How To Maintain Proper Personal Hygiene

Woman Resting in Bath

Woman Resting in BathThere can be no doubt about it: sound personal hygiene practices are vital to staying healthy. Observing good hygiene on a daily basis, including hand washing and daily brushing and flossing can ensure that you do not fall victim to viruses, bacteria and other causes of serious illness. In addition, taking care to follow proper hygiene practices is a great way to keep your overall mental and physical health going strong. Experts agree that heeding hygiene advice on a consistent basis works wonders for your self esteem, which in turn benefits your emotional wellness. Those who fail to do so tend to be characterized by their unpleasant body odor, foul breath, messy hair and bad teeth, all things which attract the negative judgment of others.

Good Grooming As Part Of Your Personal Hygiene Routine

To boost your health and keep the risk of illness and infection low, keep the following tips in mind:

Take baths often. Make certain to clean your hair and body frequently, largely because you are constantly shedding skin cells, and they need to be washed away with regularity to prevent buildup known for harboring infections.

Keep your nails trimmed. By maintaining your fingernails and toenails, you will stand a much stronger chance of avoiding infections of the nail bed, painful hangnails and athlete’s foot.

Make brushing and flossing a priority. While it is often recommended that you brush following each of your daily meals, you should at the very least try to brush and floss twice every day. The process of brushing works to reduce bacteria accumulations in the mouth which could produce gum disease and tooth decay. Flossing is also critical to gum health and also helps prevent bacterial buildup that can damage the heart if allowed to proliferate unchecked. Gum disease also causes a loosening of the teeth, making eating harder and harder. Regular dental visits complete with cleanings and exams should round out your oral hygiene routine.

Hand washing is essential. Always make certain to wash your hands prior to eating or handling food, following bathroom visits, after you sneeze or cough and whenever you touch garbage. Doing so helps prevent hazardous viruses and bacteria from spreading. Consider having alcohol-based hand sanitizer in close proximity for situations in which soap and water cannot be accessed.

Never fail to get enough sleep. Making sure to sleep for 8-10 hours every night is an optimal way to feel constantly energized and refreshed. Sleep deprivation is notorious for producing feelings of sluggishness and susceptibility to illness. Getting sufficient rest helps your immune system do its job efficiently and effectively.

What Poor Personal Hygiene Can Say About You

If you have a friend, acquaintance or family member who seems to be neglecting basic personal hygiene, it may be that they are facing deeper issues including depression. It may be helpful to take such a person aside and initiate a discussion about hygiene habits and perhaps even offer them some basic hygiene products. Try to strike the delicate balance between sounding the alarm about the warning signs you are seeing and exhibiting sensitivity for their troubles. Ultimately, it may be that the particular individual at issue really needs professional assistance with their issues, and you can play an important role by encouraging them to seek it.

Remind Others How Hygiene Can Keep Them In Top Condition

The majority of individuals are so accustomed to following sound personal hygiene routines that they hardly give any thought to the daily process of bathing, tooth brushing and routine scheduling of appointments with medical and dental professionals. However, there are always a few individuals for whom strong personal hygiene habits do not necessarily come naturally and who can always use a friendly reminder about the tremendous benefits of establishing and maintaining proper hygiene practices.

Healthy Aging

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shutterstock_109710029-e1347460255680As you grow older, you go through many changes either positive or negative or positive. You can enjoy it however, if you are aware of what is going on with your body and take initiative in maintaining your health. With increase in your age, many things can happen to your body. Your bones, skin and probably even your brain, might start to behave differently. You ought not to allow these changes to catch you by surprise. 

