Archive | Human Health & Wellness

Why is stretching so important for your muscles?

Stretching helps prevent injury by warming up the muscles through flexibility and increased circulation. By increaing flexibility, various motions are easier to perform and your range of motion is improved. Increased circulation allows for better blood flow to your muscles which can speed up recovery.

There are numerous benefits to stretching.

1. It improve your range of motion.

2. reduces risk of injury during activity

3. prevents post exercise muscle soreness

slow delayed onset muscle soreness

Stretching is done to improve the muscle’s felt elasticity and reaffirm comfortable muscle tone. It is also used for therapeutical purposes (i.e. to alleviate cramps)

Citations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stretching#Possible_benefits

Posted in Human Health & Wellness0 Comments

Radiotherapy Can Cause Vascular Disease

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 24 (UPI) — Swedish researchers say cancer radiotherapy can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and the cause might be changes in arterial gene expression.

Karolinska Institute scientists say their new study suggests sustained inflammation induced by post-radiotherapy changes in the gene expression in the arteries could be causing increases in the risk of cardiovascular disease in the same part of the body. For example, they point to heart attacks occurring after left-side breast cancer treatment, or strokes occurring after the treatment of head, neck or brain tumors.

“Studies have been hampered by the fact that the disease process is so slow,” said Karolinska researcher Martin Halle. “Cell studies and animal studies are best suited to the more immediate effects, and studies on human subjects have been ruled out for ethical reasons.”

But in the new study, the researchers found irradiated arteries showed signs of chronic inflammation and an increase in activity of a genetic factor known for playing a key part in the development of atherosclerosis. The greater inflammatory gene expression was visible for several years after irradiation, and might, the researchers said, explain why cancer patients can suffer cardiovascular disease many years after radiotherapy.

“Hopefully, these findings will one day help medicine to mitigate the side effects by administering radiotherapy in combination with an anti-inflammatory treatment,” Halle said.

The study is presented in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Human Health & Wellness, Other0 Comments

1 Hour/day of Exercise for Healthy Women

BOSTON, March 24 (UPI) — For women, who are not overweight, to maintain their weight they may have to exercise at least one hour a day, seven days a week, U.S. researchers suggest.

I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues says that in 2008, federal guidelines recommended at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity activity for “substantial health benefits.”

However, the researchers examined the association of different amounts of physical activity with long-term weight changes among women consuming a usual diet and not reducing calories.

The study involved 34,079 middle-aged women, who were tracked for about 13 years from 1992-2007. A total of 4,540 women with a body mass index lower than 25 — considered normal weight — at the start of the study successfully maintained their weight.

Women, who successfully maintained normal weight and gained fewer than 6 pounds over 13 years averaged approximately 60 minutes a day of moderate-intensity activity throughout the study.

The findings are published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Human Health & Wellness, Other0 Comments

Flexible Silicon Medical Device Created

EVANSTON, Ill., March 24 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say they have developed a thin, flexible and stretchable electronic device to help locate and treat abnormal heart rhythms.

Scientists from Northwestern University, the University of Illinois and the University of Pennsylvania say they are the first to demonstrate a flexible silicon electronic device used for a medical application. The researchers said their device produces high-density maps of a beating heart’s electrical activity, providing potential means to localize and treat abnormal heart rhythms.

Researchers said the technology holds promise for a new generation of flexible, implantable medical devices, as well as flexible sensors, transmitters and photovoltaic and microfluidic devices.

“The heart is dynamic and not flat, but electronics currently used for monitoring are flat and rigid,” said Northwestern Professor Yonggang Huang, a senior author of the paper. “Our electronics have a wavy mesh design so they can wrap around irregular and curved surfaces, like the beating heart. The device is thin, flexible and stretchable and brings electronic circuits right to the tissue.”

The device is based on flexible electronics developed in 2008 by Huang, Professor John Rogers at the University of Illinois and Associate Professor Brian Litt of the University of Pennsylvania.

The research that included Professor Jianliang Xiao of Northwestern; Dae-Hyeong Kim and Yun-Soung Kim of the University of Illinois; and Jonathan Viventi, Justin Blanco, Nicholas Annetta, Andrew Hicks, Joshua Moss and David Callans of the University of Pennsylvania appears as the cover story in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Human Health & Wellness, Maps, Other0 Comments

Fate of Legalizing Pot in Calif. Near

LOS ANGELES, March 24 (UPI) — California may be the flash point again in the smoldering debate over marijuana legalization as officials decide whether the question should be on the ballot.

