Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Heart Disease and Depression

Depression and heart disease can happen at the same time. Additionally, depression that lasts longer than a couple of weeks can lead to certain behaviors, such as abusing alcohol or not sleeping, which can put heart health at risk. The good news is that staying mentally healthy can help your heart, and staying heart-healthy through diet, physical activity, and other behaviors can help prevent or lessen depression!

Use these tips for good mental and heart health throughout your life:
  • See a professional. If you have any of the symptoms of depression, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. If you have been diagnosed with a heart problem, talk to your doctor about any feelings of depression you have. Your doctor can talk to you about medicines and healthy living habits that can help both your heart and your mental health. Treating depression can help your heart health in the long term and improve your quality of life.
  • Stay physically active. Physical activity boosts your mood and keeps your blood vessels healthy and strong. Studies show that exercise may be very effective in reducing symptoms of depression. Click here for physical activity resources from CDC. 
  • Watch what you eat and drink. Ever drown your sorrows in a big bowl of ice cream? When you’re feeling down, it’s easy to reach for your favorite comfort food. But thinking about your heart health is important, even when you’re not feeling too chipper. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. Avoid foods that may raise your blood pressure or keep you from sleeping at night, such as caffeine, foods high in sodium (salt), and alcohol. A healthy diet may go a long way in helping manage stress and control blood pressure.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Friday, June 21, 2019

Get it Checked

One health issue we all worry about is “the C word” — cancer. No matter your age or gender, it’s important to take an active approach to preventing cancer or identifying it early. Regular checkups and appropriate screenings can identify problems before they occur.

Use these guidelines from the American Cancer Society as a starting point and make prevention a priority!

You should consult with your health care provider about which screenings are right for you and your family. Ask about the benefits of earlier screenings, particularly if you fall into a high-risk group or have a family history of disease.

Monday, June 10, 2019

Nutrition for Muscle Growth

Having defined, sculpted muscles starts way before you ever hit the gym. Muscle growth requires a formula. Along with lifting weights, you must drink plenty of fluids and eat the right energy-rich foods. This formula will fuel workouts, repair muscle tissue and help you sculpt your physique. Use the power food game plan below to help you reach your fitness goals!
  • Fruit and vegetables are the foundation of all healthy diets, providing fiber, vitamins, minerals and fluids. Vegetables even contain small amounts of protein.
  • Low-fat dairy provides high-quality protein, carbs and essential vitamins such as vitamin D, potassium and calcium. Some sports nutritionists recommend chocolate milk (with low-fat or skim milk) as a good workout recovery beverage. If you are lactose intolerant, you can try yogurt with active cultures.
  • Lean meat is thought to be a trigger for muscle growth. It is more than a great source of protein. It contains iron for oxygen transport to your muscles and amino acids like leucine, which can aid in muscle building.
  • Dark-meat chicken, compared to white meat, provides 25% more iron and three times the zinc for a healthy immune system.
  • Eggs contain all of the essential amino acids your body needs. Try eating one a day, including the yolk. Over half of the protein in the egg is in the yolk, along with other important nutrients like lutein for eye health.
  • Nuts -- unsalted and either raw or roasted -- are a good source of protein. They also contain vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats.
  • Beans and whole grains are quality carbs that contain small amounts of protein for energy and muscle repair along with fiber, vitamins and antioxidants.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Take Control of Your Health

June is National Men’s Health Month, a campaign started in 1992 because of the staggering facts surrounding men’s health and wellbeing. Men make half as many physician visits for prevention compared to women. This month serves as a time to raise awareness of the preventable health problems men can face and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men. Check out the tips below to take control of your health!
  1. Find a doctor and see that doctor. Choose one you're comfortable with so you can talk openly and honestly about all aspects of your health and wellness. Unfortunately, men have a tendency to ignore key symptoms like chest pain, vision loss, and black stools. Just because you are feeling well doesn’t mean you are well, so be sure to schedule regular appointments with a physician you trust.
  2. Get informed. You want to be sure you understand your symptoms but not so informed that you are self-diagnosing a condition. Monitor any symptoms that pop up and write them down as you notice them. Be knowledgeable about your risk factors so you can take any preventative measures needed.
  3. Vary your workouts. When you are always doing the same workout your body gets too comfortable and doesn’t work as hard. Mix it up with age-appropriate exercises like aerobics, muscle strengthening and stretching.
  4. Eat to thrive. Getting enough nutrition is crucial. Focus on nutrients rather than calories and eat a variety of healthy foods. You can’t achieve optimum nutrition with limited choices.
  5. Prioritize sleep. Sleep is not something you should compromise. Getting at least seven hours per night is the best way to take care of your body and mind. Don’t try to overcome sleep deprivation with exercise or coffee.
  6. Mental health. If you have a family history of mental illness, suicide and/or substance abuse, talk to a mental health professional to help you review the signs and symptoms. Practice mindfulness and meditation to help you stay in touch with what’s going on in your body and mind.
  7. Care for your prostate. The prostate grows as you get older. A healthy, low-fat diet will reduce the likelihood of prostate growth and may reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Managing Medications

Prescribed medications come in several forms and are taken in different ways. Even though they are meant to improve health, taking medicat...