Health Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Advanced Physical Medicine
Your Health Hand Made®
Home > Blog > Archive by category "Health" (Page 2)

Category Archives: Health

Teens, Loose Weight The Healthy Way

As young adults, concern for developing healthy habits falls somewhere behind homework, extra curriculars and what your friends think. You're in the upper half of your formative years, but you are still adjusting daily to what the world expects of you. It can be a lot to carry at times. And when your metabolism begins slowing due to factors like genetics, body image comes into play. Body image, for teens and young adults, has always been a major source of stress, and with increasing access to media that projects what we are 'supposed to look like,'  who can blame you taking it to heart.

The truth is, weight gain as young adults is an increasing trend that you should be concerned about. Studies have indicated a future of cardiovascular disease, various cancers, kidney stones, gout, hypertension and type 2 diabetes in those who consistently gain weight during teenage to early twenties development.

The most important step to take for your health, even if you area already overweight, is to stop and prevent weight gain.  Weight stabilization alone will help keep complications later in life at bay.

Important Questions To Ask Yourself

Stressed College StudentWhen approaching weight loss, there are a few important questions to ask yourself before deciding on a plan.

1. What are the main sources of stress in my life?

-Cotrisol is a hormone  produced by the body in times of stress. What cortisol does is stimulate and promote fat storage, especially in the abdominal area.

-Figuring out what is stressing you out, and finding a way to reduce that stress, is a huge step towards shedding excess fat as a teen. Life may seem a little out of control sometimes, but make sure you take a moment to relax and collect yourself.

2. What are my friends doing?

-Social influence plays a big part in developing a healthy routine. If your friends don't take care of their bodies and what they put into them, you won't have much motivation to do so either. Fad diets and quick cleanses are actually diuretics or laxatives in disguise, meaning that they will shed water weight temporarily, then as your body reacts it will come back, often multiplied. The actuality of it is, the more water you drink, the more water weight you lose by flushing your system.

-If all your friends do is complain about how the look, tell them to do something about it. Then develop better habits collectively. You are more likely to succeed together than alone.

3. What have I been eating?

-If the answer is pizza dipped in ranch for lunch and microwave dinners every day, you may want to reconsider. Mass manufactured foods tend to have a lot of preservatives added to them. Preservatives make the food last longer and look better, but also take a toll on your body, especially if your goal is healthy weight loss. Keep salts and sugars to a minimum by eating fresher items so you know exactly what you're putting into you body.

-Cut out soda and replace it with water. With that alone, you will feel and see a difference.

-Snack. Fruit, unsalted nuts other proteins are all easy to carry with you, and great to snack on throughout the day. Don't starve yourself, your brain and body need fuel. Snack so you'll be able to have smaller portions at meal times. Food and calories aren't bad, it's the type of food adding the calories that should be your concern.

A Healthy Diet is Not Enough

However, a healthy diet is the base of a healthy lifestyle. You have to start moving to complete the picture, and get the results you want. Just walking an extra 10 minutes a few times a day will make a huge difference. They key is not to focus on one or two parts of your body that you don't like, it's to go for whole body improvement. Once you're in that mindset, the parts you want to fix will improve more permanently.

Here are a few things to think about along the way:

What is Healthy? As much as we are bombarded with the image of boney women with pre-teen bodies, and men bursting with steroid muscle, in reality, not many people actually find those traits attractive. As the Cross Fit motto would say, "Strong is the New Skinny." The preference towards a healthy, well taken care of body is only increasing. Lean muscle is mass, but it's an appealing one.

Attitude is Everything. If you feel good, you look good to yourself and others. The more dedicated you are to growing as a person into a healthy adult, the more successful you are going to be. Depression has been singled out as a prominent cause of weight gain. Fight that by moving, even when you don't want to. Exercise releases chemicals that improve mood. Getting discouraged and giving up just can't be options for you anymore.

Don't Let Stress Keep You From Living Your Life. The point of changing habits isn't to give you anxiety over what you're eating or if you are seeing any difference. Having pizza with your friends isn't forbidden. It's how much you consume and how often that you control. Give yourself a break and be human. Be positive about taking care of yourself, and know that worrying too much about it is a step backwards.

Diabetes: Lower Limb Amputation, Neuropathy and PAD

We've spoken before about the problem of diabetes in America, and briefly about the complications that can occur throughout the body when the disease is not well managed. Unfortunately having diabetes raises a persons risk factor when it comes to a number of other conditions. Trouble with skin and lower limbs are just two on a list of many, but they are two complications that need to be paid attention to. High blood sugar levels lower circulation and causes nerve damage that if not monitored, will lead to amputation.

According to the CDC, more than half non-traumatic lower limb amputations in the US are due to diabetes.

The statistics sound extreme, and the numbers have been going down some, but they emphasize the benefits of monitoring blood sugar levels and the harm that has been done to others by ignoring them. There are two main complications that will contribute to eventual loss of toe, foot or lower limb.

Reduced Circulation:

Cuts and other injuries in the body need the oxygen and nutrients that blood carries to assist in restoring and healing problematic areas. When high blood glucose decreases circulation to the lower limbs, any physical injury is inhibited in its healing process, leaving it open to serious infection. In some cases of neglect, the infection reaches the bone and becomes gangrene.