Los Angeles County elections officials must submit their count of valid signatures collected in the county on a statewide legalization initiative Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times reported. State election officials keeping a tally said the county’s number is almost guaranteed to be enough to qualify the initiative to be on the November ballot.

The move to legalize marijuana comes 14 years after California decided the controversial weed could be used for medicinal purposes.

Proponents cite the financial and social cost of enforcing a marijuana prohibition and argue that marijuana isn’t as dangerous and addictive as alcohol or tobacco. Opponents counter with statistics of marijuana-related crimes, rising use among teens and the physical harm pot can cause.

To be on the ballot, the measure needs 433,971 valid signatures and was 15,000 short Tuesday, the newspaper said. Los Angeles County, where 142,246 signatures were collected, is expected to put it over the top, the Times said.

“They already accept that it’s out there. They want to see a smart strategy,” said Chris Lehane, a strategist for the initiative.

But John Lovell, a lobbyist for law enforcement groups, said he believes that voters will reject the proposition.

“Why on Earth would you want to add yet another mind-altering substance to the legal array?” he asked.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Human Health & Wellness, Other0 Comments

Landmark Healthcare Bill Heads to Obama

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) — A sweeping overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system headed to President Barack Obama’s desk to be signed into law Monday.

The House of Representatives passed the health reform bill 219-212 late Sunday over opposition from all Republicans and some Democrats.

The measure, which cleared the Senate in December, is projected to cut the federal deficit by $118 billion over the next decade and expand coverage to more than 30 million people, CNN reported.

A separate compromise package of fixes also passed the House, 220-211, and goes to the Senate for consideration. It also passed over unanimous GOP opposition.

“This is what change looks like,” Obama said after the votes were recorded. He called the passage of healthcare reform a “victory for the American people and it’s a victory for common sense.”

Rep. James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., called the bill “the Civil Rights Act” of the 21st century.

On the GOP side, House minority leader John A. Boehner of Ohio said in a New York Times report: “The American people are angry. This body moves forward against their will. Shame on us.”

Under the measure, most Americans would be required to have health coverage or pay a fine. Larger employers would be required to provide health insurance or risk penalties. Individual out-of-pocket expenses would be capped. Insurers would be barred from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions or gender. The so-called “doughnut hole” in out-of-pocket expenses seniors pay for prescription drugs would be closed.

In the Senate, Democrats will implement the parliamentary procedure called reconciliation to pass the package of fixes on a simple majority and avoid a Republican filibuster.

A group of senators and staffers were expected to meet Monday with the Senate parliamentarian, Alan Frumin, to determine if a tax on high-end insurance policies would affect the Social Security trust fund, and whether that would violate rules against altering Social Security through reconciliation, The Washington Post said.

If the bill passes muster on that point, 20 hours of debate will begin Tuesday and end either Wednesday night or Thursday morning, Democratic and Republican aides said. Vice President Joe Biden, as Senate president, and with Frumin’s advice, will rule on objections Republicans are expected to raise over provisions they argue violate requirements that all reconciliation legislation deal with federal revenue.

During debate, Republicans can offer an unlimited number of amendments, which are set aside for voting after debate ends, the Post said. Voting is expected to begin Thursday and last through Saturday at the latest.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Human Health & Wellness, Policies & Solutions0 Comments

GOP, Dems Take Healthcare Fight to States

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) — The healthcare reform battle began its move from Washington to the states with Republicans pledging to make it a campaign issue in the midterm elections.

For their part, Democrats and President Barack Obama said they would work to win over skeptics, saying the bill has immediate benefits and addresses the nation’s shaky fiscal condition, The New York Times reported Monday.

Besides making healthcare votes fodder on the election trail, Republicans vowed to challenge the legislation’s constitutionality and work with state governments interested in blocking its implementation, the Times said.

“We ought to focus on not the political stakes, but the stakes for the country,” David Plouffe, an adviser to Mr. Obama, said on ABC’s “This Week.” “We’re going to go out there and not just talk about what we’re for, but what the Republicans are voting against.”

