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Yearly Archives: 2012

How to be Healthy at Work

Working doesn’t mean that you have to stop living a healthy lifestyle. There is a misconception most people have about working and taking breaks in the office. They think that people who move around much while at work are either less busy, or are unserious. However, this is completely wrong! The fact is that such people are helping themselves and their work at the same time.Staying healthy while you are at work helps you feel better about yourself at different levels. This helps people to work more efficiently. Here are some ideas for people to be healthy at work:

Take Timely Breaks

This practice seems to be of little importance but has great impact on one’s health. Many workers skip breaks without thinking about it. Taking a break doesn’t mean you are less efficient. In fact, it is an observation that when people take timely breaks, they work better and faster. Even if it is a single break, it can make a big difference to your productivity.During the break, you must do something that motivates you. Try some exercise that will help you relieve stress. For example; walking a little is a great way of clearing your mind of confusion. Otherwise, you can simply sit in a quiet corner and read something that interests you.

Healthy Practices at Work

Make sure that your chair is comfortable. Stand up at intervals to straighten your back after at least an hour. Some people prefer to exercise while working. There are simple flexing exercises that you can try on your seat.

Healthy Diet

Healthy food is the key to quick responses. Make sure you eat healthily while you are at work. Instead of having chocolate as a quick fix, try eating a healthy meal. Avoid ordering fast food and junk snacks. Try fruits and nuts instead. These will help you resist the temptation to eat the wrong food.

Drink enough water during the day

This is something most working people ignore without realizing how dangerous it is. While we breathe, we lose a quarter of the total amount of water in our body. That’s estimated to be about ten glasses of water. Imagine the overall amount of water we lose through other vital activities. Loss of water without replacement contributes to building stress in our body.

Get Fresh Air!

Open the windows of your office and let fresh air in. We were not created to live on processed air coming from air conditioners. We need some fresh air and sunlight in the office to keep the environment healthy and refreshing.

De-clutter the Office

Clear your work table and the whole office. Clutter is not good for mental health. It has a subtle way of creating depression and confusion in our minds. A clean work environment is inspiring and helps one to work better and quickly.


Allan has been blogging for several years and has published numerous articles on various blogs. Allan's favourite topics include private health insurance, healthy living and fitness

Neuromas and the Foot

Ouch! It feels like I am walking on a pebble!

A neuroma (also known as Morton’s Neuroma) occurs when there is irritation (also called Perineural Fibrosis) around one of the nerves that is going to the toes.  The tissue that surrounds the nerve thickens up with fibrous tissue, almost forming a ball, and this can cause splaying of the toes (the toes can form a V). 

Presentation is simple...patients often come into the office stating that it feels like they are "walking on a pebble" or like their "socks are bunched up under their toes".  Symptoms include but are not limited to numbness, burning, or sharp pains that shoot to the toes.

This condition is aggravated by pointed and high heeled shoegear.  However, in the worst cases, the neuroma can become painful with all activities or shoes, and especially with prolonged weightbearing.

Typically, a neuroma can be diagnosed with a clinical examination by a podiatrist.  A neuroma is not visible on X-Rays because it is a soft tissue problem, which is generally not visible on plain film.  Diagnostic Ultrasound and MRI can be used to identify the neuroma and also to differentiate from other possible similar diagnoses, such as stress fractures, capuslitis, metatarsalgia, avascular necrosis, and plantar plate tears.

The treatment options for neuromas include the following: padding, orthotics, antiinflammatory medication, injections, and surgery.  Conservative therapies are always attempted prior to any surgical intervention.

If you feel that you have this condition or another foot problem, please contact Dr. Bender’s Advanced Physical Medicine office at 708-763-0580 (Oak Park) or 773-776-3166 (63rd St.) Dr. Bender is an instructor at William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and has been in practice for the last 11 years.

Surprisingly Good-For-You Foods

Some foods have received a negative reputation for being unhealthy when, in fact, they can be healthier than other foods if consumed in moderate proportions. Expand your eating and nutritional horizons by enjoying these beneficial foods.