Neuropathy:File:Ulcers, fissures, and erosions.svg

Diabetes is one of the most common causes of neuropathy. Though raised glucose levels can damage nerve fibers throughout the body, the numbness and pain tend to be more prominently felt in the lower legs and feet. With the loss of feeling, often times cuts or injuries can go unnoticed and become infected or ulcerated, a condition in which the skin and soft tissues break down, easily. It is estimated that 15% of diabetic individuals will have diabetic foot ulcer problems in their lifetime. Medical professionals believe this number to be unrealistically low, due to diabetics not reporting foot issues.

What is the likelihood of infections effecting the lower limbs?

Unfortunately, the risk of infection is higher not only because poor circulation stunts a body's healing capabilities, but also because diabetics are also prone to a variety of skin conditions. High blood sugar can lead to conditions including:

  • Carbuncles (deep infections of the skin and soft tissues beneath)
  • Boils
  • Rashes
  • Foliculitis
  • Infections around the nail
  • Bullosis Diabeticorum: blisters on the back of fingers, hands, toes,  feet and sometimes legs and forearms.
  • Digital Sclerosis: tight thick skin on the back of the hand, and sometimes toes and forehead that causes joints to stiffen and become immovable.
  • Eruptive Xanthomatosis: yellow pea-like enlargements of the skin on the back of hands, feet, arms, leg and buttocks. More prevalent in men with type 1 diabetes and high cholesterol.
  • Charcot Foot: a food deformity that least to a loss of sensation during which an undetected broken bone will cause soft tissue destruction.

When combined with neuropathy, a diabetic skin condition on the legs or feet can easily be overlooked and fester into infection. At the point at which antibiotics and debridement, the removal of affected or necrotic tissues, stop being effective,  it becomes necessary to amputate in order to prevent the infection from spreading and damaging adjacent areas of the body.

Peripheral Arterial Disease:

File:Peripheral Arterial Disease.gifDiabetes also increases the likelihood of Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD), which occurs when blood vessels in the legs are narrowed or blocked by fatty deposits, decreasing blood flow to the legs and feet. This condition puts a diabetic at even a higher risk of heart attack and stroke.

What connects diabetes and PAD?

Diabetics and those with impaired glucose regulation, test with high levels of C-reactive protein (CRP).

C-reactive protein (CRP): a protein found in the blood that appears when swelling is present somewhere in the body. It is often tested for after surgery or treatment for infections.

Elevated levels of CRP, which diabetics test high for, are strongly associate with the development of PAD. For one in three diabetics over 50, the reduced circulation due to high blood glucose, will lead to Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). Other factors of the condition include smoking, high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and a history of heart disease.

If injury due to unnoticed effected tissue or the development of PAD because of high CRP levels lead to amputation, not only can it be an incredibly painful process, it also requires up to 8 weeks to properly heal. After that, extensive physical therapy and lifestyle adjustments are in order.

How can this be prevented?

The best way to prevent the possibility of amputation in the future is to take care of yourself. Keeping close watch on your diabetes by monitoring sugar levels regularly, adjusting to a more consciously healthy lifestyle and paying attention to even small injuries on your lower limbs will go a long way.

Preparing For A Marathon

Philippides, the courier behind the legendary origin of the race, was reported to have run from Sparta to Athens and back bearing news of victory over the Persians in the Battle of Marathon.

A feat of endurance, to say the least. File:Phidippides.jpg

Today, there's less patriotic urgency and a few more clothes involved, but we owe thanks to Philippides for what has now become a traditional challenge for the every-man/woman willing to take on the 26.2 mile race.

Fortunately for us, we have a little more time for planning and preparing our bodies than he did, when it comes to that long haul. Marathons require commitment and dedication from us. But what exactly does that mean when it comes to training, nutrition and all together health? Theories and opinions always seem to be changing as more research is taken into account by nutritionist, biologists and running trainers. More sports drinks, high-fat diets and low carb loading, specific fats and high carb diets. What's worth paying attention to? For every runner, especially first time marathoners, the advice across the board can become very confusing to interpret.

That's why we recommend sticking with the tried and true basics when it comes to the foundation of your training.

The Basics of Marathon Training

Runners cross the finish line of the 35th Marine Corps Marathon
Make sure you are healthy.

    • Before taking on any large challenge, talk to a doctor and make sure your body (heart, lungs, liver etc.) can handle it. If there's a problem, that should be your priority, not intensive training. If you're given the green light, make a conscious effort to stay that way. Be conscious of the weather to stay dry and warm after a workout. If this means grabbing a dry shirt before leaving the gym to avoid a chill, do it.
    • Listen to your body. Your body is going to signal you if something is wrong. Toes bleeding? Back aching? If it hurts now, imagine how that pain will inhibit you at mile 20. You may need new shoes, or more core work to support your weight.
  • Protect your body when training.
    • Everything that can chafe will. Inner thighs, under arms, nipples. The least bit of friction, from skin against skin or poorly planned clothing, can cause a whole range of discomfort. Talk to someone about prevention methods, such as lubricating products, strategically placed bandages and choosing breathable material over cotton, BEFORE you experience chafing, not after.
  • Monitor your sleep.
    • On average, doctors now recommend between 7-9 hours of sleep for a healthy body. But you are in training, so your body needs longer to rest and heal. For aerobic, or endurance, training at least 8 hours, if not 9-10, is essential for a body to recover mentally and physically.
    • It's not enough to get a good night sleep the night before the race, it's probably not going to happen anyway, you are too excited. Sleep needs to be regular and restorative in the days and weeks prior.

