The Best Fitness Move for Any Mom on the Go

Between hauling kids and groceries, picking up after almost everyone in the household and all the million other things moms do, there’s often not much time to focus on fitness. Many of these activities may give our upper-bodies – or at least our biceps – a boost, but what about the rest? There’s one fitness move that provides advantages for the core, balance, hips thighs and buttocks: squats. Read on to find out more about the benefits of squats and how you can easily do them wherever you are and however busy your schedule is.

Benefits of Squats

The simple squat can be done almost anywhere, any time. It doesn’t need any special equipment, and this one little exercise works 200 different muscles. It’s also a great low-impact cardio move. From descent to ascent, the movement is designed to activate the three largest muscle groups in the right order and improve flexibility in the knee, hip and ankle joints.

This targeted fitness move is so effective, you don’t have to do many to get results in a very short time. Because it’s a weight-bearing exercise, meaning you’re using your own body weight as leverage, it gives you some of the benefits of weight-training. Weight-training is one of the most beneficial workouts, especially as we get older. It helps retain lean muscle mass and strengthens bones to ward off osteoporosis. Squats can help you do the same thing without stepping into a gym.

Form is Everything

You may know squats from your fitness video or class, but did you realize how much variety and benefit comes from this one simple move when it’s done right? There are three components to the perfect squat, and all variations start from there:

Center of gravity line (CoGL) – this is the optimal starting position to ensure proper alignment and balance from start to finish. Your knees should never extend beyond your toes at any point during execution, and your back should remain straight, with your head up and face forward.

Hip flexion – refers to the hinge function of the hips and their placement at each point of the movement. With the CoGL in mind, most of the bend should be at the hip, without the pressure on the knees that causes so many problems. To get it done properly, push your bottom back as you bend, using the hip flexion, as if your trying to sit down.

Proper heel pressure – all of the weight should be in your heels, not on the balls of your feet. With the proper heel pressure and weight distribution, your balance will be better, and you’ll really feel the burn in the places that need it the most.

Squat Variations

The basic squat is just descent/ascent, with arms straight out in front of you. It only takes 30 reps, 4 – 5 days a week, and you can go on about your day. However, if you want to avoid the plateau effect or just change things up once in a while, you can try some variations.

  • instead of just holding your arms straight out in front, hold some weights, either light dumbbells or a disc
  • try placing your hands behind your head, elbows straight out to the side; make sure to retain your form and balance
  • on the descent, slide one leg out to the side, toe pointed; switch legs with each rep

3 Reasons to Regularly Visit Your Dentist

The health of your mouth is important. If you are at risk for gum disease, oral cancer or prone to cavities, your dentist is trained to diagnose and alert you to their progress. A brooklyn ny dentist, for example, will run a series of visual tests and x-rays to determine your current overall oral health. Dental technology continues to make advancements, so if you are someone who requires extra accommodations during your visit, you will probably find that your dentist can extend them to you.

Here are three reasons why you should regularly visit your dentist.

Prevention

First and foremost, keeping up with bi-annual dental appointments is about preventing potentially painful and expensive dental work later. As your dentist visually examines the health of your teeth, gums and mouth, any obvious issues, like cavities, can be addressed immediately. X-rays catch what is happening in your mouth beneath the surface. If the possibility that a root canal could be brewing, your dentist may be able to circumvent the problem before it gets worse. If a cavity is so deep that a filing alone will not solve the issue, a portion of your tooth may be salvageable with a crown.

Cleanings

Visiting your dentist twice a year means that at least two times a year, your teeth will be thoroughly cleaned. Your job is then to maintain that cleanliness at home by brushing, rinsing and flossing. The dental hygienist has a better view of your teeth and gums. For this reason, this professional will be able to scrape plaque in crevices and blind-spots you cannot reach. Professional cleanings prevent build-up on your teeth that leads to gum disease, cavities or worse.