Bananas Lead the List

Bananas have more calories and carbohydrates than other fruits, giving it a bad name as an unhealthy food. Yes, it contains 90-110 grams of calories but it definitely has lesser calories than a blueberry muffin. Bananas contain large amounts of potassium which plays a key role in keeping your muscles healthy and operating properly. Potassium can help decrease muscle spasms, keep joints lubricated and keep your heart beating properly. Bananas contain something known as a resistant starch that fills you up by acting as a natural appetite suppressant.

Potatoes are Winners

Potatoes are surprisingly healthier than you may think. A medium-sized potato contains 4 grams of protein, 10 percent of your daily iron requirement, and 70 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement. Potatoes are also an ideal food for weight management since they are low in calories. The skin of the potato has five grams of fiber which is a natural appetite suppressant. In addition to their weight management properties, potatoes contain large amounts of potassium and other phytonutrients, which can help with blood pressure regulation.

Bring on the Eggs

Eggs have been getting a bad rap for many years for containing high cholesterol in their yolks. On the contrary, recent research reveals that there is no connection between heart disease and eggs. Even though a single egg yolk contains a day's recommended limit for dietary cholesterol, the yolk provides the egg with its nutritional wallop. The yolk has large amounts of iron, zinc, choline, vitamin A, vitamin D and protein. The protein found in the egg yolk helps quench hunger by filling you up, making it an ideal food for weight management. One egg contains only 70 calories.

Let's Have Some Dark Chocolate

Chocolate has gotten a reputation for being an unhealthy food that can play havoc on any weight loss program. But if taken in small portions, chocolates can actually make you healthy. Dark chocolate contains a wealth of health-enhancing flavonoids and antioxidants that provide a number of health benefits. Health benefits include reducing high blood pressure, lowering LDL or harmful cholesterol levels, lowering the risks of developing stiffened arteries, and possibly preventing diabetes by enhancing insulin sensitivity levels.

Avocados Fit the Bill

We know that avocados contain fat. And that is true! But what not most of us know is that the fat in avocado is a monounsaturated fat, which is the healthy kind. This fat helps protect your cardiovascular system.

Peanut Butter is Surprisingly Good for You

Peanut butter has been associated with high fat and high caloric content. When eaten in moderation, a two-tablespoon serving of peanut butter can supply you with a healthy monounsaturated fat that fills you up. It helps with appetite regulation, making it another ideal weight management food. To keep the nutritional aspect, choose only natural peanut butters.


These surprisingly good-for-you foods can be added to your diet without ruining your low fat diet plan. You need not deprive yourself from these yummy treats because they're proven to have plenty of health benefits. If you want to know more about the nutritional values of the foods included in your diet, visit LowFatDietPlan.org.

The Top 3 Methods to Help Boost Poor Circulation

The human body comprises of many organs, which function via oxygen and other essential nutrients being supplied by blood flow. Poor blood circulation is reduced or limited flow of blood to vital organs. Left untreated, poor circulation may lead to many diseases and complications such as varicose veins, kidney damage or stroke and can even become life threatening.

The reasons for poor blood circulation are many. The most common ones are arteriosclerosis, poor nutrition, diseases such as obesity and diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking or inhaling smoke and stress.

Three of the most common ways to improve blood circulation are exercise, dietary interventions and technology based solutions.


Exercise improves blood circulation, to increase the pumping of blood by the heart.

The most popular exercises to boost circulation are day-to-day activities such as walking or riding a bicycle, when done regularly and systematically. A fast walk three to times a week for about half an hour or the same time cycling strengthen and enlarge the heart muscle, improving the pumping efficiency.

Muscle-toning exercises, such as flexing the foot at the ankle strengthen the muscles. Strong muscles pump more blood.

Healthy Diet

While research has not conclusively proven any food to cure poor circulation, some foods prevent blood clotting and poor circulation.