Have a Flexible Training Plan

    • Set a plan and goals for yourself that you can follow the weeks and months before the race. Make sure the goals are realistic, and the plan has the ability to be adjusted to your personal needs. No schedule is ever going to be perfect, so being able to fidget with schedules and timing a bit will reduce stress and help you stay on a productive track without feeling defeated.
  • Use Periodization.
    • Periodization, or training cycles, are incredibly important in endurance training. Upping intensity daily without rest or variation, is going to overwhelm your body. Here's an example of how to used periodization in your weekly training:

  • Practice Negative Splits.
    • What this means is train yourself to start off slow for your long runs. The event you are training for is a marathon, not a sprint. Cover the second half of your distance for the day at a faster pace than the first half.
    • Stay relaxed and pay attention to your form. How you run is just as important as the pace you keep. Shoulders down, arms relaxed, and body upright.
  • Taper down intensity 4 weeks before the race.
    • The general recommendation, after periodic training, is to taper down the intensity of your workouts by a percentage each week, allowing your body to rest before the big event.
    • The last 4 weeks before a race should taper from your normal pace (100%) as follows: week 4= 80%, week 3= 60%, week 2= 40%, week 1= 25%
  • Remember stretching and core training.
    • Studies show that yoga adds core strength and flexibility that can reduce injuries and improve a runners performance.
    • Be gentle, and don't over-stretch, especially before running, which can have a negative effect on a runner.

Eat Consciously

    • What a proper training diet consists of has been widely debated. High carbohydrates, low carbohydrates? There will always be differing opinions. Regardless of method choice, what's important is maintaining balanced physical health.
  • Weight is a factor.
    • Maintaining low body fat percentage is essential to boosting pace and endurance.
    • If the percentage of carbs you consume is too high and from a negative source (fried foods, sweets etc.) the more weight from fat your legs and back are going to have to manage as you run. There's a reason the record-setting runners are lean. They don't have any unnecessary body mass holding them back.
    • Most trainers agree that your BMI (body mass index) should be on the lower side of normal for ideal running fitness.
  • Artichoke, artichoke flower, peppers, cabage, DSCF1617

  • Choose the right foods.
    • Easily digested carbs are where the power is. If you're on a carb-free diet, and plan to run a marathon without energy depletion or "hitting a wall" before the last 5-6 miles, you're not being realistic. The amount of carbs needed daily, is going to be dependent on the amount of training done. So be careful not to overload when it's not necessary.
    • The most common cause of "hitting a wall" in the last stretches of the race is glycogen depletion. Glycogen is a fuel derived from dietary carbs which is stored in small amounts in the muscles and liver. It is essential to endurance challenges, and should be stored and conserved through good pacing and high quality food consumption.
      • High-quality foods: fresh, non-starchy vegetables such as quinoa and artichokes. Fruits, as with veggies, fresh not frozen. Also stick to lean meats and fish, Greek yogurts, whole grains, nuts (almonds over peanuts) and seeds.
  • Hydrate.
    • There's nothing more important than keeping your body hydrated as you train. Dehydration will not only decrease your energy drastically, but can lead to heat-related injury to your body. It's a marathon, you are outdoors running and you are sweating. Replacing bodily fluids is essential to avoid exhaustion and possible heatstroke.
    • Learn to drink and run. You will need those little Dixie cups, so your body needs to know how to handle fluids on the go. Start practicing.
    • Alcohol and caffeine aren't the greatest ideas during training. The first dehydrates you while the second raises your heart rate, and they both disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Nothing new before the race.
    • The last thing you want to do is eat something your body isn't entirely comfortable with the night before a race. Your body should be in rest mode, which includes your intestinal tract. Grabbing a spicy tuna roll or hitting your favorite Mexican restaurant can wait a few days. Nothings worse than attempting 26.2 miles with an angry stomach. Stick to what you know you can handle.

source: 2009-01-20 00:33 Hammer of the Gods27 721×451× (45336 bytes)Now, if you haven't already done so, start planning and training! And above all else, remember that getting through this challenge is all about attitude. Stressing out, losing sleep and pushing yourself too hard isn't worth it. Running a marathon today is about personal achievement, and if you can't find joy in your daily accomplishments, what else is there? Even Philippides was carrying good news.

Developing A Healthy Routine

Let's face it. People today are nothing if not busy. If you stop and look around, the majority of us are walking quickly, focused on some form of communication or mobile media device we feel naked without. Even when we travel, we each, on average, bring along at least two forms of mobile electronic equipment. (Confession: I had my laptop with me on a cruise through the Bahamas. There was no internet, but somehow leaving it behind felt wrong.) But busy isn't bad. It's the bad habits that we develop to deal with being busy that are hurting us.

The biggest problem: We are going too fast.