Cosmetic

Maybe you are not 100% satisfied with your smile, and you have considered cosmetic dental procedures to improve its whiteness, look or shape. Dental technology continues to improve. Once upon a time, dental filings were gray. Today, they are matched to your tooth’s color. Improvement in dental technology and procedures means that prices drop as time passes. By keeping up with your dental appointments, your dentist can keep you abreast of new procedures that may interest you. More importantly, they may be more affordable, too.

The overall health of your mouth should rank high on your priority list. Prevention, cleanings and cosmetic issues are three reasons why you should regularly visit your dentist.

Benefits of a Healthy Lifestyle

You might be a person who is very set in your ways. You know that you have habits that are not healthy. However, you find them very hard to change after so many years. If this is the case, you are certainly not alone. There are millions of people around the world who find themselves in the same situation. It is important to understand that neglecting your health when you are young will lead to many different complications as you get older. Therefore, you need to be proactive and change your ways before you develop a physical problem that is irreversible. Changing your lifestyle to a healthy one will not be easy. However, it will be worth it in the long run. Here are a few of the benefits you will get from doing this.

1. You will have a stronger immune system.

There are many people who get sick very often. They cannot figure out why this happens to them. In many cases, they have neglected their health to the point that their immune system has been severely weakened. This has allowed them to be more susceptible to viruses and bacteria that are in the environment. There are a wide variety of things that you can do to make sure that your immune system is always strong and healthy. For example, something as simple as getting enough sleep each night can do wonders for your immune system. You might also want to shop for spirulina powder online and start taking it on a daily basis. A strong immune system will help to prevent you from getting those annoying colds that seemingly take forever to go away. You will be able to fight off illnesses much faster than you could when you were neglecting your health.

2. You will have more energy.

Are you someone who is a zombie in the morning until you get your cup of coffee? Eating a healthier diet and exercising on a regular basis will give you the added boost of energy that you are looking for. Consuming the right vitamins and minerals will give your body the energy it needs to get you through the day without constantly feeling tired as you are working. You should not need to rely on caffeine to give you a jolt of energy. Stop your dependency on stimulants and get your energy from a more natural source like vitamins and minerals. You will be able to find a large assortment of supplements at many different retail and drug stores.

3. Your mood will drastically improve.

People who are constantly feeling tired and sick will understandably be in a bad mood the majority of the time. You will notice that you enjoy life much more when you have taken the steps you need to improve your health. Life will be more fun than it was before because you are not constantly dealing with the nagging physical ailments that unhealthy people often have to deal with.

4. You can inspire other people to follow your lead and get healthy.

You can serve as a role model to other people in your life. You might have friends, family members or work colleagues who are living unhealthy lives. Seeing the improvements that you have made might inspire them to improve their health.

For the Children: Is Vaping A Safer Alternative When You Have Children?

The Vaping safety debate has been raging in the UK in the past few years as the big tobacco companies start to panic about the popularity of e-cigarettes. With e-cigarettes addressing the dangers associated with tobacco, and reducing them significantly, making the switch can be the best decision you make for the health of your family.

A 2015 expert review from Public Health England estimated e-cigs are 95% less harmful than cigarettes for the consumer. But what is the holistic effect of giving up the cigarettes and switching to vaping?

We break it down for you to highlight the safety benefits of switching to vaping, especially when you have kids around the house.

Passive Smoking Cigarette Smoke vs Water Vapour

The main danger for children who live with smokers is passive smoking. Cigarette tobacco contains a mixture of over 4000 irritants, toxins and chemicals and most of these are released into the air around you when you smoke cigarettes.

For children of parents who vape, the risks associated with vaping are much lower. A negligible amount of nicotine is released into the environment as vapour is released in a controlled fashion. In the UK, there are no plans to ban vaping inside public places.

Accidental Consumption

If your children are young, your main concern will probably be tiny sticky fingers that seem to want to put everything into their ever tasting little mouths. With tobacco you must consider not only storage of the tobacco, papers, pipe, filters etc but also disposing of the cigarette ash and butts afterwards where your children are unable to reach them.

With vaping you have only a main unit and chosen liquids. While these should always be kept out of reach of your children and pets, it is much easier to keep everything neat and tidy and contained. E-liquid in the UK can be bought both online and in the high street.