Salicylates, a natural plant-based chemical prevents blood platelets from sticking and retard the formation of blood clots. Foods rich in salicylates include ginger, turmeric, garlic and onion.

Foods rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acid inhibit clotting and decrease the production of the pro-inflammatory compound leukotrienes. Some Omega-3 rich foods include mackerel, salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, beans and olive oil.

Pumpkin seeds, soya based foods, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds contain phytoestrogens that improve blood circulation by increasing dilation and thereby expanding small arteries.

Red fruits and vegetables such as watermelons and tomatoes contain lycopene that prevent buildup of plaque.

Green tea and grape juice contain catechins that improve circulation by stifling the growth of arachidonic acid. The pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid makes blood platelets to stick together.

Foods Containing Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin C and Vitamin E improve blood circulation by strengthening the capillary walls and making the blood vessels wider. Example of foods rich in such vitamins are almonds, most nuts, green leafy vegetables, potatoes and carrots.

Technology Based Solutions

Improvements in technology now make it possible to improve blood circulation through artificial methods.

One common non-surgical intervention is Hydrotherapy or subjecting the body to hot and cold showers. Blood rushes in to the skin when it suddenly encounters the sensation of piping hot water. A sudden change to extreme cold water causes the blood to rush to the internal organs.

Also, circulation boosters are becoming increasingly popular. They use Electrical Muscle Stimulation to stimulate nerve ends in feet.

Another technique growing in popularity is Far Infra Red Heat Therapy. Far Infra Red (FIR) ray is the portion of sun’s heat that sustains life. FIR therapy is subjecting the body to such FIR rays, which penetrate 1.5 inches to the skin and warm up the cells. This causes the cells to revitalise and thereby stimulate blood circulation.


Jonathan is a freelance writer who knows people who suffer from cold feet and hands due to poor circulation.



Heel Pain in Kids...AKA: Severs Disease

As children start to get more active during the warmer months of the year, Severs Disease becomes a common issue for many young athletes.  Severs Disease, also known as calcaneal apophysitis, is a common inflammatory condition of the open growth plate at the heel bone or calcaneus. The heel bone and surrounding structures are still developing at this age range, and the extensive pressure (often repetitive in nature) as well as the position of the foot during many sports can cause stress at the heel bone.

This condition affects active children between the ages of seven and fourteen.  Children may limp or complain of heel pain that is worse when the heel is squeezed. Increased walking, running, or changing position rapidly can cause the pain. Addditonally, the child may start walking on their toes to avoid pressure on the heel. These symptoms may start with a new sport or at the beginning of a new season of an old sport.

The good news is that Severs Disease eventually resolves on its own, without treatment. However, many children are uncomfortable, and conservative modalities can be implemented sooner to make the heel more comfortable. Icing, rest, stretching, heel cups, orthotic devices (foot inserts), medication, and physical therapy are great ways to reduce the child's pain. X-rays are often taken at the podiatry office to make sure there are no other reasons for the child's heel pain. Occasionally, other radiological or laboratory tests will be ordered.

For active children in this age range, prevention is also important. Stretching, supportive and properly fitting shoes, maintaining a healthy weight, and orthotic devices for children with flat feet or other foot deformities are helpful preventative measures.

If your child has this condition, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Mary Ann Bender, the foot and ankle specialist at Advanced Physical Medicine. Dr. Bender is a clinical instructor at William Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine and has office hours by appointment at the APM locations in Oak Park and on 63rd Street in Chicago. Please call 708-763-0580 for your appointment.

10 Tips for Sticking to your New Diet

Starting a new diet? Congratulations! Now you just need to stick to it, right? Sure, that's the hard part . . . but you can make it a lot easier by following some simple strategies. Here are ten tips to sticking to your new diet:

The right diet. Before even attempting a diet, do your research and choose a meal plan that works for you. To commit to a diet that goes against your constitution is to set yourself up for failure.

