keeping a bladder diary can be helpful to understand your triggers,” adds Fosnight.

You’ll boost the speediness of your success by doing your pelvic floor exercises consistently every day, too. And those diaries will also help you see your progress and identify your problem times, as well as track your successes. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to use the bathroom—on your own preferred schedule.

Article by Aleece Fosnight, MSPAS, PA-C & Karyn Eilber, MD

Source: ‘I’m a Urologist, and This is What You Need to Know About Bladder Training’ | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)

The #1 Cause of Shingles

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one out of every three Americans will develop shingles at some point in their lifetime. While the majority of people are well aware that the disease manifests itself as a blistering rash, there are many things you might not know about shingles, including why it occurs, who is most at risk and what its number one cause is. Read on to learn everything you need to know about shingles. Read on until the end so you can protect yourself.

1. What Are Shingles

Shingles refers to a rash, usually with blisters, that can occur on any part of the body, explains Marjorie Golden, MD, Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist and associate professor of clinical medicine, Yale School of Medicine. And, it is related to a very common childhood disease. “Shingles is caused by reactivation of the chickenpox virus,” Dr. Golden says. “Therefore, if you’ve never had chickenpox, you cannot get shingles.”

The National Institute of Aging explains that the disease is caused by the same virus, the varicella-zoster virus (VZV), as the chickenpox. “After you recover from chickenpox, the virus continues to live in some of your nerve cells. It is usually inactive, so you don’t even know it’s there.”

2. What Happens If You Have It?

The most common manifestation of shingles is a rash. “The rash of shingles may have an unusual distribution, because it follows the pattern of nerve roots,” explains Dr. Golden. A typical feature of shingles is that the rash usually stays on only one side of the body. “If untreated, the rash will typically heal on its own, though it may leave scarring and be accompanied by residual pain.”

Depending on where shingles develop, other symptoms—like hiccups or loss of vision—can occur, per the NIA. 

3. How Do I Know I Have It?

The first sign you have shingles is usually pain or burning, “which may last for several days before the rash becomes visible,” says Dr. Golden. “Once the rash appears, it has a very characteristic appearance and is easily diagnosed.” And, the NIA adds that some people only experience mild symptoms. “They might just have some itching. For others, shingles can cause intense pain that can be felt from the gentlest touch or breeze.”

4. Here Are the Top Contributing Factors

Several factors are known to cause shingles including older age, use of steroids or other immunosuppressant medications, a weakened immune system (including HIV infection and cancer) and stress, according to Dr. Golden. “While we know that these factors increase the risk of getting shingles, some people without any risk factors can still be affected,” she points out.   

5. What Is the Number One Cause?

The only way you can get shingles is if you were previously infected with the chickenpox. Therefore, the number one cause of shingles is the chickenpox. 

Slide 6 of 8: The only way you can get shingles is if you were previously infected with the chickenpox. Therefore, the number one cause of shingles is the chickenpox. 

6. How to Prevent It

Luckily, shingles are not contagious. The best way to prevent shingles is to get vaccinated, reveals Dr. Golden. “It is recommended that everyone over 50 get the Shingrix vaccine,” she says. “The vaccine does not contain live virus so you cannot get shingles from the vaccine.” You want to be careful scheduling your Shingrix vaccine and your COVID-19 vaccine: “Given the lack of data on the safety and efficacy of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines administered simultaneously with other vaccines, the COVID-19 vaccine series should routinely be administered alone,” the CDC advises doctors. “You should wait a minimum of 14 days after administration of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series to give a patient Shingrix. Alternatively, if a patient just received Shingrix, you should wait a minimum of 14 days before giving them the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series.”

7. What to Do If You Notice Symptoms

 If you think you may have shingles, you should call your health provider, urges Dr. Golden. “Early treatment of shingles with antiviral medications can shorten the duration of the rash and prevent postherpetic neuralgia, the chronic pain that may complicate infection,” she explains. “Importantly,  if you think you have shingles near the eye, it is very important to seek medical care immediately.” 

Article by Leah Groth for EatThis,NotThat.com

Photo credit: EatThis,NotThat.com

Source: The #1 Cause of Shingles, According to Science (msn.com)

Walking This Way Can Add 20 Years to Your Life

Tom Yates, Ph.D., MSc, BSc, a professor at the UK’s University of Leicester, gained a lot of attention in March of this year when he and his colleagues from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Leicester Biomedical Research Centre published a study in the International Journal of Obesity revealing that people who walk slowly are up to four times more likely to die from severe cases of COVID-19—and have more than double the chance of contracting severe cases of the virus—than their brisk-walking counterparts.

