Exercise

ALWAYS consult your physician before starting any exercise program!

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Managing Itch

The itch of psoriasis may have a bigger impact on quality of life than the visible aspect of the disease.

Itch is present in 70 to 90 percent of psoriasis patients, yet it is only in the last decade that itch has been recognized as a common symptom of the disease, says Gil Yosipovitch, M.D., chairman of the Department of Dermatology and director of the Center for Itch at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Psoriatic itch is different than that of other skin disorders. Some people have described it as a burning sensation. Others compare it to the feeling of being bitten by fire ants. Doctors were once taught that psoriatic patients couldn’t have both itch and pain, but scientists now know that itch and pain signals travel along different pathways in the spinal cord, Yosipovitch says.

Treating psoriasis also can profoundly improve these symptoms and your ability to cope with psoriasis on a day-to-day basis.

Read on for tips on handling the itch of psoriasis.

  • Stress and itch
  • Home remedies
  • Prescription treatments

Stress and itch

Stress is a common trigger for a psoriasis flare. Stress also can make itch worse. This makes managing stress a particularly important skill for people with psoriasis. Consider the following ways some people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis are effectively reducing stress in their lives.

  • Jon-Kabat Zinn, M.D., is considered a leader in the mindfulness meditation movement. He describes mindfulness as “paying attention in a particular way on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally.” Meditation has been described as a good way to clear the mind, slow racing thoughts and relieve anxiety. You can give it try yourself: For 15 minutes, sit comfortably on the floor, with eyes closed or barely open, and focus on your breathing.
  • Exercise increases production of endorphins, chemicals that improve mood and energy. Exercise also has been shown to improve sleep and decrease anxiety. A large U.S. study showed that women who regularly participate in vigorous exercise are less likely to get psoriasis than less-active women. If you haven’t been active for a while, talk to your health care provider before starting any exercise program.
  • Get outside help.Consider taking a course in stress management or finding a therapist in your area who specializes in stress management. Connecting with others who know what you are going through can help, too. Connect with someone who’s been through what you’re going through with Psoriasis One to One. You can also connect with people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis on TalkPsoriasis.org.

Home remedies

The following are ways people with psoriasis help relieve itch:

  • Keep skin moisturized.This is the first step in controlling itch because it reduces redness and itching and helps the skin heal. Dermatologists recommend heavy creams and ointments to lock water into the skin. Cooking oils and even shortening can be inexpensive substitutes for commercial moisturizers.
  • Remove scale and flaking.Apply a scale-softening (keratolytic) product to reduce excess skin and prevent psoriasis plaques from cracking and flaking. Over-the-counter lotions that contain ingredients like salicylic acid, lactic acid, urea or phenol can help remove scale. Removing scale can reduce itch and make itch-relieving lotions and ointments more effective.
  • Cold showers and cold packs also can offer relief.Avoid hot baths and try to limit showers to 10 minutes or less. Hot water can make skin irritation and dryness worse. Apply lotion after washing to lock in moisture. Store lotions in the refrigerator. The feeling of a cool lotion on itchy skin can help.
  • Over-the-counter treatments can help.There are several ingredients that have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for treating itch. Some of these include calamine, hydrocortisone (a weak steroid), camphor, diphenhydramine hydrochloride (HCl), benzocaine and menthol. Be aware that these ingredients may increase irritation and dryness.

Prescription treatments

Simply treating your psoriasis can help reduce itch. If your psoriasis is moderate or severe, or your itch is particularly bothersome, consider asking your doctor to put you on a more aggressive treatment.

Aspirin and noradrenergic and specific serotonergic (NaSSA) antidepressants also can relieve itch, Yosipovitch says. Gabapentin, a drug more commonly used to treat neurological pain, can help, too.

There also are prescription treatments that specifically help with itch, such as:

  • Antihistamines
  • Phototherapy
  • Steroids
  • Topical treatments that contain capsaicin
  • Topical anesthetics like Pramoxine

Topical anesthetics like Pramoxine

Source https://www.psoriasis.org/life-with-psoriasis/managing-itch


16 Joint-protection Tips

Arthritis aches and pain can affect your daily life. But there are simple ways to protect your joints, reduce strain and improve how you function each day. Here are 16 things you can do that could make a big difference.

 

1.Ditch the high heels.