There is also no need for lighters or matches with e-cigarettes, so there is no danger of your kids accidentally burning down the house!

A Cleaner Environment

No spilt ash trays, white ceilings that stay white, no nicotine stained furniture and much cleaner air – what an improvement to your families living environment! Vaping totally removes the dangers and pitfalls associated with tobacco, delivering a clean and measured dosage to the consumer.

Your family hated sharing your tobacco smoke with you, anyway!

Vaping releases water vapour, not smoke, which is sweet smelling – much like household air fresheners. The smell does not stick to clothes or stain fabrics and walls.

Overall, the biggest danger to our kids from vaping is to glamorise and make consumption of nicotine fashionable to developing minds and bodies. It’s important, especially with older children, to keep an open line of communication and educating them on the addictive nature of nicotine and your reasoning for switching to vaping, most children of ex-smokers report that they are just happy that they no longer have to deal with tobacco smoke, stains, stench or ash anymore!

A Pledge to Raise Awareness Against Thyroid Disorders

“Wag ka iinom ng malamig na tubig, magkakathyroid ka!”
“Iodized salt gamitin mo para hindi ka magka-thyroid.”
“May thyroid sya kaya may bukol sa leeg”
“Sige, kapag hindi mo tinigilan kakasigaw mo, magkaka-thyroid ka.”

 

Any of these lines sound familiar? They sound kind of funny but, unfortunately, these are very common misconceptions Filipinos have about thyroid.  It’s no wonder many have thyroid disorders but are not even aware of them.  This is why there is a great need to step up on the campaign to raise awareness about thyroid disorders. Before I tell you all about the campaign, here are a few quick facts about thyroid:

 

Quick Facts About Thyroid

  • We all have thyroid! “Thyroid” is not a disease; it is a gland.  It’s essential because it produces hormones that help keep the body use energy and stay warm, and that keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs in tip-top condition.
  • Common thyroid disorders include goiter, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, thyroid nodules, and cancer. They all have different symptoms AND they cannot be prevented just by using iodized food on all your food!
  • Most symptoms of thyroid disorders are mistaken for other diseases which makes diagnosis quite confusing even for doctors.  The easiest way to diagnosis thyroid disorders is through a blood test to check levels of Thyroid Stimulating Hormone (TSH) in the blood.
  • You can do a self-assessment to check if you are at risk.  Just take this quick test to find out if you absolutely must see your doctor now.  You may also find the test at www.thyroid.ph.

It’s Not You, It’s Your Thyroid Quiz

How many of these facts did you actually know beforehand?  You’re in the minority if you’ve known most of them!

 

International Thyroid Awareness Week

For diseases that are so common, it’s bothering to know that not many people are aware of these diseases.  This is precisely why MERCK in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Thyroid Association (PTA), Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism (PSEDM), and the Iodine Global Network (IGN) holds the annual International Thyroid Awareness Week.  They have been holding series of activities every year to inform the public about the symptoms of thyroid disorders, to dispel myths about them, and to provide proper care and treatment to those who may be suffering from these diseases.

ITAW 2017 Culminating Program

This year, I was able to attend the culminating program held at the Trade Hall of Robinson’s Novaliches last May 26. Since thyroid disorders affect mostly women, the activities were targeted for women.  Participants not only received free doctor’s consultation but also had much needed pampering while learning more about thyroid disorders.

The event kicked off with some Zumba dancers showing off steps that we can easily do in our own homes. All participants were given a card which they could have stamped after each activity.  There were four activities that all attendees must complete – the Video Viewing, Thyroid Quiz, Doctor’s Consultation, and Photobooth.

First, the attendees were asked to watch a short video about thyroid and disorders associated with it. The video was presented in a way that everything could be easily understood by the ordinary Juan.

Watch the Video at Thyroid.ph

After this, a short quiz was given – no, not a quiz about the video! It was a self-assessment test to determine if one may be at risk of thyroid disorders.  Once the quiz was finished, participants showed the quiz results to the doctors.  The doctors then addressed their health concerns. Some were given requests for laboratory procedures and some were given prescriptions.

