Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Maldives: Heaven On Earth

Leave the world behind the moment you set foot on the Maldivian Islands Every year, my wife and I take a vacation somewhere off the beaten track.  More often than

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5 Effective Ways to Keep Teeth Healthy and Strong

Every time that we smile in a picture, sit down to eat a meal or chew some gum, there’s one thing that we definitely need: our teeth. And yet, as much as we rely on them every day, by the annual report that a lot of us get from out dentist, it’s pretty amazing how many of us tend to take them for granted.

If you have problems with plaque, tarter, cavities, gum disease or teeth discoloration and you’d like to know about some of the things that you can do to make your teeth stronger and healthier, you’ve come to the right place. We have five tips to help you to achieve great oral hygiene below:

Brush and floss after every meal. We’re pretty sure that you probably brush your teeth in the morning and before you go to bed at night. But in order to keep your teeth free of bacteria and plaque, it’s best if you brush after every meal. Also, don’t forget to floss your teeth too. According to many dentists, the best kind of floss to use is unwaxed Woven Floss or Oral-B SuperFloss.

Eat the right kinds of foods. Maintaining good oral hygiene isn’t just about what you do on the outside but what you eat on the inside as well. So, make sure that your diet consists of foods that will keep your teeth strong. Some of them include apples, strawberries, almonds, celery and green tea.

healthy teethRinse after each meal. When it comes to oral hygiene, one mistake that a lot of people make is not rinsing out their mouth after each meal. However, by making the time to do so, it can remove a lot of bacteria from your mouth—instantly. You can rinse your mouth by either drinking water, chewing some sugarless gum and making your own mouth rinse and carrying it in a small plastic bottle wherever you go. One of our favorite mouthwash recipes is Wellness Mama. Just go to the site and put “herbal mouthwash recipe” in the search field.

Change your toothbrush regularly. If you were to consult with Walnut Creek, CA Dentist – Frank Sciba, D.D.S. about something that you can do to keep your gums healthy, your teeth clean and also your tooth enamel a pearly white color, something that they would probably recommend you do is change your toothbrush on a regular basis. In fact, you should actually purchase a new toothbrush every 90 days. If you keep it longer than that, not only do the bristles tend to be less effective but they end up filling up with bacteria too. Also, when you’re in the market for a toothbrush, we recommend getting an electric one with soft bristles; that will help to give you the most effective kind of clean.

Visit your dentist each year. Although we’ve heard from childhood that we should see our dentist on an annual basis, some of us fail to do that unless we have a toothache or chipped tooth. But remember that when you see your dentist on a regular basis, it serves as a preventative measure that can keep serious oral health problems at bay. So, if you haven’t seen your dentist in the past 12 months, make an appoint as soon as possible. You, your teeth and your wallet will be so glad that you did.

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The Major Benefits of Telemedicine in Remote Communities

When you hear the term “telemedicine”, your thoughts may turn to 800 services like Ask-a-Nurse that offer medical advice over the phone thanks to on-call nurses that will take caller information and make a determination concerning the best course of action. Often they are prepared to deliver medical advice for simple matters like, say, severe sunburns, ingestion of poisons, or shallow wounds. For pretty much everything else they will direct you to contact appropriate resources in your area like Poison Control or emergency medical services (in other words, call 911 or head to the nearest ER). But the times, they are a-changing. And the opportunities for communications and information sharing offered by the internet have not been lost on the medical community. The result has been growth in the telecommunications sector where medical applications are concerned. In short: telemedicine. And the potential for increased healthcare options, especially for doctors and patients in remote communities, is just one of the many benefits.

Telemedicine focuses on the use of telecommunications technology for the purposes of providing remote clinical services. Generally speaking, clinical services require the patient and the doctor to be in proximity, or in other words, in the same room. There are several reasons for meeting thusly. The main reason for face-to-face interactions is so the doctor can perform a physical examination and run tests in order to deliver a diagnosis and prescribe treatment options. However, part of the import of meeting in person revolves around patient privacy. As we all know, telephones and internet communications are not always completely secure, which means that outsiders could “listen in”, so to speak, garnering private medical information in the process.

telemedicineHowever, telemedicine has evolved significantly over the past several years, to the point that communications, up to and including video conferencing, are secure enough to meet HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliance rules, which protect the privacy of patient health information. In some cases, telemedicine services even employ biometrics (hand or eye scans, for example) to ensure the highest level of security. What this means for patients is that they can feel safe sharing medical information via telecommunications.