Unless you’re a fashion model, chances are you can live without high heels. Experts say a 3-inch heel stresses your foot seven times more than a 1-inch heel. In addition, heels put extra stress on your knees and may increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.

 

  1. Hang out at the bar.

Popular veggies from a salad bar – romaine and Bibb lettuces, broccoli, spinach, kale or parsley – can slow down cartilage destruction and lessen the amount of bone loss that occurs with age, research says, thanks to their high calcium counts. But remember to go easy on the dressing.

 

  1. Move around.

Neither sitting nor standing on your feet all day is good for your joints. When possible, alternate between the two to prevent stiffness and strain. If your job primarily involves sitting, try to take a break and stand up every 30 minutes or so. Whether at home or the office, make time for simple stretches throughout the day.

 

  1. Kick butt.

People who smoke have a greater risk of fracture than nonsmokers. In fact, smoking can reduce bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis. Kick the habit to keep your body strong and healthy. Plus, just think of all the money you’ll save by going smoke-free.

 

  1. Resolve to reduce.

If you lose weight, you may not only like your “new look,” you’ll feel better, too. Every extra pound you gain puts four times the stress on your knees. The flip side is that even a small amount of weight loss will give your knees relief. Research has shown that losing as little as 11 pounds may improve your joint health and cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50 percent.

 

  1. Take the plunge.

From strength training to jogging to aerobic classes (and let’s not forget the plain old swim), aquatic exercises can help maintain flexibility and range of motion, while taking a load off of your joints while you exercise.

 

  1. Warm up.

Don’t think about hitting the gym, the pool or the trails (or any exercise for that matter) before warming up. Warming up your body before exercise is like warming your car up in the winter. To keep it running smoothly and for optimal joint safety, start slowly and get up to speed only after your muscles and joints have at least five minutes prep time.

 

  1. Handle heavy loads.

Use your largest, strongest joints and muscles to take stress off of smaller hand joints and to spread the load over large surface areas. When you lift or carry items, use the palms of both hands or use your arms instead of your hands. Hold items close to your body, which is less stressful for your joints. For joint safety, slide objects whenever possible rather than lifting them.

 

  1. Build strong bones.

Boost your calcium intake, because a diet rich in this important mineral helps to keep your bones sturdy and can lower your risk of osteoporosis (the brittle bone disease). There are plenty of sources besides milk, including yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, salmon and calcium supplements.

 

  1. Pick, pour or peel.

If you’re looking for a tasty treat, reach for an orange – or a tall glass of orange juice. Why? Research shows that vitamin C may help to slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

 

  1. Cut back on caffeine.

While you may need that extra burst of energy in the morning, try and resist those second and third cups of coffee. Studies show that the extra caffeine can weaken your bones.

 

  1. Take your vitamins.

Supplementing your diet with a multivitamin is a good way to get the nutrients you may lack in your diet. Strong joints (and overall joint health) will benefit from bone-building calcium and vitamin K, tissue-repairing vitamin C, pain-relieving vitamin E, folic acid and more.

 

  1. Choose function over fashion.

Shoes shouldn’t just look good; they should work well, too. Look for flexible, supportive shoes that are squared or rounded at the toe so your toes can move around. A shoe with a rubber sole will give you more cushion. Make sure your shoe is flexible at the ball of your foot, where you push off.

 

  1. Don’t stomp your feet.

Research shows pounding exercises like kickboxing and step aerobics can be tough on joints. Switch to low-impact activities like biking and swimming that offer the same calorie-burning benefits without the painful pounding.

 

  1. Increase your range.

Range-of-motion exercises (such as stretching) are a good way to keep your muscles and ligaments flexible and strong. Add weights to your workout and you’ll tone up, too.

 

  1. Say no.

It may be tough at first, but saying no to others lets you say yes to extra time for yourself. It also frees up time to allow you to say yes to exercise, healthy eating and stress reduction – three power-packed methods of improving your health.

Source https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/managing-pain/joint-protection/16-joint-protection-tips


National Men’s Health Week

National Men’s Health Week is observed each year leading up to Father’s Day. This week is a reminder for men to take steps to be healthier, but they don’t have to do it alone! Whether it’s your husband, partner, dad, brother, son, or friend you can help support the health and safety of the men in your life.

Set an Example with Healthy Habits

You can support the men in your life by having healthy habits yourself and by making healthy choices.