Those who have finished all the required activities got to have a refreshing cup of milk tea! Then off they went to the pampering booths for some me-time. 🙂 Of course, I didn’t pass up the chance to get my own me-time!

As the participants were dolled up, they were also given bits of trivia about thyroid disorders. While I was having my eyebrows threaded, I was told that thinning eyebrows is a symptom of hypothyroidism (mine are naturally thin though, so I’m glad I don’t have hypothyroidism. Otherwise I’d be sans brows!).  At the hair and makeup booth, I was told that a puffy face, dry skin, and hair loss are symptoms of thyroid disorders too. Those getting a manicure were informed that brittle nails may be a sign of hyperthyroidism and nails that grow too fast, of hypothyroidism.

There were also booths that even men and children could enjoy. The massage chair is always a welcome respite to a long day of mailing. The kinect is best done as a group. I have two left feet but I nevertheless enjoyed “dancing”. No child was whining of boredom because they had a great time meeting new friends and coloring pages at the Kids Art Corner.  The kids who had the best art work were also given prizes! Awesome!

While everyone enjoyed the activities, the most important part of the event was the forum.  Dr. Chrysanthus Herrera, Medical Science and Government Affairs Manager; Dr. Teofilo San Luis, National Coordinator of the Philippines, Iodine Global Network; and Dr. Wesley Llauderes, President of the Philippine Society of Nuclear Medicine gave interesting lectures and valuable health advice to all participants.

It’s Not You, It’s Your Thyroid

In his lecture on “The Thyroid Masquerade”, Dr. Teofilo San Luis explained how thyroid disorders can often be attributed to other diseases.  The thyroid affects almost all organs of the body so most sufferers of thyroid disorders consult different doctors.  For instance, patients who experience palpitations or hypertension first see a cardiologist.  When test results come out negative and the heart  seems healthy, it is the only time they consider other factors.  These symptoms may also be signs of thyroid disorders.  Other such common symptoms are anxiety, sleeplessness, diarrhea, constipation,  hair loss, cold hands, menstrual irregularities, tremors, and even forgetfulness – all can easily be attributed to other diseases or even to just daily stress. Despite the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction being so varied and sometimes misleading, the condition can easily be diagnosed by blood tests and a physical examination.

Aside from sharing symptoms with just about every other ailment, what makes it difficult to diagnose thyroid disorders are the myths surrounding it.  Dr. Wesley Llauderes  dispelled these myths and further explained how to prevent and to treat thyroid problems.  For one, iodine is indeed essential to our body but it will not heal your goiter. Also, although those with hypothyroidism may benefit from iodine-rich food, these same food must be taken in moderation by those with hyperthyroidism. Here are some more myths dispelled by Dr. Llauderes:

  • Cold drinks will not cause thyroid disorders. Neither does shouting (BUT…stress affects the thyroid gland too just as it affects our overall body health)
  • Iodine-rich food such as seafood is not always good.  Those with hypothyroidism need more iodine and may eat more seafood.  Those with hyperthyroidism, on the other hand, should avoid seafood and salty food.
  • There are certain food like cabbages and carrots that may cause goiter to enlarge but this can only happen if you eat them in excessive amounts everyday. So unless you eat cabbages all day, every day, every week, there’s nothing to worry about.
  • Not all goiter are cancerous. Not all thyroid nodules are cancerous.  Having said these, the doctor also stressed the importance of having a biopsy.  Don’t be afraid of it!

Whew!  There’s really so much more to know about thyroid and its disorders.  There’s also still a lot more people who do not know some of these basic facts.  I hope that after reading this rather lengthy blog post, we would all feel our obligation to raise awareness about thyroid.  Let’s all pledge to do this!

 

For more information about thyroid and the International Thyroid Awareness Week, please visit  www.thyroid.phwww.thyroidaware.com or follow “Unmasking Your Thyroid” on Facebook (www.facebook.com/thyroidph).