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How to Obtain a Healthy Brain

27 Mar

The United States is “An Aging Nation”.  By 2030, “the population is expected to grow at a slower pace, age considerably and become more racially and ethnically diverse” according to the United States Census Bureau. This raises many questions on how to prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The statistics show that Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and, 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have shown that there is not cure for Alzheimer’s disease, however changing some lifestyles may help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and many other chronic diseases. Here are some examples you can apply in your own life:

  1. Healthy Diet
  • Replace saturated fat from whole milk, beef, chicken with skin, pork, ice cream, cheese, with less saturated fats such as 1% or fat free milk, lean cuts of meats and low fat ice cream and cheese.
  • Increase intake of Omega-3 fatty acids, seen in cold water fish (salmon, tuna, sardines, etc) about two times per week.
  • Increase intake of antioxidant-rich foods, such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Have about 3.5 to 5 servings per day of fruits and vegetables.
  1. Maintain a healthy weight
  • Do not participate in crash diets. The best way to maintain a healthy weight is through a well-balanced diet and consistent physical activity.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider on what a healthy weight range would be for you, as an individual.  brain
  1. Control your blood pressure
  • Take your blood pressure medication
  • Consume less sodium and control your cholesterol
  • Exercise at least 30 min/day five times per week
  • Don’t smoke
  1. Expose your brain to new, complex and enriching environment
  • Remain socially active
  • Try new activities, such as dancing, gardening, etc.
  • Use both sides of your body more often
  • Travel
  1. Remember to relax and have healthy ways of distressing
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no”
  • Develop time for yourself daily

Start today, pick one habit that is most relevant to your own life and work on making changes now. There is not one way to be healthy, but it does take effort to build a healthy lifestyle and maintain it.

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Obtenga un cerebro saluble

27 Mar

Los Estados Unidos son “una nación que envejece”. Para el 2030, “se espera que la población crezca a un ritmo más lento, envejezca considerablemente y se vuelva más étnica y racialmente diversa”, según la Oficina del Censo de los Estados Unidos. Esto plantea muchas preguntas sobre cómo prevenir la demencia y la enfermedad de Alzheimer. Las estadísticas muestran que la enfermedad de Alzheimer es la sexta causa de muerte en los Estados Unidos y a 1 de cada 10 estadounidenses mayores de 65 años se le ha diagnosticado la enfermedad de Alzheimer.

Los estudios han demostrado que no existe cura para la enfermedad de Alzheimer; sin embargo, cambiar algunos estilos de vida puede ayudar a prevenir el Alzheimer y muchas otras enfermedades crónicas. Aquí hay algunos ejemplos que puede aplicar a su propia vida:

Dieta saludable

– Reemplace la grasa saturada (solidas a temperatura ambiente) por insaturadas

– Consuma ácidos grasos Omega-3, del salmón, el atún, las sardinas, etc.

–  Coma mas verduras, frutas  y granos enteros ricos en fibra y antioxioxidantes

Mantenga un peso saludable

– No participe en dietas de “rápidos resultados”

– Consuma una dieta bien balanceada y haga actividad física constante

brain

Controle su presión arterial

– Tome su medicamento para la presión arterial

– Consuma menos sodio y controle su colesterol

– Haga ejercicio al menos 30 min / día cinco veces por semana

– No fume

Exponga su cerebro a un entorno nuevo, complejo y enriquecedor

– Permanezca socialmente activo

– Pruebe nuevas actividades, como el baile, la jardinería, etc.

– Use ambos lados de su cuerpo con más frecuencia

– Viaje

Recuerde relajarse y conseguir formas saludables de desesterarse  

– No tenga miedo de decir “no”

– Haga tiempo para usted mismo todos los dias

Comience hoy, elija el hábito que sea más relevante para su propia vida y trabaje para hacer cambios ahora. No existe una sola forma de estar saludable, pero se requiere esfuerzo para construir y mantener un estilo de vida saludable.

Genetic Testing Facts or Fiction

4 Feb

Did you or someone you know receive a genetic test kit over the Holidays? The following is the information regarding these tests from different research studies done around world.

