How to take better care of your spine in the New Year

spinal health

If you ask most people what is at the top of their new year’s resolution most will probably say it has something to do with their health.

Most of us look at a new year as a new opportunity to become our best selves; and getting healthier or leading a healthier lifestyle is on the way to doing so.

Many of us when we think about their health don’t necessarily think about the health of our spine, when in fact it’s probably one of the most important places to start in regards to health.

When your spine is in disarray it affects so many different parts of your body, which is why taking care of it should be a priority for most of us this year.

Here is how to take better care of your spine in the New Year, as well as every year going forward.

Take a walk

Getting up and moving around is a great way to practice care for your spine and is easy to do for most people.

Most of us spend so much time sitting, whether it’s at the office sitting at your desk or at home sitting and watching TV, and all it takes is getting up for a few minutes a couple times a day to really help your spine get healthy and strong and stay that way.

If at all possible you can even walk to work or take a walk when you get home instead of sitting down.

If walking is painful, talk to a doctor like those at Walker Spine and Sports Specialists to find out what you can do and how you can walk for your spine.

Pay attention to how you sleep

How and how much you sleep can really help or hinder your spine’s overall health so it is a good idea to pay attention to the way you sleep and how much sleep you are getting.

Make sure you have a mattress with the proper support as well as a pillow that matches the position in which you sleep the most.

It’s also a good idea to try your best to sleep on your side rather than your stomach because sleeping on your stomach can put unnecessary pressure on your spine.

Watch the way you lift

From lifting weights to just picking up your kids, a good way to ensure proper care for your spine is to make sure you are lifting heavier objects correctly.

If you aren’t sure what the proper way to lift is you can ask your doctor to show you. But most say that a good rule of thumb is to lift objects by putting pressure on your knees and legs rather than trying to use your back and stomach and to also make sure to bend your knees and get down to the level of what you are trying to lift.

Drink lots of water

Staying hydrated is important for every part of your body including your spine.

Being dehydrated puts you more at risk for a ruptured or split disk which can be very painful. Also not having enough fluids in the spine can lead to other severe issues.

By drinking plenty of water you ensure that the spine has all the fluids it needs to protect the bones and nerves that lie there.

5 scary things that could happen if you don’t care for your teeth

x-ray of teeth structure

Brushing and flossing your teeth can feel annoying and time-consuming at times.

You have probably wondered often if it’s even worth the effort or if your parents and dentist were just trying to scare you into this habit.

But the frightening truth is that there can be some pretty serious consequences to not properly taking care of your teeth, and not ones you ever really want to find out.

However, if you are one who likes to play devil’s advocate and really want to know, here are five scary things that could happen if you don’t care for your teeth, and that will hopefully have you brushing and flossing every day.

Really bad breath

Everytime that you eat something throughout the day, little pieces of those foods remain in your mouth. Over time that food begins to gather bacteria and decay, which you can imagine, starts to create a not so pleasant smell.

The only way to get rid of this build up of food and plaque is to brush and floss it away, or over time it can actually become hard and then you will only be able to get it removed by your Family Dental Health Center.

Tooth loss

If you like your teeth and want them to stay in your mouth then you probably want to start brushing and flossing a lot more regularly because something that can happen when you don’t is that your teeth can begin to fall out.

When you get too many cavities or if you have severe enough gum disease you can begin to lose your teeth. Sadly enough, according to the National Institute for Dental Research, this actually happens to many adults, and most adults lose about seven to nine permanent teeth. Those who really don’t take care of their teeth have actually lost most of them by the time they are 64.

Diabetes

A lot of people wouldn’t think there is a tie between brushing your teeth and diabetes, but that’s not necessarily true.

One scary side effect of not taking care of your teeth and gums is that it can lead to diabetes, which is a scary and very serious disease.

Heart Disease

Another very serious disease that most people want to avoid is heart disease, but if you are not taking care of your gums or teeth you may be leading your heart right on to the path of getting it.

Many dentists have conducted studies that show that those who regularly brush and floss their teeth and don’t have serious gum disease are less likely to get heart disease than those who do not, so if you want a healthy heart it’s best to take care of your teeth.

Other very serious issues

If you couldn’t otherwise tell there are some very serious consequences to not taking care of your teeth and gums and more than just bad breath alone.

Some other frightening issues that are tied to poor oral health care dementia, stroke, cancer, and premature birth.