  • Eat healthy and include a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Fruits and vegetables have many vitamins and minerals that may help protect you from chronic diseases. Limit foods and drinks high in calories, sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol.
  • Regular physical activity has many benefits. It can help control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers, and can improve your mental health and mood. Find fun ways to be active together. Adults need 2½ hours of physical activity each week.
  • Set an example by choosing not to smoke and encourage the men in your life to quit smoking. Quitting smoking has immediate and long-term benefits. You lower your risk for different types of cancer, and don’t expose others to secondhand smoke—which causes health problems. Call your state’s tobacco quitline (for English speakers, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW [1-800-784-8669]; for Spanish speakers, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA [1-855-335-3569])
  • Help the men in your life recognize and reduce stress. Physical or emotional tension are often signs of stress. They can be reactions to a situation that causes you to feel threatened or anxious. Learn ways to manage stress including finding support, eating healthy, exercising regularly, and avoiding drugs and alcohol.

Remind Men to Get Regular Checkups

Encourage men to see a doctor or health professional for regular checkups and to learn about their family health history.

  • Men can prepare for doctor’s visits. Certain diseases and conditions may not have symptoms, so checkups help identify issues early or before they can become a problem.
  • It’s important for men (and women) to understand their family health history, which is a written or graphic record of the diseases and health conditions present in your family. It is helpful to talk with family members about health history, write this information down, and update it from time to time.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of a Heart Attack

Every 40 seconds someone in the U.S. has a heart attack. Know the signs of a heart attack and if you think you or someone you know is having a heart attack call 911 immediately. Major signs of a heart attack include:

  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw, neck, or back
  • Feeling weak, light-headed, or faint
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Pain or discomfort in arms or shoulder
  • Shortness of breath

Encourage Men to Seek Help for Depression

Depression is one of the leading causes of disease or injury worldwide for both men and women. Learn to recognize the signs and how to help the men in your life.

  • Signs of depression include persistent sadness, grumpiness, feelings of hopelessness, tiredness and decreased energy, and thoughts of suicide.
  • Those that suffer from depression or anxiety should seek help as early as possible. If you or someone you care about is in crisis, please seek help immediately.
    • Call 911
    • Visit a nearby emergency department or your health care provider’s office
    • Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255); TTY: 1-800-799-4TTY (4889) to talk to a trained counselor

Source https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthymen/index.html


Arthritis pain: Do’s and don’ts

Will physical activity reduce or increase your arthritis pain? Get tips on exercise and other common concerns when coping with arthritis symptoms and arthritis pain.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Arthritis is a leading cause of pain and disability worldwide. You can find plenty of advice about easing the pain of arthritis and other conditions with exercise, medication and stress reduction. How do you know what will work for you?

Here are some do’s and don’ts to help you figure it out.

Whatever your condition, it will be easier to stay ahead of your pain if you:

  • Learn all you can about your condition, including what type of arthritis you have and whether any of your joints are already damaged
  • Enlist your doctor, friends and family in managing your pain
  • Tell your doctor if your pain changes

Pay attention to your joints, whether sitting, standing or engaging in activity.

  • Keep your joints moving.Do daily, gentle stretches that move your joints through their full range of motion.
  • Use good posture.A physical therapist can show you how to sit, stand and move correctly.
  • Know your limits.Balance activity and rest, and don’t overdo.

In addition, lifestyle changes are important for easing pain.

  • Manage weight.Being overweight can increase complications of arthritis and contribute to arthritis pain. Making incremental, permanent lifestyle changes resulting in gradual weight loss is often the most effective method of weight management.
  • Quit smoking.Smoking causes stress on connective tissues, which can increase arthritis pain.

When you have arthritis, movement can decrease your pain and stiffness, improve your range of motion, strengthen your muscles, and increase your endurance.

What to do

Choose the right kinds of activities — those that build the muscles around your joints but don’t damage the joints themselves. A physical or occupational therapist can help you develop an exercise program that’s right for you.

Focus on stretching, range-of-motion exercises and gradual progressive strength training. Include low-impact aerobic exercise, such as walking, cycling or water exercises, to improve your mood and help control your weight.