  • Commute fast
  • Eat fast
  • Talk fast

Why? Because we overload our agendas, and rush to get it all done.

What we don't seem to see, is that the quick pace we've adopted is counter productive. The more we add, the less we actually get done.

[caption id="attachment_1722" align="aligncenter" width="553" caption="It's silly, but there's a lot of truth in it."][/caption]

The Solution is in the Small Things.

Small changes in our lives can make all the difference in the world. Here are some suggestions on how to develop a new, more conscious, pace.

Add Some Movement to Your Life

We're not talking a marathon later today, but standing up and letting some blood circulate every hour or so, can prevent a whole range of bodily ills.

  • Walk around a bit.

Thirty minutes of exercise can sound daunting, but breaking it up into three 10 minute walks is not a bad way to get there. It all adds up, and makes a bigger difference in energy level and mood than you might think. Park further away, walk instead of riding the bus for two stops, nothing drastic.

Enjoy Your Meals

Taking the time to decompress, and gather your thoughts in the middle of the day, allows your brain to organize and gain perspective that is lost when we microwave a noodle dish, sit at a desk and pound the keyboard, fork hanging from mouth. Attractive.

File:No cellphone.svg

  • Put Down Everything. Yes, phone too.

No work at the table. Which means there should be an actual table involved in this scenario. Get rid of distractions like smart phones and paperwork, and look at what you're putting in your body. If it looks and tastes like sludge, you're either on some cleanse, or you are actually consuming something indefinably terrible. Stop it. You deserve better. Now that you're paying attention, you have more control over your diet. Not only focusing, but enjoying what you eat at a more leisurely pace gives your body time to tell you that you're full, allowing you to eat less than your normally rushed meal would have you consuming. The best part is that your mind has had time to rest enough that you feel satisfied, and able to continue with your day.

Treat Your Body With Respect

Until science can make us bionic (would be so awesome by the way), we need to treat the bodies we have nicely.

  • Ease up on thFile:"Jenny on the job - Gets her beauty sleep" - NARA - 514682.jpge abuse.

The body reacts to what's put in it. Fill it with saturated fats, sugars, tobacco smoke and hard liquors and it will make its opinion known. It's not just a hangover or heartburn for a day, the heart, lungs, liver etc. are feeling the long term negatives from inconsiderate abuse.

  • Sleep easy.

Getting enough sleep can not only help you focus the next day, it also gives your body and mind time to repair, reducing the risk of cardiovascular and other diseases. Erratic sleep schedules can affect the type of rest your body gets, limiting the time spent in essential deep sleep. Setting an approximate bedtime isn't just for kids. Developing a routine sleep schedule is part of a healthy life at any age.

Work to Reduce Stress

  • Talk to people. Anyone.

Getting out of your head can be a nice break, and a big relief. If you work a job at a quiet desk, or spend your whole day wrangling kids, your brain is craving some peer socialization. It needs balance.

  • Develop a support group.

If everything you think or worry about is kept to yourself, unnecessary stress is created that will begin to manifest itself physically. A support group isn't necessarily strangers meeting because of a commonality (although that can be a really helpful setting for specific problems), it's a Thursday morning coffee or friday night cocktail with a trusted friend with whom you are free to talk about anything and everything, just to get it out.

  • Smile.

Sounds ridiculous, but studies have shown that smiling for no reason actually improves your mood. Smile the moment your get out of bed, and start off your day with a lighter step. Finding something to smile about really isn't that hard (look around you, seriously, you're fantastic), but even when you don't see it, do it anyway. I'm not kidding. Try it right now, I'll wait...

Focus on Someone Else

Sometimes, it's not all about you. Focus on someone or something else outside of yourself (not your family and not your friends, there's stress and drama there). Find something else that needs help, and give back.

    Hold my hand 

  • Volunteer.

Give your time to a local shelter (animal/people, you pick), and actively dedicate a chunk of time to others. There are bodies needed everywhere that can read to a kid, paint over graffiti, or simply show some much needed love to a neglected puppy. The redemptive act will not only get you outside your own bubble, it also reduces stress and gets you moving and active (see above and repeat).

A healthy routine, when treated as an ever evolving process full of small, meaningful changes, does more than just trim some fat or build endurance. It enriches our quality of life as a whole. Slowing down and consciously changing our patterns in life is about the lasting, long term effects made possible step by step.

Diabetes In America: Preventing, Controlling and Reversing the Disease

When talking about diabetes, the word 'epidemic' seems to be used more often than not. It's a great attention getter. Epidemic brings to mind movie-esque scenarios with CDC tents and hazmat suits. But really, diabetes, in its most prevalent form (type 2/adult onset), is a serious disease we can do something about. What's required of us is simply knowledge and dedication to our health.

So let's start learning...

What Should We Know?

Just in the US population:

  • 8.3% of children and adults are diabetic = 285 million people.
  • The US has the 3rd largest number of confirmed cases in the world.
    • The other countries with high statistics are generally those with lower income and fewer health care options.
  • An estimated 7 million people are undiagnosed diabetics.
  • These numbers increase by 8% each year.
  • The CDC predicts 1/3 of adults will have diabetes by 2050.
  • The estimated annual burden diabetes places on the US economy is $245 billion.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect the glucose levels in your blood. If you are diabetic, your glucose or blood sugar is too high. Too much glucose can lead to potentially serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney disease, nervous system damage and lower limb amputation.