The moral of the story is make sure to brush and floss your teeth and visit your family dentist as regularly as possible so you don’t have to find out the hard way the consequences of not taking care of your teeth.

Why Taking Care of Your Ankles is Super Important

care for your ankles

A funny thing about feet and ankles is that they are one of our most used body parts, but most of the time we hardly give them a second thought.

The ankle and ankle joints are actually one of the toughest joints of the body, which makes a lot of sense when you think about everything they have to do on a daily basis.

They have to walk, jump up or down, sit, hold your body weight, run and pretty much everything else you need to do.

Over time, even the strongest of joints can wear and tear. Here are a couple of reasons why taking care of your ankles is super important.

You can have the range of motion you need

Have you thought about the muscles and bones required to point your toes?

It may surprise you but it actually takes a lot. A majority of those movements come from your ankles and the bones that they are comprised of. So if you want to be able to keep your range of motion, you need care for your ankles.

It can prevent more painful injuries

Not taking care of your ankles doesn’t mean only your feet and ankles could have the risk of fatigue or injury.  Several other joints and bones that are directly correlated with them as well.

Bones such as your knees and joints, your Achilles tendons, calf, leg, and toes and feet can all be affected by weak ankles.

If you want to find out more about what joints and bones are affected you can ask your local foot and ankle doctor or visit tetonfootandankle.com.

You will be able to exercise more effectively

Physically active people should take care of their ankles. 

Various exercises can put pressure on your ankles. Considering this, you need to make sure to care for your ankles. 

If not cared for, you will start to notice injuries that can keep you from staying active.

You can get around better

Make sure to give your ankles the tender love and care they deserve.

When you do so, your mobility,  will be excellent as you continue to grow.

Why You Should Add Cycling To Your Weekly Routine

person cycling on trails

Riding your bike is not only enjoyable and relaxing, but it can help improve your health and well-being. It’s great for the environment, and it provides individuals with a low cost mode of transportation. Riding a bicycle is common in many areas across the country, and especially metropolitan areas where driving a car just isn’t practical.

Thankfully, you can take advantage of riding a bike through these regions. Even if you don’t reside in a populous area, there are so many benefits to riding a bike that you should consider. Here are a few reasons picking up a bike might benefit your overall well-being.

Mental Clarity

Riding a bike, regardless of whether it’s on a trail or city streets, can help provide mental clarity. For many of us, our desk jobs require us to sit in front of a computer screen for 40 or more hours per week. Riding a bike can allow us to get out, and get some fresh air.

By stepping away from our daily grind, we can relax and unwind. Enjoying fresh air, reflecting upon the week, and de-stressing are all positive benefits of taking a bike ride. It’s important that we give our bodies the opportunity to relax and take a break from the daily stress and pressure that we face on a regular basis.

Physical Advantages

Riding a bike is a great exercise for your body. It can help you to physically become in better shape than you may have been before. Riding a bike up hills and through various elevations can help to give your legs a workout. This can strengthen muscles and get your blood flowing to different regions throughout your body.

Plus, any type of exercise can help keep your heart healthy as well. A healthy heart leads to a longer life, and a lower risk of disease and potential health conditions down the road.

Weight Management

Are you trying to lose a few pounds? Riding a bike can help to increase your chances of losing weight and keeping it off. Developing a regular routine can help keep your body in tip-top shape. We are all busy people by nature, and it can be easy to think of several reasons why we shouldn’t exercise. Develop a habit to incorporate regular exercise, such as biking, into your daily schedule at a minimum of 2-3 times per day. You will be happy and more satisfied with yourself when you start seeing the results you desire.

A Note On Safety

Starting with cycling, as mentioned, has numerous health advantages. For many, it provides mental clarity, and can improve focus. It also helps to provide additional exercise for your body, which is always a positive benefit. For many, it can provide a solution for keeping weight off, and fighting diseases.

It’s always important to remember to protect yourself while cycling. According to lawyers in Newark, NJ, wearing proper gear, such as helmets and protective padding can reduce your risk of a serious injury. It’s also important to be conscious of your environment and stay alert at all times. Whether you are riding in the city or rural trails, during the day or at night, make sure you know where you are going. Wear gear that can help identify you amongst other drivers and pedestrians. Wear reflective gear at night, and equip your bikes with lights so others can see where you are traveling.