What to avoid

Avoid activities that involve high impact and repetitive motion, such as:

  • Running
  • Jumping
  • Tennis
  • High-impact aerobics
  • Repeating the same movement, such as a tennis serve, again and again

Many types of medications are available for arthritis pain relief. Most are relatively safe, but no medication is completely free of side effects. Talk with your doctor to formulate a medication plan for your specific pain symptoms.

What to do

Over-the-counter pain medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) or naproxen sodium (Aleve) can help relieve occasional pain triggered by activity your muscles and joints aren’t used to — such as gardening after a winter indoors.

Cream containing capsaicin may be applied to skin over a painful joint to relieve pain. Use alone or with oral medication.

Consult your doctor if over-the-counter medications don’t relieve your pain.

What to avoid

  • Talk with your doctor if you find yourself using over-the-counter pain relievers regularly.
  • Don’t try to ignore severe and prolonged arthritis pain. You might have joint inflammation or damage requiring daily medication.
  • Focusing only on pain.Depression is more common in people with arthritis. Doctors have found that treating depression with antidepressants and other therapies reduces not only depression symptoms but also arthritis pain.

It’s no surprise that arthritis pain has a negative effect on your mood. If everyday activities make you hurt, you’re bound to feel discouraged. But when these normal feelings escalate to create a constant refrain of fearful, hopeless thoughts, your pain can actually get worse and harder to manage.

What to do

Therapies that interrupt destructive mind-body interactions include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy.This well-studied, effective combination of talk therapy and behavior modification helps you identify — and break — cycles of self-defeating thoughts and actions.
  • Relaxation therapy.Meditating, doing yoga, deep breathing, listening to music, being in nature, writing in a journal — do whatever helps you relax. There’s no downside to relaxation, and it can help ease pain.
  • Some people get pain relief through acupuncture treatments, when a trained acupuncturist inserts hair-thin needles at specific points on your body. It can take several weeks before you notice improvement.
  • Heat and cold.Use of heat, such as applying heating pads to aching joints, taking hot baths or showers, or immersing painful joints in warm paraffin wax, can help relieve pain temporarily. Be careful not to burn yourself. Use heating pads for no more than 20 minutes at a time.

Use of cold, such as applying ice packs to sore muscles, can relieve pain and inflammation after strenuous exercise.

  • Massage might improve pain and stiffness temporarily. Make sure your massage therapist knows where your arthritis affects you.

What to avoid

  • If you’re addicted to tobacco, you might use it as an emotional coping tool. But it’s counterproductive: Toxins in smoke cause stress on connective tissue, leading to more joint problems.
  • A negative attitude.Negative thoughts are self-perpetuating. As long as you dwell on them, they escalate, which can increase your pain and risk of disability. Instead, distract yourself with activities you enjoy, spend time with people who support you and consider talking to a therapist.

Source https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/arthritis/in-depth/arthritis/ART-20046440?p=1


How Is Alcohol Abused?

How Is Alcohol Abused?

In most parts of the world, alcohol is legal for adults to both purchase and consume. As a result, beverages that contain alcohol are available almost everywhere, and clearly, many adults partake. Since use is so common, it might seem hard to determine who is drinking alcohol in an appropriate manner and who is drinking in a manner that could lead to alcohol abuse or alcoholism. Experts suggest there are key signs to look for.

Binge Drinking Alcohol

Binge drinking is one such sign of alcohlism. This type of drinking, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, involves consuming alcohol with the intention of getting drunk. For men, that means drinking five or more drinks in about two hours; for women, that involves consuming four or more drinks within two hours.

Excessive Alcohol Use

This type of alcohol abuse pattern is easy to spot. These are people who sit down and attempt to down a great deal of alcohol at the same time. There’s intent to this drinking that is hard to hide. But this isn’t the only type of alcohol abuse out there. People may also abuse alcohol if they:

  • Take in alcoholic beverages and drive
  • Drink alcohol throughout the day
  • Consume alcohol in order to feel a buzz, without drinking in a binging manner
  • Feel the need to drink every single day
  • Drink a large amount of alcohol in social situations

These are all very different drinking patterns, but they have one thing in common. People who drink like this have lost some modicum of control over their consumption. The beverages drive their behaviors. It can seem like a subtle distinction, but it’s an important one to understand, as people who don’t amend troublesome drinking behaviors can become people who have symptoms of alcoholism.