While telemedicine may not be foolproof, it does provide both doctors and patients with more options, especially when they are in remote areas where access to information, training, and specialists may be understandably limited. And the benefits are myriad. For starters, doctors have the ability to share patient files with geographically distant colleagues in a secure and efficient manner, giving them the opportunity to reach out to other healthcare providers for the purposes of getting additional opinions or even collecting patient medical history. They can also conference, email, and even communicate wirelessly without the fear of breaking patient confidentiality.

As for patients, they may soon have access to a growing network of medical information, namely their own medical history, from the comfort of their own home. And for patients that are miles away from the nearest medical facility, access to telecare could make a difference between life and death, or merely spare them the hassle of undertaking major travel to garner simple medical advice. The long and short of it is that telecommunications are revolutionizing the way that patient care can be managed. And with more and more healthcare providers beginning to endorse telemedicine, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a fixture in the medical community at large, all of which is good news for patients near and far.

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5 Effective Ways to Get Yourself Motivated to Hit the Gym

When it comes to getting back in shape, motivation is often the largest obstacle that people face. While your intentions may be good, it can be extremely hard to dedicate yourself to going to the gym regularly. Here are 5 effective ways to get yourself motivated to hit the gym so that you can get in shape and stay healthy.

  1. First, set a schedule. If you leave you gym time up in the air, it is much easier for you to get distracted or keep putting the gym off for later. Make sure to set a realistic schedule that works well with your social plans and your work schedule. Getting into a routine makes exercising more convenient. When a specific time frame is allotted to the gym, you will not have to worry about schedule conflicts.
  2. Choose a gym at a convenient location. If your gym is far away, you are less likely to want to travel to get there each day for your workout. Choose a location that is either close to your job or close to home. This will help you to eliminate excuses as well as time and money on travel. Even better, try to find a gym to join that is within walking, jogging or biking distance so you can exercise on your way there and back!
  3. motivation to go to gymTake classes. Most gyms offer unique classes such as kick boxing, spin, yoga, Pilates and more. These options help to keep you motivated and work to deter boredom from a monotonous exercise routine. Switching it up challenges your body and keeps your mind and muscles engaged. In addition, classes are at specific times, which will motivate you to get to the gym by a certain time, instead of putting it off. Classes hold you accountable, and instructors will provide inspiration and guidance.
  4. Consider working out with a friend. Often this helps you to stay accountable to one another and to your workout commitment. You are much less likely to flake out on a workout session if a friend is relying on you and expecting you to be there by a certain time. Gym buddies help to keep you in check and on track.
  5. Lastly, be sure to reward yourself. It is important to give yourself a reward for your dedication and hard work. Rewards hep to reinforce habits. Eventually, the habit will become ingrained and you won’t need the rewards, but they help keep you on track. Maybe your reward is a special food treat, a massage at the gym, or just some alone time after your workout!

Gyms are a commitment, both time wise and monetarily. Be sure to take advantage of your local gym or anytime fitness cost by using it frequently. While sticking to a gym routine can be challenging at first, with consistency and dedication, you can make it a habit. Be sure to join a gym that is close and convenient, set a specific schedule, workout with a friend, take gym classes, and reward yourself in order to see progress and remain committed to a gym regimen. Not only will these tips help you to see physical results in your body, but they will also help you to develop commitment and focus towards a goal.

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5 Heel Pain Treatment and Prevention Tips

If you’re someone who works out on a regular basis (especially if your exercise regimen consists of running), then there’s going to come a time when you’ll find yourself feeling a bit of heel pain. The thing that’s important to remember about this kind of discomfort is that you don’t want to ignore it. After all, pain is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong and in your heel’s case, it’s usually an indication that it’s receiving more stress and strain than it can handle.

The good news is that there are some things that you can do that will help to treat and also prevent heel pain. If you’d like to know what some of those things are, we have provided you with a proven list below:

Get plenty of rest. When our bodies are in pain, one of the best things that we can do for it is to get some rest. That gives it time to rejuvenate itself and heal from its injuries. By resting, we don’t just mean that you should get 6-8 hours of sleep. Actually, when it comes to treating heel pain, it’s also a good idea to spend a few days not doing any kind of exercising that would put pressure on your feet. This includes running, cross-training or even walking. Your body will let you know when it’s ready to resume your workout routine.

heel painApply some ice. Usually heel pain has some level of inflammation inside of it. That’s why we recommend that you apply some ice to the place that it hurts. Although you could put some ice cubes in a hand towel, as the ice melts, that can get to be pretty messy. Our recommendation? Put some water into a plastic bottle, place it inside of the freezer, let the water freeze and then take it out and put it on your sore heel. You should start to feel immediate relief.