5 Tips for Staying Healthy During Flu Season

Flu season is upon us and that means lots of tissues, medicine, and Netflix binge-watching on the couch.

But when it’s cold outside the last thing you want is to be feeling sick on the inside.

It can seem discouraging and hard to keep the bug away, but there are some things that can be done to help prevent the flu.

Here are five tips for staying healthy during flu season and making sure the only thing that’s green and red are the lights on the Christmas tree.

Get some zzz’s

Getting enough sleep is a great way to keep the flu away and make sure that your body is strong enough to fight off anything that comes your way.

When you don’t get enough sleep your body’s defense system is weakened and you are more susceptible to catch whatever is going around. Keep your body well rested to ensure that nasty flu stays away.

Drink lots of water

Staying hydrated can help with so many things having to do with your body, including preventing the flu.

In the winter time especially, drinking plenty of liquids, especially warm ones, can keep your throat from becoming too dry and also flush out mucus that you may have built up.

If you do have a cold, drinking warm liquids could help to keep it at bay. You should consider this if you want help with your fever.

Keep your sugar intake down

It’s tempting during the holiday season to binge on all the yummy, sugary treats. If you want to avoid getting sick with the flu, stay away from sugar as much as you can.

Sugar has been shown to impair the immune system, especially things that contain highly processed sugar. Try to make healthier choices in your diet, but don’t be afraid to have a sweet treat here and there.

Get plenty of vitamin C & E

Eating your fruits and veggies, high in vitamin E and C will help to keep your body strong and protected.

Foods like broccoli, carrots, oranges, and nuts like almonds or peanuts are all foods with these vitamins. They are a yummy way to keep your body fueled with the good stuff it needs to protect itself.

Get help is needed

Sometimes you can take care of yourself, drink water, eat healthy food, and still get caught by the flu bug. Be sure that if you aren’t recovering to seek medical attention.

If your flu symptoms are really bad or you want to know more you can do to prevent or help the flu, visit your family doctor and they can make sure to give you the help you need to get better or to make sure your family and you stay healthy and strong even in the thick of flu season.

5 Things Diabetics Need to Remember About Their Feet

feet health for diabetics

Feet are a very important part of our body, especially considering we use them every day for pretty much everything we do.

This is why it’s so important to take care of them, and for those with diabetes, this is especially true.

You may be asking yourself, “What does foot care have to do with diabetes?” and it’s a very good question.

Sometimes those with diabetes can suffer from nerve damage in their legs and feet due to high blood sugar levels that occur often over time.

This can also mean that they can suffer from bad circulation in their legs and feet which means if something should happen, like a cut or other injury, it can also take longer to heal.

Here are five things that diabetics should remember:

Keep them well moisturized

Dry, cracked feet can get small little cuts that can pretty much go unnoticeable for those with diabetes and nerve damage, and the bad things about these little cuts is that they become infected, which can cause some pretty severe issues.

Those with diabetes should remember to always keep them well-moisturized to prevent this from happening.  According to the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, it’s best not to put lotion in-between the toes because that can lead to a fungal infection.

Wear good socks

Socks are a really good idea if you want to keep them well-protected; especially if you make sure that they are clean and dry every time you wear them.

There are also socks that are made especially for a diabetic’s foot., These are ideal because they good for circulation and moisture.

Don’t walk barefoot

This probably seems like a given, but it’s very crucial that those who have diabetes avoid walking around barefoot.

There are many reasons for this, but one of the primary reasons is that because of nerve damage there is a big chance that if you walk on something or something gets stuck in your foot you may not notice and that could lead to infection. And if that infection isn’t caught in time it could lead to something as drastic as losing your foot.

Get them checked out regularly

If something is happening with your feet, it’s best to get them checked out by a medical professional regularly.

You can go to your regular doctor or visit specialists such as those at the Eastern Idaho Foot Clinic. They can give you insight to make your feet healthy.

Treat them nicely

Treat your feet to warm baths, massages, etc. Happy feet will mean a happier you.

Make sure to avoid things like pedicures.  People with diabetes can be more susceptible to getting infections from the water.

 

5 Ways to Help Joint and Bone Pain in Winter

joint and bone pain

Growing up, you probably heard your grandfather or grandmother or other older relative say, “I think it’s going to rain or snow!” And when you would ask how they know that they would probably say something like, “I can feel it in my knees, or bones, or because my arthritis is flaring up.”