By then, the leading scientists knew that factors such as obesity and body-mass were key risk predictors of how well we cope with the virus, but the study was the first to shed light on the connection between fitness levels and COVID.

“Fast walkers have been shown to generally have good cardiovascular and heart health, making them more resilient to external stressors, including viral infection, but this hypothesis has not yet been established for infectious disease,” Yates explained when the study was released. “It is my view that … research surveillance studies should consider incorporating simple measures of physical fitness, such as self-reported walking pace in addition to BMI, as potential risk predictors of COVID-19 outcomes that could ultimately enable better prevention methods that save lives.”

For people who walk, the study was yet another compelling reason—to add to the ever-growing pile of research—that suggests brisk walking is a worthwhile form of exercise with a number of benefits for your body. However, in a newly published interview with The Daily Mail, professor Yates offered perhaps the single biggest reason yet why you should take more brisk walks every day.

“Fast walkers can live up to 20 years longer,” Yates told The Daily Mail“It improves cardiovascular fitness, which is a measure of how efficient your heart is, and your ability to utilize oxygen, which is an indicator of fitness.”

Several studies back him up. For example, a big study published in 2015 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a brisk 20-minute walk every day could reduce your risk of death by upwards of 30%.

Even if you’re not brisk walking, you can reap some of the benefits of walking more. As William Kraus, MD, a professor at the Duke University Molecular Physiology Institute, once revealed to The New York Times how “the little things people do every day”—such as walking while shopping and climbing escalators—”can and do add up and affect the risk for disease and death.” Kraus oversaw an eye-opening study published in 2018 that found that those who move around for small periods, and lightly exercised for fewer than 20 minutes every day, had a much lower chance of dying earlier.

For the record, brisk walking is generally defined as walking fast enough that your breathing becomes heavier, and while you can talk, you can’t sing. 

1. You’ll Be Smarter

Scientists have linked brisk walking, along with other forms of moderate exercise—which are defined by The Cleveland Clinic as exercise that essentially doubles your heart rate—with a fertile brain and better cognitive performance. One study, published by APA PsycNet, found that exercising more is associated with the creation successful innovations. (After all, some of history’s greatest thinkers, from Plato to Steve Jobs, were committed walkers.)

2. You’ll Sleep Better

Scientists have shown that taking a brisk, early morning walk outside is crucial for resetting your biological clock every day and ensuring that you get sounder sleep later on.

3. You’ll Be Less Stressed

No shocker here. But according to The Mayo Clinic, brisk walking can ease symptoms associated with depression and anxiety by releasing endorphins (which will “enhance your sense of wellbeing”), distract your mind, help you build confidence (“meeting exercise goals or challenges, even small ones, can boost your self-confidence”), and help you cope (“doing something positive to manage depression or anxiety is a healthy coping strategy”).

4. You’ll Burn Calories

Generally speaking, a 20-minute brisk walk should require you roughly 2,000 to 3,000 steps, which will carry you the distance of roughly one mile, and will result in 90 to 110 calories burned. Walk longer, and more frequently, and walking can indeed help you lose more weight.

Article by William Mayle for EatThis,NotThat.com

Photo credit: ET,NT

Source: Walking This Way Can Add 20 Years to Your Life, Says Top Scientist (msn.com)

People Who Live Past 105 Have This in Common

People always wonder what the key to living a long life is. While your diet, exercise, attitude, stress level, and sleep may play a part, a recent study identified another factor that could determine your longevity. According to the new study, a majority of people who live past 105 years old have this one thing in common. To find out what helps you live longer, read on, and to see what you can take to help extend your life.

People who live past 105 years old have genetic similarities, the researchers found.

A May 4 study published in the journal eLife took blood samples of 81 people who were 105 years or older from all over Italy. Then they did the same with 36 healthy people from the same regions who were an average of 68 years old. With their samples collected, the researchers conducted a whole genome sequencing in search of differences in the genes between the older and younger group.

“We chose to study the genetics of a group of people who lived beyond 105 years old and compare them with a group of younger adults from the same area in Italy, as people in this younger age group tend to avoid many age-related diseases and therefore represent the best example of healthy aging,” one of the authors of the study, Paolo Garagnani, PhD, said in the statement.

What they found was that people who live beyond 105 years tend to have some genetic similarities.