What Should We Do?

Now that you know the basics, what we can do is pay attention to our health, and the health of those we care for.

Diabetes can be prevented, controlled and even reversed with active dedication. It's all about daily efforts and small consistent changes.

Developing a daily, health conscious routine doesn't mean that everything has to change all at once. Just the reality of diabetes or prediabetes being a problem is incredibly overwhelming. Dropping everything, clearing out your fridge and running 5 miles a day on top of that, is too much. Stress is also a factor in blood sugar, and a drastic change is always stressful. So take it one step at a time.

  1. Understand what's happening to your body and why. Not everyone is the same, diabetes can be a result of a variety of causes including genetics, lifestyle choices and eating habits. Knowing how you got there, will reduce the stress of dealing with the disease, and help show you the path toward controlling and reversing its effects.
  2. Talk to your doctors, and find a dietician. You don't have to deal with this alone. Discussing a long term plan with professional guidance and establishing accountability with someone other than yourself can go a long way.
  3. Test often and keep track. The only way you will know if the changes you make are working, is to closely monitor how your glucose level reacts to tDiabetes Meterhem. Not every body is the same, and testing often and keeping track will help you fine tune your future decisions.
  4. Look at your diet and the diet of those around you (especially in your home). Start avoiding excess sugars, salts (preservatives), carbohydrates, fats and cholesterol. Switch to water or unsweetened teas.
    • If counting ounces and percentages down to the last detail stresses you out, the best thing you can do is start eating fresh. Fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, unseasoned, fresh lean meats, all of which will ad to your fiber and protein intake. A lot of people don't realize that frozen foods last that long because they are loaded with salt and other preservatives that have a negative impact on your body's chemistry.
    • Changing your eating habits is much easier if those around you are doing the same thing. No junk in the freezer means you won't have anything tempting to give in to.
  5. Start moving around. If walking is all you can handle, three ten minute walks a day is a great place to start changing your health. Here are 10 Activities That Don't Feel Like a Workout to get you started. Even if you don't have to lose weight, the exercise alone will lower your blood sugar and increase energy. A pedometer or mobile fitness app are fantastic motivators. Check out some great ones in our article 10 Fitness Apps You Can't Miss.

Use the infographic below to remind you how serious and great the risk of diabetes is for us all, and look for upcoming articles for more specific information and advice on preventing, controlling and reversing the diabetes epidemic that affects us.


Diabetes Facts Infographic

What You Can Do About Childhood Obesity

The CDC has reported that the childhood obesity statistics have dropped slightly since 2008 (1%) in some states, which is fantastic. But that doesn't mean it's no longer a serious problem. In 2010, over 1/3 of children and adolescents were overweight or obese, and a significant drop in those numbers has yet to happen. Like it or not, that is a big fat red flag that can't be ignored.

The Serious Risks

Childhood obesity is not something that will just go away as they grow up. In fact, the younger they show signs of being overweight, the more likely they will be obese in adulthood. Here are some of the medical issues that develop in overweight children.
  • Metabolic Syndrome: a precursor to cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome is characterized by high cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess belly fat.
    • 70% of obese youth are at risk of heart disease developing as an adult.
  • Pre Diabetes: high blood sugar that in an indication of type 2 diabetes developing in adulthood.
  • Bone and Joint Problems: excess weight puts too much pressure on growing joints causing problems that only exacerbate later on, requiring special medical attention.
  • Early Puberty: hormone imbalances become a problem in overweight children, causing them to begin puberty earlier than the average child.
  • Asthma: breathing problems due to extra weight can also manifest in the form of asthma or sleep apnea, a potentially serious breathing disorder in which breathing stops and starts during sleep.
  • Social and Psychological Issues: this is a big one. Children who are overweight tend to be victims of bullying and as a result of insecurities, maintain a higher anxiety level than the average child.
    • Anxiety can lead to serious behavioral problems and learning disabilities.

Other factors

Some children who have large body frames are not obese. They are normal. So just looking at a child cannot accurately determine if they are at risk. Ask your child's doctor. Most pediatricians have been tracking their patients growth and Body Mass Index (BMI) since birth, and those charts can tell you if they are on the right track. Genetic disease and hormonal disorders can also play a part, but according to the Mayo Clinic, environmental factors are more likely to be the cause of excess weight gain.

What Can We Do?