The right mindset. Diet is a four-letter word. Drop the "D" word and instead think of your new eating plan as a healthy lifestyle change - a lifestyle change that will open a whole new world to you.

Inspire yourself. Before you start your diet, create an inspiration board of quotes, pictures, reasons you want to diet and anything else that you can turn to for inspiration when you're facing a diet rut.

Cheat. One of the most important things you can do to ensure your dieting success is to give yourself a cheat day. Not only is this a great reprieve from the discipline of dieting all week, but it is also necessary to keeping your body's metabolism up. If you don't take one day to eat whatever you want, your body will go into starvation mode and work against your efforts to lose weight.

Record your progress. Keep a simple daily chart and mark it with something positive (a smiley-face or star, for example) every day that you follow through with your plan. Seeing those symbols stack up is proof of your determination, and a great motivation to keep going.

Meal prep. Do your grocery shopping once a week and prepare whatever meals you can in advance. When you have everything you need on hand, then you will be less likely to make choices that don't fit into your diet "just because" you don't have time to shop.

Team up. Choose a reliable partner who has similar weight-loss goals to yours and commit to reporting to each other on a regular basis.

Clean out your kitchen. Go through your refrigerator and cabinets and throw out everything that doesn't fit into your new diet.

Watch where you eat. When you eat in front of the television or at your work desk, it is easy to focus on anything other than how much you are eating. Avoid the slip-up of overeating by sitting down at a designated eating area during meal time, so that you are conscious of how long and how much you eat.

Pay attention. Your body will tell you when it's hungry. If you learn to listen to your body's signals, then you will realize the difference between comfort eating and hunger eating.

You can stick to your new diet. It will just take some consideration and preparation. Ensure your best chances by using these tips.


About the Author: Loria Louise recently dropped 76 pounds and has never felt better. She's now in a phlebotomist training program and feels healthy enough to pursue a lively career in healthcare!

5 Remedies for any Sleep Problem

The majority of people will experience sleep problems at some point and for most these are usually short term. Here are five remedies that can assist with any sleep issues you may be having.


The warm bath is a favourite pre-bed relaxant for many people. Try to take a bath at the same time every evening and do not have the water too hot as this will increase the circulation in the body. Because the body temperature drops at night, a bath can help to ensure warmth when going to bed. Baths are also good for relieving some of the muscular tensions that can build up during busy days, especially around the neck and shoulders. There are many products available to help you relax in the bath. Lavender appears to aid sleep and is available in a number of bath products. Sandalwood is thought to relax the nervous system and increase melatonin (which regulates sleep cycles) levels in the brain. After a long soak in the bath, curling up in a comfortable bed is a must and for those who are considering buying a new double mattress, try out as many beds as you can to get a feel for which mattress suits you.

Sleep Supplements

A number of people find these helpful with short-term sleep problems. They often contain natural products such as valerian. As a medicinal herb, valerian has been around since the time of the Ancient Greeks and Romans. Although there is some scientific evidence that it can assist with sleep, there is not enough evidence available yet for this to be conclusive.

Caffeine and Sleep

Caffeine is not only a stimulant, it is also thought to have diuretic effects that cause the kidneys to increase urine production. As well as tea and coffee, caffeine is in many soft drinks, chocolate and is often a flavour in foods. Some people avoid caffeine altogether to promote better sleep. But for those who may be reluctant to do this, setting a cut-off time of 2pm or 4pm for caffeinated products is a good idea.


Warm milk is the traditional bedtime drink and it can help with sleep, as it can warm the body up. Milk contains a tiny amount of melatonin and a small amount of an amino acid called tryptophan, which are both help in getting to sleep. Although the amounts are tiny, warm milk may also be of psychological importance because it is a traditional comfort food. For those who are not keen on milk, a little vanilla or cinnamon can make it more palatable.