Some of the common changes may be in your bones. They can become thinner and much more brittle as you grow in age. This is especially true in women and results in a condition defined by fragile bones referred to as Osteoporosis. Decrease in the mass of your bones can result in risk of falling which may bring about breaking of bones. You should have a talk with your doctor about what to do to prevent this condition.
Your heart will also be affected. Even with a healthy diet and consistent exercise keeping your heart healthy, it might become slightly enlarged. This may result in your heart rate becoming lower and thickening of the walls of your heart.
Age affects your brain and nervous system. Your reflexes and senses can be affected. You may also develop dementia as it is a common for you to experience slight forgetfulness as you grow older. Your brain cells and nerves may end up being damaged by formation of tangles and plaques which are the abnormalities that lead to dementia.
Another part of your body age affects is your digestive system. With advancement in age, your digestive gut starts to become more firm and rigid making it contract less often. This can lead to problems such as stomach pains, feelings of nausea and constipation. Only a better diet can help with this.
You might find that your vision or hearing capabilities have become less sharp than how they were originally. You may also find that your sense of taste is escaping you and flavors do not seem as distinct to you as they were before. Your touch and smell senses might also become weak. Your body starts to take a longer time to react the surroundings.
The teeth are also affected adversely. The tough enamel which protects your teeth from decay starts to wear away over the years. This leaves you susceptible to cavities and tooth decay. Gum disease has been known to be a great concern for senior citizens. You may also be affected by dry mouth, which is a common side effect of many of the medications that are given to seniors.
Your skin is a part of your body that is greatly affected by old age. Your skin lose its elasticity and may as a result sag and wrinkle. However, if you protected yourself from smoking and sun damage while you were younger your skin is much more likely to look better even with old age. Protect your skin as early as now to prevent any further damage or skin cancer in the future.
Your sex life changes too. After menopause, when menstruation, ceases many women go through various physical changes. These include loss of vaginal lubrication. Men might go through erectile dysfunction. Luckily, these two problems can be easily treated.
Most of these problems are nothing but a part of aging. They do not however have to slow you down. Moreover, there are a lot of things that you can do to protect your body and make sure it is as healthy as possible. Some of these things are;
Maintaining your physical health. It is very important that you maintain your health and energy. You get better through the experience that you gain with advancement in your years. You should also practice healthy habits throughout your life time. It is however, never too late to start taking care of your body even with your advanced age.
You can choose to remain physically active throughout your lifetime by means consistent exercises. These helps to maintain the strength of your body in the long run. You can also resolve to eat diets that are healthy and well balanced. Let go junk food at all costs. Taking care of your body is imperative, but tending to your emotional health is also very important. If you are willing to enjoy your long life enjoy each day of your life.

6 Factors That Contribute To Depression In Women

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Woman-with-Depression-1The number of women suffering from depression is twice that of men. Statistics reveal that at least 12 million women suffer from depression at one point in their lives. In the United States, reports reveal that 30% of all women suffer from symptoms of depression. Despite the fact the number of men and women suffering from bipolar disorder is equal, women are prone to more depressive episodes. This has been attributed to the hormonal reproduction and changes in women. Some of the factors that contribute to depression in women include the following: 

1. Hormonal Fluctuations
Women experience different hormonal fluctuations during different stages of their lives. These changes may occur during puberty, menstrual periods, pregnancy, menopause etc. Hormonal changes might result in production of different chemicals in the brain. This may result in changes in emotions or mood swings which might trigger depression.
2. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Women experience PMS every month during menstrual periods. In some cases, women go through PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder) where women become depressed right before their periods. The reason behind this has not been discovered yet but most women are usually more sensitive during their menstrual period.
3. Pregnancy Or Childbirth
After giving birth, most women experience postpartum depression. This may occur due to pregnancy hormonal changes and physical changes after giving birth which results in overwhelming responsibility of taking care of a newborn.
4. Reaction To Traumatic Events
After losing a loved one, a tough breakup or traumatic situation in a womanís life, itís likely to experience a depressive episode. Women are more susceptible to stress after such events which may trigger depression.
5. Ruminative Thinking
Most women go into detail thinking about their current distressful situation and the causes which is referred to as ruminative thinking which may cause depression.
6. Birth Control Pills
Women often try out different birth control methods which increase the progesterone levels in the body. With high levels of progesterone in the body, the individual is more susceptible to depression.
There are the leading causes of depression in women which is different from men. In some cases, such as postpartum depression, women require companionship and help during the depressive episodes.