Difficult drinking patterns can shift electrical activities within the brain, and when that happens, people might have little to no control over how they drink or when they drink.

 

Source https://americanaddictioncenters.org/alcoholism-treatment


Ergonomics/Overexertion

Take it Easy – Your Body will Thank You

Whether it happens at work or on the golf course, overexertion continues to be a leading cause of injury over all age groups. It was the second leading reason (after falls) that adults age 25-64 ended up in emergency departments in 2013, and the third leading cause for kids ages 10 and older, often from too-heavy backpacks, computers and gaming, and poor posture.

Overexertion causes 35% of all work-related injuries and is, by far, the largest contributor to workers’ compensation costs – more than $15 billion, or 25% of the total cost in 2012, according to Injury Facts 2016®. It also is the #1 reason for lost work days. More than 322,00 people missed work that year due to overexertion. Here are some injury statistics by industry for 2014:

·         Construction – 19,070

·         Manufacturing – 46,040

·         Wholesale trade – 21,100

·         Retail trade – 42,720

·         Transportation and warehousing – 38,960

·         Professional and business services – 23,410

·         Education and health services – 68,720

·         Government – 72,050

Over all age groups, whether work-related or off-the-job, hospitals treated 3,132,271 overexertion-related injuries in 2014, and the trend doesn’t seem to be going downward. What gives?

It’s Really About Ergonomics

Ergonomic injuries are disorders of the soft tissue, specifically of the muscles, nerves, tendons, ligaments, joints, cartilage, blood vessels and spinal discs caused by:

·         Excessive lifting, lowering, pushing, pulling, reaching or stretching

·         Repetitive motion

·         Working in awkward positions

·         Sitting or standing for prolonged period of time

·         Using excessive force

·         Vibration, resting on sharp corners or edges

·         Temperature extremes

Whether you become injured on an assembly line or typing on a computer, playing video games or helping someone move, it’s important to know the signs. Ergonomic injury is cumulative. Symptoms can include everything from posture problems and intermittent discomfort, to tendonitis, chronic pain and disability.

Overexertion can be Prevented

Regular exercise, stretching and strength training to maintain a strong core all are beneficial in preventing injury. Following are some additional tips for work and home:

·         Plan a lift before you begin, keep your back straight and lift with your legs

·         Limit the amount of time you spend doing the same motion over and over

·         Take frequent breaks from any sustained position every 20-30 minutes

·         If you work at a desk, move frequently used items close to you, use a footrest and adjust the height of your computer

·         Report pain, swelling, numbness, tingling, tenderness, clicking or loss of strength to your doctor before it becomes a full-blown injury

Source https://www.nsc.org/work-safety/safety-topics/ergonomics-overexertion


Ways to Be Active

Ways to Be Active

The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends 30 minutes of physical activity a day for adults, 60 minutes for children, at least five days a week. Sound daunting? It’s much easier than you think, regardless of your current activity level. There are plenty of ways to get moving and some may even surprise you! It’s time to be active, get healthy, and have some fun!

Being active doesn’t require joining a gym. Look for ways to increase your heart rate during your daily routine. Walk or cycle instead of taking the car or bus, or you can choose the stairs over the escalator or elevator. Try these ways to be active and start working towards your fitness goals to jumpstart or maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There are many health benefits to being active for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, but you should consult your physician before starting a new activity program. If you haven’t been active in a while, start slowly and build up. Do what you can; some physical activity is better than none.

Different Types of Physical Activity

Aerobic activities can range from 60-85% of your maximum heart rate.

  • Aerobic activities make you breathe harder and your heart beat faster. Aerobic activities can be moderate or vigorous in their intensity levels, and range from 60-85% of your maximum heart rate. A general guide to use: For moderate activities you can talk, but you can’t sing. With vigorous activities, you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.

 

  • Muscle-strengthening activities make your muscles stronger.

 

 

  • Bone-strengthening activities make your bones stronger and are especially important for children and adolescents, as well as older adults.

 

  • Balance and stretching activities enhance physical stability and flexibility, which reduce the risk of injuries.

Add Extra Steps to Your Day

  • Walk the dog with the whole family.
  • Instead of calling friends, take a walk together to catch up.
  • Park your car as far away as possible so you have to walk a longer distance from your destination. Even better, walk or cycle to run errands in your community.
  • Walk up and down the field while watching your child(ren) play sports.
  • Get off the bus or subway one stop early and walk the rest of the way.
  • Replace a coffee break with an outdoor walk—or take the coffee with you on your walk.
  • Walk the golf course instead of using a cart.
  • Choose the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.