It really is all about your child's environment. I know we were told to clean out plates as kids, and if you're over 20, you remember your parents or grandparents reminding you that they didn't have what we do when they were kids. Grandma added sugar to everything for a reason, it was rationed during the war. It's a natural reaction to waste not and want not after an experience like that. After all, there are starving kids... wherever they chose to tell you. Which is true. But those reminders have been turned into overeating habits that we as a society, are now passing on to our own children. It is now up to us to change how we think about, and consume food.
Here's how:
  • Improve the habits of your ENTIRE family. Kids are observant. If you hand them apple slices and peanut butter, and then microwave a burrito to eat while watching daytime TV, they are going to notice a double standard. Children are more likely to follow what you DO, and not what you say.
  • Remember, home is not the only influential environment in a child's life. Find out if their school is a safe and supportive environment that provides education on healthy eating, and promotes an active lifestyle. If it doesn't, push for change. It's your child's health, and it's worth the effort.
  • Look into diet guidelines to follow, like the Mayo Clinic Kid's Cookbook and the American Heart Association's Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Children.
  • Share easy to understand information, like the infographic below, to start a conversation with parents and kids alike. Create awareness, and promote change.
Childhood ObesityTo learn more about the obesity problem in America, check out America's Obesity Problem Today and Tomorrow, and visit Advanced Physical Medicine for more diet and health tips for you and your family. 

10 Fitness Apps You Can’t Miss

If your schedule is already tough, and still seems to get busier every day, most likely you rely on technology to keep yourself going. When and where do health and fitness fit? You squeeze it in when and where you can. Fitness experts understand how busy we are, so they decided to work with us by building a variety of health and fitness apps we can access from out mobile devices, with the goal of keeping us motivated and on track.

According the, the mobile fitness app market is quickly growing, and will quadruple by 2016! Here are some of the best and brightest out there right now.

UP from Jawbone

UP, now for both Android and iPhone, is a holistic approach to fitness. You are encouraged to wear your wristband as much as possible (even when sleeping) for the most accurate welness tracking. Not only does it cover diet and exercise, but it also monitors how you sleep, when you've been sitting too long, and sends every step you take back to the app on your phone. The wrist band has a 10 day battery, so don't worry about it losing power midday. The program can also be integrated with other fitness apps on the market like MyFitnessPal (see below). The whole package adds up to $129.99, which is pricey compared to the dozens of free apps out there, but after using it, many fitness professionals reported they couldn't live without it.


Fitbit puts logging calories and activities in the palm of your hand, and provides a giant food database (plus room for additions) for you to choose from. The app also allows you to program your own personal fitness goals and keeps you on track. Although the app is free, if you would like to upgrade and add one of their tracking devices, similar to the UP system, the price will range from $60-$100.

My Fitness Pal

My Fitness Pal is a very popular fitness and diet app. Not only is it free, but it also boasts a searchable food database of 3,256,00 different items, room to add personal recipes and is flexible enough to work with you on any diet plan. It also has interactive discussion forums to share support and motivation with other like minded individuals.

Lose It

Lose It is a basic, free app for mobile devices that has one goal. Weight loss. Using the app, you are guided through a personalized weight loss program that tracks not only calories, but carbs, fats and protein, as well as exercise. Over time it creates a graph based on personal data to give you a look at how you are progressing.

Fitness Builder

Fitness Builder is seriously intense. If you want a good workout, there are 200 different options that the program can be prompted to pick automatically, in order to build the optimal workout to reach your goals. Beside the 5 fitness timers and multiple calculators (BMI etc.), you also have the option to contact professionals with any personal fitness questions. For $9.99, it's like having a personal trainer everywhere you go.

C25K (Couch to 5K)

If nothing else, you have to love the name Couch to 5K, and really the program is just that. Ideal for beginning joggers/ runners, for $2.99 an individual is taken through a nine week endurance building program. As you progress, the program will prompt you to warm up, cool down, walk and run. By the end of those nine weeks, you won't believe how far you've come.

Run Keeper

Run Keeper (free), and Run Keeper Pro ($9.99), make tracking your workouts an interactive social activity. The app uses your GPS to track route, elevation, and speed and then uploads it to the Run Keeper website to review and share. The pro version even shouts updates through your headphones every five minutes to keep you going.

Good Food Near You

The Good Food Near You app is ideal for road trips or traveling for work, because no matter where you are, it works together with your GPS to guide you to the nearest healthy food options. No more roadside greasy burgers necessary. Download now while still in Beta.


A fantastic app to take shopping, Fooducate uses your smart phone's camera to scan barcodes on different food, and returns with a grade (A, C-, etc) based on ingredients and nutritional value. Wouldn't it be great to know which foods actually pass? And what a great way to explain to kids what they should be eating. The basic version is free on Android and iPhone, but more specialized versions targeting diabetes or gluten allergies, may cost a few bucks.


Did you know that in Japan, the most popular topping for pizza at Domino's Pizza is Squid? We didn't before checking InRFood today. The app and website have an enormous amount of information about food. It keeps detailed track of ingredients and nutrition values, as well as product recalls and health news worldwide. The app is still in Beta, so check it out before a price tag appears.

The Best Affordable Juicers of 2013

Juicing seems to be the newest trend in health and fitness, and it's a great way to add some of the nutrients we miss by skipping our fruits and vegetables as long as we monitor a balanced diet to go along with it. Truthfully, there are both pros and cons to the practice. On one hand, juicing saves money on nearly expired fruits and veggies, which says we lose the most money on when it comes to grocery expenses. On the other, important nutrients, like fiber and protein are lost in the juicing process by getting rid of the pulp instead of eating just the raw food as is. An all juice diet will quickly drop weight, but it will also slow your metabolism, which means once you start on solids again your body is more likely to store them as fat. Balancing juicing with the fiber and protein our bodies need, allows you to get the benefits without getting hurt.