10 ways to Boost the Mental and Overall Health of Seniors

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seniors-lifting-weightsBrain that finds a way to stay busy is always a happy one. Hence, it will bring some sense of depression when the kids are not causing you sleepless nights, and you have nothing to ponder about that might keep your brain that busy.

Do not, for one second, think you are sailing in that boat alone. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 6.5 million seniors in America suffer from depression. The U. S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that an estimated 1% to 5% of the 6.5 million are a lower risk cases, and these are mostly non-dependent seniors. On the flip side, 13.5% of in-home dependent and 11.5% of the hospitalized seniors experience cases of depression.

The numbers should raise an alarm yet, depression, in most cases is overlooked, and this is according to Jazz Marina. Jazz, and MD and geriatrician with Kaiser Permanente in Georgia associated this to many viewing the origins of depression to be from something else. Dr. Marina gives an example of poor appetite and weight loss that look similar to gastrointestinal problem or daily function problems that look similar to cases of arthritis.

RELATED: How to Live a Purposeful Life after Retirement

Mustafa M. Husain, an MD and professor of psychiatry and behavioral science, says physical health struggles may lead to mental health problems in seniors. Dr. Husain, who is also the director of the Geriatric Psychiatry Division at Duke University Medical Center, Durham North Carolina adds that physical illness can also play a contributory role in cases of depression and that the opposite of the same is also possible.
So what should be done?

The answer to boosting the mental health of seniors lies in leading a healthy active life where social connections are also evident as they age. Here are good examples touching on this subject.

1. Just keep moving.
Exercising is good for both the mind and the body. Dr. Marian suggests daily walks or taking part in daily senior workout and fitness sessions in a good gym or seniorsí health center. Fun exercises such as dance classes are also a good option. Those with physical limitations can do chair exercises. A one-hour dance class a week led to significant improvements in depression symptoms in seniors; this is according to a 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association.

2. Socialize at your senior center.
Senior centers are a good place for the seniors to keep their minds engaged as they socialize and take part in various activities such as board games. Some of the centers even offer transport for the seniors who need such services.

3. Stay involved in family gatherings
It is important to stay involved in the family issues as one ages, especially if there are grandchildren. Frequent visits will do a lot of good; they can be short if the senior feels tired. Dr. Husain says the company of family will have a positive impact on their health.

4. Call on friends
Stay connected with your peers. Get your hair done together, go on a shopping trip even if it’s just to the grocery store, or have them over for dinner. The social stimulation will do you all good, Marina says.

5. Turn to technology to stay in touch.
Technology offers more avenues through which people can stay in touch. A phone call is a simple, quick, and effective way of catching up with family and friends. Sharing photos, cards, and emails is also a good option. Creating a memory book is also a fun active that the senior can do with the grandchildren. Skyping and FaceTime are a good way of having one-on-one talk time.

6. Go back to school
One can never be too old to get some reading; it is a healthy way of challenging the brain. Seniors can enroll in the local community colleges that can either be free or offering learning at a low cost. It can be language classes or on an interesting field of studies.

7. Getting a pet.
A pet is always a good and lovable companion. It is also a good way of keeping someone busy since one needs to take care of the pet. According to an online publish on animal therapy posted by Current Gerontology Geriatrics Research in November of 2014, animals make seniors more social, less agitated, and less depressed.

8. Play games.
Board games such as cheese, scrabble, puzzles, word games, Sudoku and other games that stimulate the mind to think are a good pass time active for seniors. It is good for seniors to start or be part of a bridge club where they can also socialize as they play.

9. Growing spiritually
It is healthy to have a religious connection; a thing that is common in any social setting. People will convene in a place of worship, which is a great way for not only growing spiritually, but also building social bonds and support structures.

10. Make a difference
Taking up some volunteer work is a good way of giving back to the community. A senior that volunteer is many ways. For instance, the UN has volunteer’s programs posted online for people to register across the world. These activities are a blessing for both the giver and receiver. Dr. Husain gives an example of a 98 year old man who volunteers at a popcorn stand in a childrenís hospital stating no medication he would have given him would equate to the pleasure he gets from volunteering at the stand.

