Weekly health rail, with items on joint health, preventing and treating dry skin, helping kids when they have a bloody nose, and more.
The new year often means resolutions like being healthier or exercising more often. What many people don't know is that our joints are the critical part of the body that allows us to be active and do the activities we most enjoy.
Approximately one-third of Americans 35 and older say their joints prevent them from doing their favorite sport or activity in the last year. More than 50 percent of them just accepted that as part of the aging process, according to a recent study.
The good news is there are simple and effective steps you can take to strengthen and protect joints like knees, wrists and hips.
Dr. Kevin R. Stone, an orthopedic surgeon at the Stone Clinic, offers five tips for helping to maintain healthy joints:
1. Manage your weight
You won't just look better - you'll feel better. Every extra pound puts four times the stress on your knees and other weight-bearing joints. Even a small amount of weight loss will give your joints relief.
2. Be supplement savvy
Dietary supplements like glucosamine have been proven to help maintain joint function and mobility. Glucosamine is produced naturally in the body, but due to the physical demands of everyday life (let alone running, tennis or even walking), our body's supply is often not enough.
Stretching isn't just for workouts. Take breaks throughout the day, especially at the office, to get re-energized. Range-of-motion exercises are a good way to keep muscles and ligaments flexible and strong.
4. Use good technique
When sitting, standing and especially when lifting, using the proper technique will prevent fatigue and injury. Ask an expert if you don't know how to do it, but be sure to assess your technique for these simple daily activities.
5. Make a date with your doctor
See a physician for a routine check-up at least once a year. Request an examination of your joints -- from head to toe -- and ask for tips on protecting your joints from daily stress.
New research: Exercise can reduce stroke risk in men
A new study found that men who regularly take part in moderate-to-heavy intensity exercise such as jogging, tennis or swimming may be less likely to have a stroke than people who get no exercise or only light exercise, such as walking, golfing or bowling.
Men who participated in moderate-to-heavy intensity activities were 63 percent less likely to have a stroke than people with no physical activity. The baseline risk of ischemic stroke over five years in the entire group was 4.3 percent; among those with moderate-to-heavy intensity activities the risk was 2.7 percent, and among those with no activity it was 4.6 percent.
However, exercise did not have a protective effect against stroke for women.
-- American Academy of Neurology
Did You Know?
Between 1999 and 2006, the prevalence of adults in the U.S. with high levels of LDL cholesterol, the "bad" cholesterol, decreased by about one-third. -- JAMA
Health Tip: Take care of your dry skin
Dry skin is a common problem, especially in winter. Here are some tips for keeping skin smooth and supple.
- Use lukewarm water when you take a bath or shower. Water strips natural oils from the skin, so take short showers and don’t bathe too frequently.
- Avoid harsh soaps that dry the skin. Deodorant soaps are often very harsh; limit their use to areas that may develop an odor.
- Be gentle when using a washcloth. When drying off with a towel, pat dry instead of rubbing.
- Moisturize immediately after a bath or shower so the lotion or cream holds in the moisture from the shower.
- Use a humidifier. Central heating can be very drying.
- Keep drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
-- American Osteopathic College of Dermatology
Number to Know: 44 million
By 2034, as many as 44 million Americans will have diabetes, up from the current 23 million, according to the new projections, published in the November issue of the American Diabetes Association.
Children’s Health: How to treat a bloody nose
A bloody nose is a common childhood malady. But the old remedies like lying down or holding the head back are not the best way to stop one.
Dr. Diane Heatley of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health says children’s nosebleeds usually start in blood vessels in the front of the nose.
The child should sit up and lean forward so blood can enter the front of the nose, and then gently apply pressure by squeezing the nostrils together for at least five minutes until normal clotting occurs.
A cold cloth or small ice pack on the bridge of the nose will also slow blood flow by constricting blood vessels.
Senior Health: Some medicines linked to falls
A new study found that falls among elderly people are associated with several classes of drugs, including sedatives often prescribed as sleep aids and medications used to treat mood disorders.
University of British Columbia researchers said antidepressants showed the strongest statistical association with falling, possibly because older drugs in this class have significant sedative properties. Anti-psychotics/neuroleptics often used to treat schizophrenia and other psychoses and benzodiazepines such as Valium were also significantly associated with falls.
Falling and fall-related complications such as hip fractures are the fifth leading cause of death in the developed world, the study noted.
GateHouse News Service