Another downfall is that it's expensive. The Breville Juice Fountain Elite costs on the upside of $300, and even though it's "the Rolls Royce of Juicers," if you're not running a health club, for the average person a price tag like that is insane.  But we are going to fix that problem right now, with some quality affordable juicers for the everyman wanting to add the benefits of juicing without losing their shirt (and pants, and 3 weeks worth of groceries).

1. The Breville Juice Fountain Compact $99.95

*Ranks on Amazon as one of the top-selling juicers on the market today.

*Wide enough chute to take whole fruit without having to spend time chopping prior to juicing.

*Stainless steel, no staining from darker foods.

*Easy assembly, easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quick and quiet juicing.

*Detachable juice pitcher for easy storage.

*Staying within the same quality brand as the top dogs, but cutting the price by 1/3 is not a bad deal.

2. Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juice Extractor 67650 $59.85

*Inexpensive for a quality juicer.

*Wide chute that fits whole foods.

*Stainless steel.

*Easy assembly, easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quick and quiet

*Large pulp container, so you can juice longer before cleaning it out.

*Detachable juice pitcher.

3. Jack LaLanne PJP Stainless Steel Electric Juicer $120.00

*Stainless steel.

*Easy to clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quiet, but needs some foods chopped before juicing.

*Pay attention to the filter and keep it clean to avoid jamming or backing up.

4. Oster 3167 450 watt 34oz Juicer $65.26


*Wide chute that fits whole food.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Detachable juice pitcher.

*Large pulp container.

*Quick and semi-quiet.

*Plastic body (easier to stain) and stainless steel filter.

*Locking arm for safe juicing.

5. Black & Decker JE2200 $34.92

*Stainless steel.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quiet but not quick, since time is spent chopping food before juicing.

*Internal pulp collector for less mess.

*Needs a gentle touch to maintain proper function.

6. Jack LaLanne PJEW Power Juicer Express $90.98

*Wide chute can take whole food.

*Quick and quiet.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe, no-drip spout.

*Plastic with stainless steel blade.

*Needs a gentle touch, forcing fruits or veggies will cause it to jam.

7. Waring JEX 328 Heath Juice Extractor $49.99

*Stainless steel.

*Easy clean, dishwasher safe.

*Quick but as it is centrifugal, it is not at all quiet.

*Stable on counter-top, but juice cup is not during juicing, and may fall if not monitored.


Every single one of these options are inexpensive, quality choices. Think about what you are going to use it for before deciding on one. How often will you be juicing, and for how many people? What will you be juicing? Items such as sweet potatoes are extremely pulpy when juiced, so you may want to consider an option that has a large pulp capacity and doesn't have a easily clogged filter. If you are juicing apples, you'll want a wide chute so you don't have to spend time chopping beforehand. But whichever you go with, it will pleasantly surprise you that you can get so much for so little from these lower cost appliances.

America’s Obesity Problem Today and Tomorrow

Obesity has long been a problem in the US, but in 1998 the numbers jumped dramatically and have been rising ever since. It's hard to look back and see us as all so different less than 20 years ago. Where did these crazy numbers come from?

To make you feel slightly better, it's important to realize that in 1998 the government redefined what it meant to be obese by lowering the standard BMI (body mass index). Now the requirement for obesity is a BMI over 30, while 27 and 28 used to be acceptable for men and women respectively. With that change, 29 million people went from being average to overweight. Not the greatest feeling for those people, but scientific advances in nutrition have guided and changed definitions before. Remember when eggs were bad and Jamba Juice was a healthy meal? So despite the definition of overweight becoming more inclusive, the bulk of the obesity numbers fall upon our daily choices.

According to the 2012 Gallup-Healthway Study, the following States have the highest percentages of obesity today:

  1. West Virginia: 33.5%
  2. Mississippi: 32.2%
  3. Arkansas: 31.4%
  4. Louisiana: 30.9%
  5. Alabama: 30.4%

It almost seems like the South is holding up back. But before you pass judgement on the statewide statistics, take a look at these:

Top 5 Obese Metro Areas

  1. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, Texas: 38.8%
  2. Birmingham, New York: 37.6%
  3. Huntington-Ashland, W. Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio: 36%
  4. Rockford, Illinois: 35.5%
  5. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas: 33.8%

Check out this map for a more comprehensive look at 2012.

Obesity in america

In a study by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a estimation of obesity's growth by 2030 was established.

Projected Obesity Statistics by 2030

Fattest States in America

Why is this happening?

Well, other than the reduction of BMI acceptable levels, and a possible change of that standard in the future from 30 to 25, our current lifestyles really aren't helping. Of course there are genetic factors that some struggle with more with than others, but in all honesty, there are some key factors that separate us from nations that don't have the epidemic type problem that we do with weight.

Junk. According to, junk food has risen to meet the same reward centered reaction we expect from sex, alcohol or drugs. Seeing easy, grease caked, quick food as a motivator or positive reward in any way, creates a pathway to addictive issues. Temptation is a strong pull, and it has become ingrained in our thought process that this type of food is a satiating experience.