Meanwhile, attorneys general in three states — Virginia, Florida and South Carolina — indicated they will challenge the measure, saying it violates the Constitution by requiring individuals to purchase insurance. In an interview Sunday, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said his challenge raises two arguments — one, the federal bill conflicts with a state law saying no Virginian may be compelled to buy insurance and two, Congress does not have authority to impose the mandate under its powers to regulate interstate commerce, the Times said.

The White House and Democrats were readying legal arguments and coordinating a state-by-state response to possible challenges, aides said.

The point-counterpoint isn’t limited to elected officials. Thomas J. Donahue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Congress, vowed to oppose the measure “through all available avenues — regulatory, legislative, legal and political,” the Times wrote. Organizations supporting the legislation, including AARP and labor unions, said they would defend the bill through advertising that highlights what they see as benefits.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Human Health & Wellness0 Comments

Some Disinfectants No Good for Norovirus

QUEBEC CITY, March 19 (UPI) — Some 40 percent of commercial disinfectants used for surfaces are believed to be ineffective in eliminating noroviruses, Canadian researchers say.

Noroviruses are a group of viruses responsible for more than half of all foodborne gastroenteritis outbreaks.

Julie Jean, a professor at Laval University says noroviruses are a group of viruses responsible for more than half of all foodborne gastroenteritis outbreaks.

Jean tested the efficacy of three major categories of household disinfectants in eliminating noroviruses: bleach-based products, alcohol-based products and quaternary ammonium-based products.

The study, published in the Journal of Food Protection, found only bleach-based disinfectants drastically reduce the concentration of these viruses.

Laboratory tests showed that five minutes of contact with a bleach-based disinfectant reduced the concentration of noroviruses on a stainless steel surface by a factor of

1,000, while alcohol- and quaternary ammonium-based products proved 100 times less effective.

“Our results are of particular concern considering that some 40 percent of the commercial surface disinfectants on the market are alcohol or ammonium based,” Jean says in a statement.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Human Health & Wellness0 Comments

Reform Requires Calorie-labeling on Menus

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) — The healthcare reform bill passed in the U.S. House requires calorie-labeling on chain-restaurant menus, a health advocacy group says.

Margo G. Wootan, nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington, said the legislation applies to chains with 20 or more outlets and requires them to provide additional nutrition information on request.

The restaurants will be required to provide calorie information on menus, menu boards, drive-through displays and vending machines.

Similar measures are already in effect or are awaiting implementation in California, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, New York City and Philadelphia, but the federal standard will supersede the varied state and local requirements.

“Coffee drinks can range from 20 calories to 800 calories, and burgers can range from 250 calories to more than 1,000 calories,” Wootan said in a statement.

“While it’s a huge victory for consumers, it’s just one of dozens of things we will need to do to reduce rates of obesity and diet-related disease in this country.”

The National Restaurant Association dropped its longstanding objection to menu-labeling last year and supported the language passed in Congress, Wootan said.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Human Health & Wellness0 Comments

Healthcare Bill Advances in House

WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) — The House Sunday approved a procedural measure to be followed in voting on U.S. healthcare reform by a majority that analysts said suggests the bill will pass.

By a vote of 224-206, the House adopted rules for the debate to precede a final vote on legislation supporters say will extend access to healthcare insurance for tens of millions of Americans and eliminate exclusions for those with pre-existing conditions.

The vote came after anti-abortion Democrats said they had reached a deal with the White House, ensuring enough votes for House passage of healthcare reform. Under the deal, President Barack Obama would sign an executive order stipulating no federal funding will pay for abortion under healthcare reform, the White House said.

Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., joined at least eight other anti-abortion House Democrats to announce the deal at a news conference. All nine said they would support the healthcare bill.

“We are very pleased with this order,” Stupak said. In answer to a reporter’s question, Stupak said, “We’re well past 216″ votes, the amount needed for passage in the House.

Based on changes made by Democrats Saturday, the Congressional Budget Office revised the bill’s cost estimate to $938 billion over 10 years. The CBO said that would be more than covered by new tax revenues and spending cuts, including $500 billion from a program known as Medicare Advantage, resulting in a $138 billion reduction in the deficit.

The measure would extend insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans who have none, add millions of people to Medicaid rolls and forbid insurance companies to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions. All Americans would have to have insurance or face fines, and business would be required to provide coverage for employees.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI). Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI’s prior written consent.

Posted in Human Health & Wellness0 Comments

No Posts in Category
Advertisement