Keep Moving at Home & In the Community

Keep a list of quick activities, like squats or stretches, near the remote so that you can be active during commercial breaks.

  • Wash the car.
  • Shovel snow, rake leaves, or do yard work.
  • Plant and care for a vegetable garden (then cook the vegetables for healthy meals).
  • Find your inner child—build a snowman or rake the leaves then jump in your piles.
  • Start your day with a morning stretch or end your day with calming yoga.
  • Sign up for dance lessons with a friend.
  • Experience the Great Outdoors and go for a hike or bike ride.
  • Grab a basketball or football for a quick pick-up game at a local park.
  • Join a community sports team or league, like soccer, rugby, or softball.
  • Participate in a local road race.
  • Go swimming at your local recreation center.

Staying Active for Individuals with Disabilities

  • Children and adults with disabilities can gain numerous mental and physical benefits from being physically active on a regular basis including: reduced risk of chronic and secondary conditions, improved self-esteem and greater social interaction.

 

  • Keep in mind that individuals with disabilities are just as capable and worthy of being active as someone without a disability and the activity does not have to be strenuous to provide positive benefits.

 

 

  • Look for opportunities to be active in inclusive programs that are already in place at your local community and recreation centers, health and fitness facilities, public agencies and park departments, or sports clubs.

 

  • Having fun while being active is the key! Find activities that you enjoy and include your friends and family in the action.

 

 

  • Track your progress and earn recognition for being physically active by starting to earn your PALA+!

 

  • Always consult your personal doctor before beginning any physical activity or exercise program.

Source https://www.hhs.gov/fitness/be-active/ways-to-be-active/index.html


What’s Your Vision of the Future?

Did you know that most vision problems are preventable? It’s true! Vision loss doesn’t have to be a natural part of getting older. Use our everyday tips to help set yourself up for a lifetime of seeing well. 

Wear sunglasses (even on cloudy days!) 

Sure, sunglasses are a great fashion accessory. But more importantly, they can protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays and help keep your vision sharp.  

When shopping for shades, look for a pair that blocks out at least 99% of both UVA and UVB radiation. Bonus: add a wide-brimmed hat when you’re out and about for extra protection! 

Eat eye-healthy foods 

It’s true: carrots are good for your eyes! In fact, a diet rich in a variety of fruits and vegetables — especially dark leafy greens, like spinach or kale — is important for keeping your eyes healthy.  

Research also shows that fish high in omega-3 fatty acids — like salmon, tuna, and halibut — can help protect your vision. 

Get plenty of physical activity 

Regular physical activity comes with a lot of great benefits. It can boost your mood, reduce stress, help you stay at a healthy weight — and protect you from serious eye diseases!  

Anything that gets your heart beating faster can help keep your eyes healthy — try going for a quick jog after work.  

Give your eyes a rest 

Do your eyes ever feel achy at the end of the day? If you spend a lot of time at the computer or staring at your phone, you may forget to blink — and that can tire out your eyes.  

Try using the 20–20–20 rule throughout the day: every 20 minutes, look away from the screens and focus about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This reduces eyestrain and helps your eyes (and you!) feel better at the end of the day. 

Protect your eyes — at work and at play 

About 2,000 people in the United States get a serious work-related eye injury every day. And get this: people with sports-related eye injuries end up in the ER every 13 minutes! 

The good news is that you can help protect your eyes from injury by wearing protective eyewear — like safety glasses, goggles, and safety shields. To make sure you have the right kind of protective eyewear and you’re using it correctly, talk with your eye doctor.  

 

Source https://nei.nih.gov/hvm/my-vision-future


Physical Activity for Arthritis

Why is physical activity important for people with arthritis?

 

If you have arthritis, participating in joint-friendly physical activity can improve your arthritis pain, function, mood, and quality of life. Joint-friendly physical activities are low-impact, which means they put less stress on the body, reducing the risk of injury. Examples of joint-friendly activities include walking, biking and swimming. Being physically active can also delay the onset of arthritis-related disability and help people with arthritis manage other chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.

Learn how you can increase your physical activity safely.