What makes you who you are is a detailed set of blueprints contained in every cell of your body. These blueprints are your DNA which helps determine a broad scope of traits from a person’s hair color to inherited diseases. The genetic tests available in the market offer you detailed data of your health problems and suggest personalized workout and nutrition plans.

genetictestingMedical professionals and researches advise that if you know you are at high risk for a disease, you can request a genetic test or advice from your physician. Clinical genetic testing is more comprehensive than the market DNA testing and look at many more parts of a gene.

They also say that the information obtained only by the DNA tests is not sufficient to determine a person’s health risks. There are many other factors such as a person’s diet, weight, exercise habits, gender, environment, smoking status and other lifestyles that influence the chances of developing a disease.

Another popular genetic testing is the Diet and Fitness testing. This offer information on the foods a person should eat or the exercise a person should do for peak fitness. However, Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., a professor of medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, says that the field of personalized nutrition genetic testing “is in its infancy”. In other words, nutrition genetic testing is not ready to design a person’s diet or physical activity. Instead, people should obtain personalized recommendations tailored to them and their lifestyle from a genetic and diet professional.

Eating smart, moving more, making lifestyle changes, decreasing your stress levels and sleeping good may help you to avoid being overweight and to prevent chronic diseases. This should be the first step towards a healthy and happy life.

 

 

 

 

Las pruebas genéticas, realidad o ficción

4 Feb

¿Recibió usted o alguien que conoce un kit de pruebas genéticas durante las navidades? La siguiente es la información sobre estas pruebas de diferentes estudios de investigación realizados en todo el mundo.

Lo que lo hace a usted único, es un conjunto detallado de información contenida en cada célula de su cuerpo. Esta información es su ADN y ayuda a determinar una amplia gama de rasgos desde el color del cabello hasta las enfermedades hereditarias. Las pruebas genéticas disponibles en el mercado le ofrecen datos detallados de sus problemas de salud y le sugieren planes personalizados de entrenamiento y nutrición.

Los profesionales médicos y los investigadores aconsejan que, si sabe que tiene un alto riesgo de contraer una enfermedad, puede solicitar una prueba genética o un consejo de su médico. Las pruebas genéticas clínicas son más completas que las pruebas de ADN del mercado y analizan muchas más partes de un gen.

genetictestingTambién dicen que la información obtenida solo por las pruebas de ADN no es suficiente para determinar los riesgos de salud de una persona. Existen muchos otros factores, como la dieta de una persona, el peso, los hábitos de ejercicio, el género, el entorno, el hábito de fumar y otros estilos de vida que influyen en las posibilidades de desarrollar una enfermedad.

Otra prueba genética popular es la prueba de dieta y aptitud física. Esta prueba ofrece información sobre los alimentos que una persona debe comer o el ejercicio que debe hacer para mejorar su estado físico. Sin embargo, Christopher Gardner, Ph.D., profesor de medicina en la Escuela de Medicina de la Universidad de Stanford, dice que el campo de las pruebas genéticas de nutrición personalizada “están en su infancia”. En otras palabras, las pruebas genéticas de nutrición no están listas para diseñar la dieta o la actividad física de una persona. En su lugar, las personas deben obtener recomendaciones personalizadas adaptadas a ellas y a su estilo de vida de un profesional de la genética y de un nutricionista.

Comer de manera inteligente, moverse más, hacer cambios en el estilo de vida, disminuir los niveles de estrés y dormir bien puede ayudarlo a evitar el sobrepeso y prevenir enfermedades crónicas. Este debe ser el primer paso hacia una vida feliz y saludable.

 

 

Overcome the obstacles and keep walking!

9 Jan

Nico, tango and I taking a rest after walking!