Food and Sleep

Easting food before bed can cause some people to have a restless night or suffer from heartburn, whereas for others it can help them to settle. Eating causes the body temperature to rise slightly, so for those who often feel cold at night a snack can help. A sandwich, banana or a small bowl of wholegrain cereal such as wheat or oats may be suitable. Heavy, spicy or sweet foods should be avoided before bedtime. If a short-term sleep problem becomes longer term, then it may be time to speak to a doctor or other health professional as it is often an indication of underlying health issues or stress.


Zoe is an avid health blogger and freelance writer and loves to share her knowledge on health and sleep through content on the internet. Tweet your thoughts on this article to @bloggingstyle.

Ageing Gracefully

You may not want to act gracefully as you get older - after all, where’s the fun in that?! - but you do want your skin to age gracefully. For youthful looking, fresh-faced skin without going under the knife or subjecting your face to a barrage of needles, follow a few basic rules. The important thing to remember is that the aim is to look more Helen Mirren and less Donatella Versace - you want to look youthful and healthy but still yourself. Laughter lines are a sign of a life well lived!

Use SPF every day of the year

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that in winter and when it’s cloudy the sun’s rays don’t penetrate. If it’s light enough to see in front of you, ultraviolet rays are getting through. UVA rays, which cause premature ageing of the skin and skin cancer, and UVB rays, which causes your skin to burn, penetrate every day of the year so it is vital to protect your skin with a daily SPF moisturiser throughout the seasons.

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

Other than protecting your skin from the sun, there is no skincare rule that is more important than daily moisturising. Estrogen helps to keep the skin supple but as our levels of estrogen decline with age, so too does the skin’s ability to moisturise itself. Hot showers and harsh detergents are best avoided as they strip the skin’s humectant layer which both draws moisture into the skin and acts as a barrier to prevent it from escaping. After washing, you should immediately re-hydrate with a rich cream, preferably whilst the skin is still damp. Look for moisturisers containing hyaluronic acid, which can hold up to 1,000 times its own weight in water.

Get Buff

The skin cell renewal process gets more and more sluggish as we age, leading to dull, tired looking skin. Exfoliating twice a week with a scrub containing gentle spherical beads or natural fruit enzymes will rid the skin of dead cells, create a healthy glow and give the skin’s renewal process a boost, all of which leads to a brighter, smoother complexion.

Don’t forget your décolletage

When it comes to skincare, many women stop at the breastbone but your décolletage is often on show and is therefore subjected to all the external aggressors that your face is, including UV rays, the wind, the cold, and pollution. There’s no point having a youthful looking face if your décolletage shows your real age, unless of course you are happy to hide beneath turtlenecks and scarves. As the skin on the décolletage is so fine, it is susceptible becoming thin and crepey, as well as forming hyper-pigmentation and wrinkles, all of which are largely sun damage-related. Ensure that you protect the area with an SPF moisturiser before you go out and treat it with a moisture-rich cream at night.


As a beauty writer, Emily Buckley has written a number of health and beauty articles, most recently for Laser Sight, Australasia’s leading Lasik laser eye surgery specialists.

Yoga and Strength Training: A Powerful Workout

Yoga has been known to provide a very complete workout – physically, mentally and spiritually. But when you ask a person which exercise is most effective in toning and building up muscles, the first thing that comes to mind is strength training. Many people believe that the simple yoga poses are just for relaxation and stretching and that it is not enough to tone the muscles in the same way that lifting weights can. Truth is, there are yoga poses that are very effective in building up muscles. Not only will they tone the muscles but they will give your body stronger and more flexible muscles. When these two are combined, the results will inevitably be impressive.

If you are not so familiar with yoga, the exercise requires a person to make different poses and hold it for a few seconds. In relation to strength training, yoga uses a person's own weight in each pose. Anyone can begin with the basic, essential poses and from there, work to advance to a higher level of capacity.