How much activity do I need?

 

Stay as active as your health allows, and change your activity level depending on your arthritis symptoms. Some physical activity is better than none.

For substantial health benefits, adults with arthritis should follow the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommendations for Active Adult or Active Older Adult, whichever meets your personal health goals and matches your age and abilities. Learn more at the Physical Activity GuidelinesExternal website.

Learn how you can safely exercise and enjoy the benefits of increased physical activity with these S.M.A.R.T. tips.

  • Start low, go slow.
  • Modify activity when arthritis symptoms increase, try to stay active.
  • Activities should be “joint friendly.”
  • Recognize safe places and ways to be active.
  • Talk to a health professional or certified exercise specialist.

Start low, and go slow. When starting or increasing physical activity, start slow and pay attention to how your body tolerates it. People with arthritis may take more time for their body to adjust to a new level of activity. If you are not active, start with a small amount of activity, for example, 3 to 5 minutes 2 times a day. Add activity a little at a time (such as 10 minutes at a time) and allow enough time for your body to adjust to the new level before adding more activity.

Modify activity when arthritis symptoms increase, try to stay active. Your arthritis symptoms, such as pain, stiffness, and fatigue, may come and go and you may have good days and bad days. Try to modify your activity to stay as active as possible without making your symptoms worse.

Activities should be “joint friendly.” Choose activities that are easy on the joints like walking, bicycling, water aerobics, or dancing. These activities have a low risk of injury and do not twist or “pound” the joints too much.

Recognize safe places and ways to be active. Safety is important for starting and maintaining an activity plan. If you are currently inactive or you are not sure how to start your own physical activity program, an exercise class may be a good option. If you plan and direct your own activity, find safe places to be active. For example, walk in an area where the sidewalks or pathways are level and free of obstructions, are well-lighted, and are separated from heavy traffic.

Talk to a health professional or certified exercise specialist. Your doctor is a good source of information about physical activity. Health care professionals and certified exercise professionals can answer your questions about how much and what types of activity match your abilities and health goals.

 

What types of activities should I do?

 

How hard are you working?

 

Measure the relative intensity of your activity with the talk test. In general, if you’re doing moderate activity you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. If you are doing vigorous activity, you will not be able to say more than a few words without pausing for a breath. Learn more about measuring physical activity intensity.

Low-impact aerobic activities do not put stress on the joints and include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, water aerobics, light gardening, group exercise classes, and dancing.

For major health benefits, do at least:

  • 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, like cycling at less than 10 miles per hour, or
  • 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, like cycling at 10 mph or faster, each week. Another option is to do a combination of both. A rule of thumb is that 1 minute of vigorous-intensity activity is about the same as 2 minutes of moderate-intensity activity.

In addition to aerobic activity, you should also do muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups two or more days a week.

Muscle-strengthening exercises include lifting weights, working with resistance bands, and yoga. These can be done at home, in an exercise class, or at a fitness center.

Flexibility exercises like stretching and yoga are also important for people with arthritis. Many people with arthritis have joint stiffness that makes daily tasks difficult. Doing daily flexibility exercises helps maintain range of motion so you can keep doing everyday things like household tasks, hobbies, and visiting with friends and family.

Balance exercises like walking backwards, standing on one foot, and tai chi are important for those who are at a risk of falling or have trouble walking. Do balance exercises 3 days per week if you are at risk of falling. Balance exercises are included in many group exercise classes.

 

What do I do if I have pain during or after exercise?

 

It’s normal to have some pain, stiffness, and swelling after starting a new physical activity program. It may take 6 to 8 weeks for your joints to get used to your new activity level, but sticking with your activity program will result in long-term pain relief.

Here are some tips to help you manage pain during and after physical activity so you can keep exercising:

  • Until your pain improves, modify your physical activity program by exercising less frequently (fewer days per week) or for shorter periods of time (less time each session).
  • Try a different type of exercise that puts less pressure on the joints—for example, switch from walking to water aerobics.
  • Do proper warm-up and cool-down before and after exercise. You can find warm-up and cool-down exercises on the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease Exercise Videos webpageExternal
  • Exercise at a comfortable pace—you should be able to carry on a conversation while exercising.
  • Make sure you have good fitting, comfortable shoes.

Source https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/basics/physical-activity-overview.html