Why Too Much Sitting Is Killing You

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Sitting-Position2The news is out and it is shocking. Those of us who sit too much each day are killing ourselves. Even people who exercise regularly are at a high risk of a short life span, diabetes, heart disease and even cancer if they spend much of the day sitting.

Dr. David Alter, senior scientist at the University Health Network in Toronto, Canada says that more than half the day in an average person’s life is spent in a sedentary fashion. People watch television or spend an entire work day in front of a computer, all while sitting down. Unfortunately, even the act of exercising and getting plenty of daily activity does not alone reduce the risks for disease.

During a thorough research, it was found that people who sit for prolonged periods of time are 24 percent more at risk of dying from health issues and diseases than people who sit less. The research was conducted for a period of one to 16 years among participants in 47 studies.

The studies did not use a cutoff for defining how much sedentary activity was too much. It was determined, according to a University of Toronto research leader who is a doctoral candidate, that sitting more than eight hours per day is enough to generate health risks.

Those health risks were found by the research conducted that too much sitting increased cardiovascular disease by about 18 percent. Cancers, including breast, ovarian, endometrial and colon, were found to increase by about 17 percent among chronic sitters. A staggering 91 percent increase for Type 2 Diabetes was found to be a real risk for those who spend too much time sitting. The good news is that people who sat, but who also participated in regular exercise were at a slightly lower risk for developing heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

The researchers found, however, that those who exercised did not eliminate the risks for these health problems entirely. Yet, exercise did work to lower the risks. People who exercise and also sit for up to eight hours a day are about one-third as at risk for developing health problems as those who did not exercise. These results were found in 10 of the 47 studies, and apply only to those people who reported that they did or did not exercise.

There has been more research conducted concerning the increase in health problems among those who sit too much. The largest, most rigorous study actually included over 830,000 people who died from health issues. Of those people 550,000 developed and succumbed to heart disease and 745,000 developed cancers.

There are ways to combat the health problems of sitting. Increase activity levels during the day. Take breaks from the computer, or even use a treadmill desk. If this is not feasible, move around when eating a snack or take a walk to the train or bus instead of driving in a car.

Stay Home To Limit Flu Spread, Research Suggests

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influenza-virusA recently released research study examining the 2009 swine flu outbreak indicates that one of the best ways of limited the spread of such illnesses is to remain home and indulge in a bit of television.The authors of the study oversaw an analysis of the television habits of residents of central Mexico occurring in the spring of 2009, the beginning of the H1N1 epidemic.

During that time period, government officials based in Mexico City imposed restrictions intended to limit individuals’ contact with each other in a strategy known as “social distancing” in public health circles. Public school facilities were closed and large-scale public events were cancelled. Television viewing statistics during the time period were used a measure of social contact among those affected by the government’s measures. This was the metric chosen because when people are watching television, they tend to be in their homes engaging in little contact with the outside.

During the first week after the social distancing initiative was launched, Mexico City television watching went up 20% over the norm, according to the study. The boost in viewership was most significant among children and individuals with higher household incomes as compared with other demographic groups.

The study also attempted to model what the outcome might have been if individuals had refused to adjust their behavior in the midst of the epidemic and did not acquiesce to the social distancing measures. Researchers found that new cases of flu would likely have quadrupled over the course of approximately five weeks. However, Mexico City flu cases actually stabilized and ultimately decreased within the same period of time.

University of California Davis economist Michael Springborn has stated that Mexico City’s 2009 swine flu outbreak could easily have been much more devastating without the positive effects of social distancing efforts among the population.

It is worth noting, however, that there is likely a ceiling on just how long individuals will display a willingness to remain segregated in their homes away from others, even if a dangerous epidemic is raging. In the second week of school closures in Mexico City, television viewership began to decline, ultimately reaching normal levels once schools reopened.

Springborn uses this fact to support his assertion that social distancing initiatives as a means to halt the spread of illness likely have a circumscribed lifespan. Eventually, individuals will give in to their impulses and seek outside interactions.

Researchers did not preclude the possibility, however, that Mexico City residents included in the study may have simply stopped watching increased amounts of television but still remained indoors doing alternative activities.