And the truth is they were probably right, colder weather can irritate or cause arthritic bones and joints to hurt and ache, which can cause a lot of discomfort and pain.

If you are finding that you are now the one thinking that, this can ring even more true for you now that the colder months are upon us.

So, how do you find relief for your joint and bone pain during this time of the year?

Here are a couple ways to help with your bones and joints to help relieve some of that pain and let you enjoy all that winter has to offer.

Drink lots of water

From the heater to the cold winds outside, there are many parts of winter and colder weather that can leave you dehydrated.

Make sure to drink plenty of water because that can really help to keep you active and moving, which can really help achy joints, and also studies show that water can make your body more tolerant to pain.

Drinking water is important for many reasons, but especially if you are in higher altitudes because it keeps you hydrated as well as helps give you the oxygen you need.

Bundle up well

Warm joints are happy joints, so keep them warm and cozy by dressing accordingly.

If you know you are going to be spending a lot of time out in rain or snow make sure you have plenty of layers to keep your body warm and safe from the outside temperatures.

Wear things like gloves, socks, hats and tights or leggings to add those extra layers of heat.

Find some warm water

Whether it’s a bath, hot tub, or heated pool, taking a dip in some warm water will not only be soothing to your joints but a great way to stay warm in the winter.

Swimming in a heated pool is a great way to get exercise and help your achy bones take a break from the cold.

Keep on moving

Exercising and just making sure to stay active is a great way to help joints and muscles to stay healthy and strong and to help lessen the pain.

Find an indoor gym or track and keep up your exercise routine during the cold months, even if you are tempted to just stay inside and hibernate.

Talk to an expert

If it seems that your joint pain or pain is getting to be unbearable, it might be time to talk to your doctor and see if it’s something more than just the cold weather.

Your doctor may refer you to an orthopedic surgeon to have them check out the areas that are causing you the most pain and take a closer look to see what the solution may be.

Cavities and How to Treat Them

cavity model

Most people remember getting their first cavity and what followed after.

It usually meant a trip to the dentist as well as a semi-painful filling in your mouth.

For most of the people, other than a couple cavities from their childhood and adolescent years, they haven’t really had to deal with one since, but sadly even in adult years there will likely be a time when you will have to deal with one. You may be already be dealing with one now.

Even so, you may be asking yourself what a cavity really is and what is there to be done to prevent it or do about it?

Here are four important things to know about cavities and why it’s important to go to your dentist to get it treated.

Bacteria are to blame

If you are wondering what exactly causes cavities, the answer is the bacteria that is found in plaque.

What then happens when plaque forms is that bacterium in the plaque turns to acid that then breaks down the protective coating of your teeth and causes small holes, or cavities.

If you have too many of these cavities it can cause pain and discomfort.

Sugar is to blame

Another root cause of cavities is the things that we consume, specifically foods high in sugar and highly acidic foods.

Bacteria can more easily grow from these types of foods because the conversion from sugar to acid happens more quickly.

If you consume a lot of sugar, be sure to brush, floss, and rinse your teeth well. This will prevent bacteria spreading through plaque in your mouth, causing cavities.

If you think you have one you probably do

Cavities in the early stages are pretty painless. By the time you actually start feeling some pain you probably already have one.

If you do have pain or sensitivity make sure to make an appointment with your local dentist, like Durango Dental, to get it checked out and treated.

Leave it to the professionals

Although there are a couple of at-home remedies, you need to seek the professional help of a dentist.

This is because the holes that cavities cause need to be filled, so the bacteria and tooth decay can’t spread.

Daily habits are essential for healthy teeth. Also, be sure to visit the dentist every six months has proven to be healthy as well.

 

5 Reasons Why It’s Important to Have Healthy Gums

oral health to make you happy

When it comes to oral health, the first thing we tend to think about is having healthy teeth. In reality, we should put more focus on our gums.

Our teeth are what we see and usually what we can feel in regard to something being wrong, so we are told to brush and floss our teeth every day to keep things like cavities away.

And although our teeth do play a significant role in our oral health, the star player and the ones we should be paying very close attention too, health-wise, are our gums.

There are many reasons why it’s really important to have healthy gums, but here are five reasons to help you understand how and why healthy gums are essential for a healthy mouth.

Healthy gums, healthy body

You may not have realized this, but your gum health can actually affect the health of your entire body.

