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Do Popular Diets Really Work?

May 22, 2015

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We keep seeing new research on which foods are good for you. On the flip side, we see new diets springing up, promising better health, quicker weight loss or for getting in shape. The question to ask though is, “Do popular diets really work?” There are plenty of diets that promise weight-loss or help in controlling blood sugar levels. There are also diets that promise to prevent diseases or even help muscle growth. Low-carbohydrate diets, or low-protein no-meat diets have all been popular at one point or the other. These diets are commonly called “yo-yo” diets because of the back-and-forth nature of the diets.

The trouble with these diets is that they mostly focus on the short-term and quickly visible results rather than focusing on health and fitness in the long-term. There’s also the fact that diet alone doesn’t promote a loss of fat or build muscle. Exercise is also a necessity to build muscle and keep the body healthy while keeping weight down.

Another downside to these diets is that, they can deprive you of essential nutrients you might not be aware of. A lack of protein, or vitamins could adversely affect health and cause problems like weak bones and atrophied muscles. They can also lead to the development of lifestyle diseases like diabetes due to erratic food consumption. Crash diets especially, could adversely affect health. Here are some of the negative effects of fad diets:

Effects of Popular Diets

 

Some diets even go to extreme levels, completely eliminating food groups or by limiting dieters to just a single food every day like the cabbage soup diet or some that even cut down meals to one a day. Diets that require supplements like protein powders can also affect health in a bad way. These diets are also characterized by extreme dietary restrictions and limited or no sources of research. The important thing to remember when adopting a diet is to ensure that it is a measured, coherent plan for the long term. A clear sign that a diet is a fad is the promise of quick and easy results. Proper diet plans advise portion control rather than elimination of food, and also emphasize on physical activity that improve health when paired with a diet. So, in order to stay healthy, adopting popular diets that seem like they get quick results could affect you in many negative ways. Increased risk of lifestyle and metabolic diseases and autoimmune conditions also rise.

 

We at Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics believe in providing the best healthcare and injury management. Our wide range of prosthetics and orthotics are designed to provide the best aid and support, no matter the need. To know more about us, visit www.cpousa.com.

 

Stress: Causes, Effects and Treatments

May 15, 2015

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Stress is a constant worry these days and is quickly becoming one of the most common psychological conditions. Fast-paced lifestyles and increased lifestyles, along with environmental factors are leading to an increase in stress levels among the population. However, stress can be combated with awareness of its causes, symptoms and treatments. Read on to find out more.

Causes of stress: Causes of stress are divided into both internal and external factors.

External factors:

Internal factors:

Now that we have seen some of the common causes of stress, let us take a look at the effects of stress. Stress affects everyone in different ways. It could be as a drive to overcome the stress, or destructive habits like smoking as a coping mechanism. Stress could also lead to anxiety or chronic depression.

Stress leaves both visual and subtle signs that can be recognized.

 

Signs that you have Stress

There is no need to worry even more. There are many to manage, if not completely eliminate stress other than relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms such as smoking and drinking habits like overeating. There are many healthy options for dealing with stress.

Avoiding and Treating Stress

Help Yourself: Stress can be managed by making a conscious effort to improve your mood. A healthy lifestyle can help prevent and manage stress. A regular exercise routine, a healthy diet and positive coping mechanisms are very helpful in dealing with stress.

Find a hobby: Finding a way to keep occupied, like a hobby can help relax the body and mind. Doing something you enjoy can help you gain peace of mind. Activities like writing, gardening or painting help.

Therapy: In cases where dealing with stress by oneself doesn’t seem to be helping, there are options like therapy. Talking to a counselor or psychologist helps in dealing with stress. Talking to a counselor can also help identify the root cause of the stress and help come to terms with and overcoming it.

Medication: In cases of excessive stress, anxiety or depression, there are medications that can help lower stress levels by controlling the body’s responses. Medicines that help reduce hypertension and anxiety are used in the treatment of stress.

Take Time to Relax: Taking some time out to relax helps immensely in dealing with stress. Activities like listening to music or meditating are a good way to de-stress.

Laugh: Laughter is definitely the best medicine when it comes to dealing with stress. Laughing leads to a release of endorphins, which promote good feelings and stave off stress.

Being aware of stress goes a long way in preventing and dealing with it effectively. Knowing about the negative effects of stress and how it affects the body also helps stay healthy.