These genetic similarities are linked to reduced age-related disease.

The researchers identified a handful of genetic variances that were more often seen in people who lived past 105. The most common were linked to heightened activity of the STK17A gene, which is responsible for “coordinating the cell’s response to DNA damage, encouraging damaged cells to undergo programmed cell death, and managing the amount of dangerous reactive oxygen species within a cell,” the authors explained. This highly active STK17A gene helps combat the initiation and growth of various diseases, including cancer.

The researchers also found an increased presence of BLVRA among people 105 years old and older—that gene plays an important role in the health of cells.

The final common genetic trait was in the COA1 gene, which plays an essential role in your cells’ functionality, specifically how the nucleus and mitochondria communicate. Other research has shown that your mitochondria plays a key part in age-related diseases, specifically neurodegenerative ones, meaning the COA1 gene helps stave off this kind of deterioration.

People who live past 105 had accumulated fewer harmful genetic mutations.

The researchers found that people older than 105 had fewer mutations in the genes they tested. Mutations tend to negatively affect how your genes function in terms of stress and DNA repair. The researchers said the subjects they studied “appeared to avoid the age-related increase in disruptive mutations, and this may have contributed in protecting them against diseases such as heart disease.”

Other studies pinpointed DNA repair as one of the factors that promotes longevity in other species, senior author of the study Cristina Giuliani, PhD, said in a statement. “We showed that this is true also within humans,” she explained.

“Our results suggest that DNA repair mechanisms and a low burden of mutations in specific genes are two central mechanisms that have protected people who have reached extreme longevity from age-related diseases,” senior author of the study, Claudio Franceschi, PhD, said in a statement.

Previous research has shown that social and environmental factors can also play a part in whether you live to 100.

Genetics may be one element of your longevity, but your social life and environment can play a role, too. April 2020 research out of Washington State University’s (WSU) Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine found that living in highly walkable, mixed-age communities can help you reach that 100-year mark. “Aging has been attributed to be only 20–35 percent heritable. Social and environmental factors, such as high educational attainment and socioeconomic status, also significantly contribute to longevity,” the authors wrote in the study, published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

According to the study, people with a high probability of living to 100 tended to live in geographic clusters in urban areas and smaller towns with a “higher percentage of working age population,” defined as those between the ages of 15 and 64. In a statement, study author Rajan Bhardwaj, a WSU medical student, said, “These findings indicate that mixed-age communities are very beneficial for everyone involved. They also support the big push in growing urban centers toward making streets more walkable, which makes exercise more accessible to older adults and makes it easier for them to access medical care and grocery stores.” Urban areas also tend to help older adults feel less isolated and offer more community support.

So if you’re worried you’re lacking the genes to help ring in your 100th birthday, you might want to consider a location that could enhance the quality and length of your life. Want to know what other small changes you can make to add years to your life? Here are 100 Ways to Live to 100, According to Science.

Article by Allie Hogan

Photo credit: BestLife

Source of article: People Who Live Past 105 Have This in Common, New Study Says (msn.com)

Most Toxic 20 Ingredients in Your Personal Care & Beauty Products

Does anyone actually read the ingredient labels on cosmetics and personal care products? There are so many of them and they are all so difficult to pronounce.  You’d need a chemist to help you decipher how every one of those chemicals is derived, what they do, and the danger they pose.

Don’t think there’s any danger? Remember when asbestos was discovered in Claire’s eyeshadows marketed to kids? Or when Johnson & Johnson paid out billions of dollars to people who were stricken with cancer as a result of using the company’s Baby Powder and other products that contained talc? If you think that the FDA or any other regulatory agency is making sure that the products you and your kids are using are safe, you’ve got another thing coming!

Unless a chemical used in beauty products is proven to cause harm to human health (and according to the American Cancer Society, this is very difficult, time consuming, and expensive to prove, so why would anyone want to spend the time and money to do so in such a deregulated industry?), it is classified as GRAS, or “generally recognized as safe.” This classification is upheld by the FDA at which point it’s caveat emptor, or buyer beware.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

The most important things you can (and MUST) do are:

  1. Educate yourself about the risks of the most harmful ingredients (I’ve compiled the worst 20 below)
  2. Read the ingredient labels on every product you buy (including food, personal care and cleaning products), and
  3. Choose products that do not contain harmful chemicals.

Source: Most Toxic 20 Ingredients in Your Personal Care & Beauty Products — Newtrition New You (newtritionny.com)