Plaque, which is a filmy substance filled with bacteria, can build up in your mouth and then the bacteria can be spread into your blood stream. This has been linked to problems such as heart disease, arthritis, and other types of health problems and infections.

Keeps your teeth in the right place

Your teeth are only as strong as their support, so if you want teeth that are going to stay in place, having healthy gums is essential.

Gum disease can lead to things like tooth decay and even tooth loss, so by taking care of your gums through flossing in between your teeth and using a disinfectant mouthwash, you can keep your gums and teeth in the right place.

You don’t know that something’s wrong

One of the scariest things about gum disease is that you can have it without even realizing it. Oftentimes, in the beginning stages, it’s completely painless. According to the American Dental Hygienist Association, about 75% of Americans have gum disease and don’t even know it.

This is why it’s important that you take care of your mouth. This is also why it’s important to get your mouth checked out by your dentist at least once a year, more if you need it.

They are your teeth’s protection

Gums are the barriers that protect your teeth and jaw.

But in order for the barrier to be effective, it needs to be strong. The only way that gums stay strong is if they are properly cared for.

It’s easy to do

Your routine doesn’t have to be anything extravagant; all it takes is proper brushing, flossing, and using a mouth rinse.

Make sure when you brush your gums you don’t do it too rigorously because they can wear over time. Use a toothbrush with soft but firm bristles and apply gentle pressure as your brush over them.

These small daily habits can lead to a big difference in the health of your mouth.

2 Huge Tips for Creating a Healthier Home

vacuum in clean home

With the holidays fast approaching, and guests soon to be arriving from all over, how healthy would you say your home is right now?

Since the kids have started school and sports, they are likely trailing in germs from all over the place. Pests from outside are trying to make their way indoors as the weather gets cooler. And it’s been a while since you were able to deep clean anything.

But don’t stress! You still have time!

Now is the perfect time to schedule a day when you can go to town on sanitizing your home. You can plan on making it a healthier place for your family and guests.

Dusting

Dust can cause a lot of problems with the respiratory system, especially if anyone in your household has asthma. Before you have people trailing in and stirring up all the dust, and especially before you consider decorating, it would be wise to clean it all up.

Some helpful tips for cleaning up dust include:

  • Start from the top and move to the bottom. Start with the ceiling fan, high shelves, and blinds in your dusting endeavors. That way, anything that falls will be cleaned up when you make it to the floors.
  • Wipe down the walls. You might not visibly see dust accumulating, but it’s there. And how often do any of us clean our walls anyway? This will help in eliminating harmful bacteria that spread through the air and cling to your walls as well.
  • Wipe down counters, shelves, tables.
  • Vacuum. You should vacuum regularly – ideally once a day, but at least a couple times a week, especially in high traffic areas of your home. Make sure to clean out the vacuum so that it actually picks up the dust rather than just spreading it around.
  • Change out air filters. Air filters don’t need to be changed often, but be sure to inspect the filters in your HVAC system to keep the air in your home clean.

Dealing with Pests

It’s no secret the insects and rodents carry diseases. So keeping them out of your home will help to keep it a healthier place. As the weather gets colder, they are only going to move toward the warmth as they search for a place to nest and hibernate.

In order to keep larger pests, like rodents and birds, out of your home, walls, attic, etc., do a thorough inspection of the walls, windows, and doors outside your home. Make sure any large holes or crevices are sealed to keep these pests out.

Here are a few tips to help keep the smaller pests like insects and spiders out of your home this winter:

  • Seal up your doors. Put a weather seal on your door and make sure there are no cracks. You’d be surprised the tiny places insects can squeeze their way into.
  • Make sure your screens are in good condition. In the winter, despite the cold outside, in can get warm inside, causing people to open doors and windows. So make sure you have good screens in place to keep bugs out when this happens.
  • Keep wood piles away from your home. If you keep wood logs at home for burning in the winter, make sure to keep them away from your home. Definitely not against the walls outside your home. This is a place where bugs tend to congregate, so keeping it far will help eliminate some of the nests around your home.
  • Don’t leave food and drinks out. Clean up after meals and snacks to make sure bugs aren’t attracted to anything that does get left out.

If you are renting and live under a property management company like Rooftop Rentals, they might even have a maintenance team who can take care of many of these fixes for you.

If you take care of the dust and the pests, your home will already be so much better off. It will fare much healthier this winter.