It’s true, it’s wintertime and it’s cold outside. If you are like me, the cold weather is not going to stop you from taking a walk outside. I understand that It’s much easier to sit inside on a frigid, blustery day and read a book, under a blanket while sipping a mug of tea but this can make it difficult for us to find that motivation we had, not too long ago on January 1st to exercise and get fit. The cold weather is only one of the many barriers that exists when trying to implement a physical activity routine, especially one focused on walking.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists obstacles such as sidewalk conditions, crosswalks, lack of daylight in the winter, and safety from traffic and crime. But when we really think about it, we know that exercise is a necessary part of our daily routine. So if you won’t go outside for a walk because of one of these reasons, how you can get in 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of physical activity without being in fear of freezing our feet off? Mall walking! While this isn’t a new idea, or even a very creative one, the mall is extremely underutilized for those who wish to exercise. Shopping malls can offer some of the best perks, such as:

  1. Temperature-controlled building
  2. Easy to access bathrooms
  3. Free water fountains
  4. Flat and level walking route
  5. Well-lit and safe environment with a security presence
  6. Benches to rest
  7. No membership required, so family and friends can walk with you

Call a friend and go to the mall to walk. Research studies further suggest that when individuals exercise with a friend who is also motivated, they are more likely to exercise longer, harder and enjoy it more. The American Heart Association states that walking 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers.

Is walking in the mall challenging? Use the talk test. The talk test will determine if you are exercising at a moderate or vigorous level of activity. If you’re walking at a moderate pace, you should be able to talk, but not sing. Vigorous activity occurs when you are not able to say more than a few words without having to stop. If you walk into the vigorous zone, slow down or take a quick break to lower your heartrate to a moderate level.

Most malls open their front doors at least an hour early for mall walkers to have free reign. This is probably the easiest time to get your steps in, since you will not have to maneuver around crowds coming in and out of stores. It’s up to you if you want to tackle walking the stairs for a workout bonus.

So step into the land of department stores with your pair of walking shoes and have fun this winter! For more information on increasing your level of physical activity and walking, see the tips on UGA Extension website at http://www.fcs.uga.edu/extension/health-lose-weight-exercise.

Kristen Sumpter, UGA Extension Agent wrote the “Mall walking” article, I expanded on it and used it for this week’s blog.

 

 

Pokémon Go! Safely

14 Aug

croppedpokego

During the past several weeks, a new technology craze has invaded our towns and cities. People are wandering around aimlessly looking at their phones, it’s Pokémon Go. One of our avid collaborators, Ms. Keishon Thomas, the Macon-Bibb County Extension agent has come to our rescue to help us understand this new trend, and at the same time alert our readers about the importance of getting involve with the game, but in a safe way. Let’s review what Thomas says and get active!

The game’s developers, Niantic Laboratories, stated the intent was “to get players out and explore the world around them, explore their neighborhoods in a different way and get exercise”.  In this case, your phone shows the animated Pokémon and other characters in real time in your real environment.

The object of the game is to catch “Pokémons”, small animated characters that come in a variety of shapes and colors.  Players ‘hunt’ Pokémon by walking in their real environment armed with “Pokéballs”. Players are directed to landmarks called “Pokéstops”, where they re-up on Pokéballs and other tools to catch Pokémon characters. The Pokéstops are everywhere; parks, churches, government buildings and even at your neighbor’s yard. Because catching those little characters is distracting, players sometime put themselves into dangerous situations as a result of being unaware of their surroundings.

Be alert at all times. There have been reports of people walking into trees, traffic and even falling while playing.pokemon

Never go illegal to capture Pokémon. No trespassing or jaywalking. “Pokemons” can appear anywhere. Be safe and use common sense.

The animated characters appear on your phone in a real environment, they can appear in your car and they move to avoid capture. Driving requires your full attention and hunting Pokémon while driving is a no-no.   Arrive alive!!!

Download the right app from a trusted source such as the Apple Store or Google Play. There have been reports of apps that have malware that could harm your device.

Children should never play alone. They get distracted easily.  It’s rewarding to play along with your child and capture characters while exercising.

Monitor your data usage. The game utilizes GPS and therefore eats data for lunch and dinner.  It won’t be so fun when you receive your phone bill.

Players should also be mindful of in-app purchases. While the game app is free, there are in-app purchases within the game and they have a cost.  My children have been told not to purchase anything online unless they have permission for the purchase. The same goes for the Pokémon Go game.

Monitor the weather and stay hydrated. It’s hot outside and pop-up storms can hamper hunting.  Avoid complications from heat; carry water with you, take breaks in shaded areas, and wear sunscreen.

Lastly, Pokémon Go is a great way to connect generations, get active and have fun while doing so.     Good luck and catch‘em all!!!