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Taking A Time Out: Self Care For Caregivers

Posted on March 29, 2016 at 5:24 PM Comments comments (85)
Taking care of a sick loved one is one of the most difficult challenges one can face in their lives.
Often times coming unexpectedly, care givers must learn how to adjust quickly to a new way of
thinking and living. Though often thought of as an honorable task, care givers often find
themselves stretched beyond their limits putting a crippling stress on not only them but their
personal relationships. How do care givers cope with such a task?

“I’ve started to workout in the mornings before mom wakes up.” When Toni’s mother suffered a
series of strokes last Spring, she, along with her husband has handled caring for her mother full time.
“It was a struggle at first waking up earlier but I needed this time alone to get back to
myself”. Exercising even 2 to 3 times a week has many mental and physical benefits for care
givers. Along with an overall improvement of health, working out is a great way to relieve stress.
There is no need to join your nearest gym, just taking a short walk every morning can help you
relax, improve your mental state and the way you cope with stress that may arrive in the
day.

Another way to cope with stress especially on the go is deep breathing. Taking 4 deep breaths,
inhaling slowly though the nose and exhaling slowly through the mouth can help release any
nervous energy or stress. If you feel your body is tense, take taking a deep breath, tightening
your shoulder muscles, hold for 3 to 5 seconds and exhale slowly while releasing your shoulders
to relax. You can do this for all parts of your body, starting from your feet on up for overall
relaxation.

One of the most effective things care givers can do is find a support group. Though family and
friends are a wonderful support system, sometimes having a group of people who know exactly
what you’re going through is more helpful. Many care givers don’t realize there support groups
online and in person providing a safe space to discuss the ups and downs attached to care giving.
Caregiver.org offers links to online and in person support groups in your area. There are also
Facebook groups as well as groups on meetup.com. How ever you decide to cope with becoming
a care giver, it is imperative to create a self care routine. Taking care of your mental, physical,
and emotional state will improve your overall quality of life in the long run.

Dr. Noel Bairey Merz shares the biggest threat to women's health

Posted on May 12, 2015 at 7:47 AM Comments comments (247)
"Surprising, but true: More women now die of heart disease than men, yet cardiovascular research has long focused on men. Pioneering doctor C. Noel Bairey Merz shares what we know and don't know about women's heart health — including the remarkably different symptoms women present during a heart attack (and why they're often missed)"


Ways To Prevent Hypertension

Posted on October 7, 2013 at 5:37 PM Comments comments (85)
1 and 4 Americans suffer from Hypertension other wise known as High Blood Pressure. Major Risk factors for hypertension included heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Here are some simple ways to prevent high plood pressure and reduce your risk of disease according to WebMD

You can prevent high blood pressure by:
  • Maintaining a healthy weight. Being overweight can make you two to six times more likely to develop high blood pressure than if you are at your desirable weight. Even small amounts of weight loss can make a big difference in helping to prevent and treat high blood pressure.
  • Getting regular exercise: People who are physically active have a lower risk of getting high blood pressure -- 20% to 50% lower -- than people who are not active. You don't have to be a marathon runner to benefit from physical activity. Even light activities, if done daily, can help lower your risk.
  • Reducing salt intake: Often, when people with high blood pressure cut back on salt, their blood pressure falls. Cutting back on salt also prevents blood pressure from rising.
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation, if at all: Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. To help prevent high blood pressure, limit how much alcohol you drink to no more than two drinks a day. The "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" recommends that for overall health, women should limit their alcohol to no more than one drink a day.
  • Reduce stress: Stress can make blood pressure go up, and over time may contribute to the cause of high blood pressure. There are many steps you can take to reduce your stress. The article on easing stress will get you started.
Other nutrients may also help prevent high blood pressure. Here's a roundup of the research:
  • Potassium. Eating foods rich in potassium will help protect some people from developing high blood pressure. You probably can get enough potassium from your diet, so a supplement isn't necessary (and could be dangerous without a doctor's oversight). Many fruits, vegetables, dairy foods, and fish are good sources of potassium.
  • Calcium. Populations with low calcium intakes have high rates of high blood pressure. However, it has not been proven that taking calcium tablets will prevent high blood pressure. But it is important to be sure to get at least the recommended amount of calcium -- 1,000 milligrams per day for adults 19 to 50 years old and 1,200 mg for those over 50 (pregnant and breastfeeding women also need more) -- from the foods you eat. Dairy foods like low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are good sources of calcium. Low-fat and nonfat dairy products have even more calcium than the high-fat types.
  • Magnesium. A diet low in magnesium may make your blood pressure rise. But doctors don't recommend taking extra magnesium to help prevent high blood pressure -- the amount you get in a healthy diet is enough. Magnesium is found in whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and dry peas and beans.
  • Fish oils. A type of fat called "omega-3 fatty acids" is found in fatty fish like mackerel and salmon. Large amounts of fish oils may help reduce high blood pressure, but their role in prevention is unclear. Taking fish oil pills is not recommended, because high doses can cause unpleasant side effects. Most fish, if not fried or made with added fat, is low in saturated fat and calories and can be eaten often.
  • Garlic. There has been some evidence to suggest garlic’s effect in lowering blood pressure, in addition to improving cholesterol and reducing some cancers. Further research is being conducted to fully assess garlic’s potential health benefits.

For more information on high blood pressure and preventative methods please visit their website.

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