Weight lifting, in reality, can become a disadvantage because it may cause an unbalanced build up of muscles. The usual target muscle areas of weights are normally the muscles we see in the mirror, like the biceps, chest and abs. When a part of the body becomes stronger than all the other parts of the body, that will eventually create imbalanced muscle proportions and this will cause the spine to move out of its natural alignment.

Because the most basic principle of yoga is balance, the stretches and poses are guaranteed to provide your muscles equal amounts of exercise. So you see, using yoga as strength training will improve your body's overall physique without putting your body in real danger of deformity. Some yoga equipments can also be employed such as resistance straps that are very good for stretching tight muscles and sandbags that weigh 10-pounds can also be lifted in certain postures.

There is no need for equipment when you practice strength training through yoga because all that you need to make use of is your own weight. When you hold a pose, for example the warrior pose, for 5 minutes or even longer depending on your level of training, the leg muscles especially quadriceps are effectively toned. However, there are some other yoga practitioners who makes use of wrist or ankle weights while moving through postures or even lift dumbbells while doing some standing poses.

When you employ powerful strength training yoga poses such as upward facing dog, peacock-pose, plank pose and warrior pose during a sequence while increasing the duration of holding such postures, you will improve your core strength and tone the muscles in your body. Some of the other benefits of yoga strength training include prevention of osteoarthritis, improved flexibility, burning of fat, increased exercise endurance, stress reduction and improved focus and clarity.

For a person who wishes to tone and build muscles, it is highly recommended by experienced yogis that they practice strength training through yoga three to four times per week. This is to keep the momentum of the exercise going.



Article by David a staff writer for iYogaMats.com.

The Best Ways to Increase Everyday Mobility

Exercise can often seem a daunting prospect,
especially if you are conscious of disability, increasing age or a medical condition. But a little gentle exertion can actually improve general health and help keep the body working as well as it possibly can. You don't have to be a gym member to stay fit and active as there are plenty of easy ways to increase mobility gradually and many can be done at home.

Improving Mobility at Home

Many types of exercise equipment can be used indoors or outdoors in the home environment where you may be most comfortable. Exercise bikes, step machines and dumbbells can all be used easily and don't require much space. Even small things such as wrist rotations and foot rolling when sitting down can make all the difference. Gardening is a good way to keep muscles strong and healthy and it gets you outdoors. Everyday activities such as walking up and down the stairs can also keep the body moving.

Mobility Support

Those who have been through surgery, are aging or have a disability may find their mobility decreasing and this can be very difficult when it comes to getting everyday jobs done independently. Thankfully, there are many ways to improve everyday mobility and to stay as active as you can, whether that means taking up a form of exercise or using one of the many special mobility aids on the market. Running bikes are one such aid which can be used by people of all ages and abilities and are incredibly flexible. Particularly useful for people with conditions such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson's disease and muscular dystrophy, the strong rolling frame and low centre of gravity offers a great deal of stability and support while walking or running.

How to Begin

The key to any exercise is to start very gradually and build up to more as your stamina and fitness levels improve. Set realistic and achievable goals and choose a form of exercise you enjoy because it will be easier to persevere. Always warm up and cool down, as this prevents strain and injury and gives the muscles and joints a chance to adjust.

If you like being active and sociable at the same time, both swimming and walking are good forms of exercise and can be enjoyed with a friend. Both are good for increasing whole-body mobility and you can start as gradually or slowly as you wish.

Taking Things to the Next Level

To remain interested in any activity, you have to enjoy. This is why it can be good to exercise with friends or as part of a group to increase motivation. It may be necessary to alternate activities or to mix things up a little to keep up your level of interest.

Some investment may be necessary but the benefits can far outweigh any initial costs and the rewards will speak for themselves. Increasing everyday mobility can bring with it greater health, renewed energy, a better quality of life and a degree of confidence. Regardless of any additional needs, there are simple ways to help the body work to its full potential and increase independence and mobility for all.


Francesca is a freelance writer and blogger who enjoys writing about a variety of subjects from health and fitness to travel and food. She currently writes on behalf of All Ability Cycling.



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