Environment. The environment you put yourself in has a huge impact on your metabolic health. If you live with someone who doesn't care, it's more likely harder for you to keep up a personal health crusade. It becomes more exhausting and stressful when you have to battle yourself over the microwave burrito you would have never brought home in the first place. If your friends or family have obesity problems, or just poor diet and exercise habits, your standards slowly drop to an unhealthy level.

Technology. Technology is not a bad thing, it's actually pretty awesome, it's what we chose to do with it in our lives that becomes harmful. Sedentary lifestyles can easily be fallen into, considering the access we have to so much information while sitting at our computers or in front of the TV. Communicating with family and friends, no longer requires leaving the house or even standing, if you can teach the dog to get beer from the fridge for you. Cars, busses, any type of transport really, are lifesavers some days, but on others, getting outside and walking 6 blocks to the store isn't something that should be a hassle.

Respect. Respecting ourselves and our bodies seems to be something often put on the bottom of the priority list. At the expense of ourselves, we will skip meals, chose the quick but mediocre solution, and stress about anything and everything in our path. We not only lack respect for ourselves, but for the food we consume and the culture we cultivate. We skip breakfast and rush through lunch to get to a meeting or finish our work load. Taking a bit of time to both mentally rest and indulge  in the ritual of enjoying a well prepared meal, can actually improve your efficiency, stress level and metabolism. Studies show that family dinners actually reduce obesity risks.

We live in a scheduled world where minor changes to our lives are disruptive, and can become more difficult and stressful than they initially sound. Stopping for lunch sounds simple, but what about the work that must get done today? Changing your environment, especially when it comes to living situations and friends, is near impossible without incredible will power. Changing how our minds have been conditioned towards junk food and sugars is a huge task. Look at the statistics again, and think of the future health of yourself and those around you. No one ever said it's going to be easy, but it is more than evidently necessary to not put changing off any longer.

Get your health and weight under control with one of our Weight Loss and Fitness Programs in Chicago.

Electric Medicine

With Nicola Tesla’s 157th birthday just passing, we find ourselves celebrating science, progress and electricity in his name. Around the time of its discovery and harnessing, electricity swept through the community as a great new innovation, and to some of the medical community, a cure-all remedy had surfaced.

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the advent of electricity and the Industrial Revolution changed the face of medicine as people knew it. Many physicians and inventors began utilizing electricity in their treatment of all sorts of ailments. Looking back, we are grateful for the advances in medicine made in this time period, but it’s also fun to remember the epic failures and quack medical devices that had their fifteen minutes of fame before turning into doorstops or gathering dust in antique stores.

Dr. Scott’s Electric Corset

... electric elegance!

According to Dr. Scott, "...there is hardly a disease which Electricity and Magnetism will not benefit or cure," and that is exactly the claim made with the sale of these $3 Electric Corsets produced and sold in 1883. Not only does it promise to ward off disease with a flow of electric current through the body, it also keeps the wobbly bits in! Who could ask for more?

Dr. John Butler’s Electro-Massage Machine

Electro Massage Treatment

The fifth medical device to be modified for use in the home, The Electro-Massage Machine was invented to save doctor's time when it came to treating the defunct condition of hysteria in women. Hysteria, caused by sexually pent up energy, was treated with manual stimulation. But with the progression of electricity, hysteria was able to be cured at home with a miracle vibrating device. Hysteria fell off the medical charts around 1952, but the technology is still going strong.

Vacuum Stimulated Hair Regrowth

Old Electric Technology

New vacuum technology wasn't just for cleaning floors anymore, it was thought that stimulating the scalp with alternating air pressure and vacuum suction would stimulate blood vessels and eventually cure baldness.


Electric Bath

Electric bathThe electric bath was literally just that. Physicians used water in the bath to conduct a flow of electricity as a treatment for just about anything you can imagine. I wonder if this is why they tell us not to swim in a lightening storm.

Thompson Plaster Electrical Cabinet (UV Generator)

Thompson Plaster Electrical Cabinet

Thompson Plaster Electrical Cabinet provided a very popular treatment of the day. Violet Rays (UV rays) were thought to have healing powers, and applying them to whatever body part needed assistance, with a conductive glass device attached to a violet ray machine, would cure anything from baldness and skin diseases to gynecological problems.

The Owen Electric Belt

Owen Electric Belt

Electrical belts were usually advertised by a variety of robust and muscle laden men, who owed all of their success to a belt that provided them with a consistent electric shock. It was meant to cure weakness both inside and out, including kidney problems, lethargy, back pain, erectile disfunction and much much more.

There are so many more strange and questionable devices and treatments from way back when, there are even entire museums dedicated to some of the unbelievable things a person will go through when promised life changing results. It's the placebo effect in full swing, and if you think we've evolved beyond such gullibility, think again. Take a look at the infomercials and fad health solutions all around you today. Do you remember the electric fitness belt that promised a 6-pack from just wearing the thing? Or how about the wrinkle creams that make you look 2o years younger in just 15 minutes? Being wary of anything that seems too good to be true may be called skepticism, but if it saves you from foolish choices, what's wrong with that?

Immediate Response Center You will receive doctor’s response within 24 hours or less.
submit g
Book an Appointment You will receive doctor’s response within 24 hours or less.
submit g
viagra pill for sale buy generic viagra online