We at Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics are committed to good health. To know more about us, visit www.cpousa.com.

Exercises for the Indoors

May 8, 2015

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Sometimes, it’s impossible to head out of the house for a walk, jog or any other exercise. This could be due to the weather, or even seasons. Cold, heat, rain or snow can make going outdoors for exercise practically impossible. With the mercury rising in summer, exercising outdoors can have a host of negative effects like sunstroke, dehydration and heat exhaustion. So, when it’s impossible to exercise outdoors, there is still the indoors. Either in the gym or at home, indoor workouts can be just as effective as exercising outdoors. Contrary to popular belief, working out indoors does not restrict from any types of exercises, whether it’s for building muscle or slimming down and gaining muscle tone or strength. Exercises are broadly classified into two categories, based on what they involve and the benefits they offer.

Cardiovascular Exercises: Cardiovascular exercises are exercises like running or cycling. Cardiovascular training boosts endurance and stamina, as well as improves blood circulation. Cardio, as it’s popularly called also helps burn calories and fat, which makes it a very good routine for losing weight.  

Running or Cycling: Running and cycling are good cardiovascular exercises. These exercises can also be performed indoors. For running, there are exercises like jogging in place. There is also equipment available. There are treadmills for indoor running and stationary bikes for cycling indoors.  

Skipping: Skipping or jump-rope is a great cardiovascular work-out that improves stamina, endurance and also helps burn calories. All you need is a jump-rope. This exercise can also be performed indoors with enough room.  

Strength-training: As the name suggests, strength training focuses on increasing strength. Strength training can be focused in two ways, core strength and muscle building. Strength training is further divided based on its focus. Calisthenics primarily focuses on building core strength while weight-training’s primary focus is increasing muscle mass.

Squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and, keeping your spine straight, lower into a sitting position so that your knees are at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Squats improve leg health and strengthen the calf and thigh muscles. There are also variations on the standard squat such as using weights, a wall for support or a medicine ball.

Push-ups: Push-ups are a standard exercise for improving core strength and improving muscle tone. Push-ups strengthen the arms, legs, back, shoulders and boost core strength as well. Again, there are many variations that target other muscle groups like close-handed or diamond push-ups. Push ups can also be performed against a wall or using a medicine ball. Start with lying on your stomach on the floor with your hands slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Brace your feet against the floor and push yourself up. Remember to keep your back straight. Do ten repeats as a set. Complete at least three sets.

Pull-ups: Pull-ups are a great callisthenic exercise for building core strength and muscle tone. Pull-ups also help strengthen the back and shoulder muscles. For pull-ups, all you need is a sturdy bar that can support body weight. Stand with your feet slightly spread and grab onto the bar with both hands in an overhand grip. Pull yourself up till your nose is level with bar while keeping your back straight. 

 

There are many more exercises that can be done indoors, with or without equipment like lunges and crunches, as well as other exercise forms like yoga, pilates or martial likes Tai Chi. The options are endless. It is completely possible to get a complete workout at home, if you want to lose weight, burn fat or just get in shape.

 

We, at Comprehensive Prosthetics and Orthotics believe that staying fit and healthy is a vital part of life. For information on our products and services, visit us at www.cpousa.com or contact us here.

Health Benefits of Swimming

January 21, 2015

swimmingSwimming is the perfect exercise. It is easy to pick up and very easy on the joints. Here are reasons why swimming is the ideal workout:
Low impact: Swimming helps you protect the joints from stress and strain. Water aerobics classes are very helpful for this reason.
Improves Endurance: Swimming improves endurance. In a research study of sedentary middle-aged men and women who did swim training for 12 weeks, oxygen consumption increased by 10% and stroke volume improved around 18%.
Tones the muscles: In a research study of men who completed an eight-week swimming program, there was a 23.8% increase in the triceps muscle. Swimming helps in toning the muscles.
Helps in rehabilitation therapy: When athletes are injured, particularly in the lower half, they are recommended to swim to maintain their fitness level. Swimming helps them get fit, and it’s even part of the rehabilitation therapy. This is due to the resistance of the water. It makes the muscles work hard without the strain or impact that is usually experienced with other excercises.
Burns calories: Swimming helps in losing lots of calories. It ranges anywhere from 500-650 per hour depending on the intensity of the swim and how buoyant you are. Research has showed that swimming burns about 89% of the calories burned during running and 97% of the calories burned during cycling for the same time period.

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