Wear supportive shoes. Once you’re ready to start working out again, your heels are going to need some proper support. Road Runners Sports is one website that features several sneakers that are specifically designed in such a way that your heels will get the kind of cushioning that they need. Just go to the site and put “heel support running shoes”. You can also go to websites like Amazon for inserts and insoles that you can place inside of the shoes that you already have. Also, try and avoid walking barefoot as much as possible. Even if it’s wearing something as simple as flip-flops, that will reduce your risk of having heel pain again.

Stretch before working out. According to the Advanced Foot and Ankle Institute of Georgia , something else that’s important to do is to stretch before working out. One website that has a list of exercises that you can do to heal from and also prevent heel pain is Heel-That-Pain.com.

Lose a few pounds. Whether you’ve just started working out and you’re looking for a way to prevent heel pain or you’re a fashion maven and you want to know how to avoid heel pain from high heels , something that your doctor might recommend, if you are overweight, is that you close a few pounds. That’s because the more you weigh, the more pressure you actually put on your feet as you move about. So, if you need to lose some weight, consult a nutritionist, work out regularly and drink plenty of water. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to look and feeling better, from head to heel!

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Martial Arts Training Tips to Cut Weight

If you ask any random person about the rules for weight loss, you’re bound to get similar responses along the lines of “diet and exercise” or “burn more calories than you consume”, just for example. But these overarching missives don’t really tell you how to lose weight, which is perhaps why so many people still turn to quick fixes like weight loss supplements and fad diets. We know that these products and practices won’t really aid in our weight loss, at least not in the long term. But trying to figure out a diet and exercise regimen is a lot of work when you have very little information to go on. After all, we live in a society that prizes work over health and pushes fast food as…well…food. However, there are ways to make your transformation easier. And whether you’re an average Joe looking to lose a few pounds that seem to have stubbornly adhered themselves to your midsection or you’re a body builder seeking a new way to cut, you may not have considered the potential benefits of martial arts training when it comes to shedding unwanted weight.

For one thing, martial arts can be fun. Sure, most people start the practice for the purposes of self-defense. But generally speaking, the drills you undergo are likely to tone and tighten muscles that you need for proper posture, as well as offensive and defensive moves. And depending on the martial art you’re doing, how much time you spend training, and the level of intensity, you could lose weight along the way. In addition, you’re likely to enjoy your lessons, either group or individual (or both), a lot more than walking on a treadmill and staring at a wall for an hour every day, or forcing yourself to participate in activities you hate. The hardest part of weight loss for many people is figuring out how to fit exercise into their lives without making it a chore or a bore. Martial arts could be the answer.

martial arts trainingHere’s something to keep in mind along the way, though. In order to lose weight you’re going to have to start with a balanced and nutritious diet that is sustainable. In the beginning you’ll be working with a limited caloric intake (a requirement when you’re losing weight). But in order to speed the weight loss process, you also need to engage in exercise to burn additional calories. The average person maintaining their weight is recommended to commit to 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise 3-5 times a week. If you want to lose weight, you should double the time to one hour. So unless you are participating in other forms of exercise in between, you’re going to have an awful lot of karate practice to complete every week. If you find it fun, though, the time will go by in a snap.

For this reason you should definitely take classes, learn regimens you can practice at home, and find a partner to spar with. This will help to keep it interesting. And if you are committed to relying solely on martial arts for cutting weight, think about taking classes with different schools, such as Kenpo Karate, Jeet Kune Do, Aikido, and East Coast Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, just to name a few. Trying different styles can not only help to keep your muscles responding rather than becoming too accustomed to the same movement, but it can stimulate your mind as well, a part of the weight loss process than many people neglect to address.

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When The RV Becomes Your Home

A growing number of Americans have given up owning a home and made the RV lifestyle permanent The freedom to hop in your vehicle and go anywhere in the US

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When Hollywood Stars Date (Much) Younger Men

Many of Hollywood’s female A-List stars have embraced a dating pool of adoring (and beautiful) “boytoys” The newest TV ad for OurTime.com features a happy, athletic couple that exudes the

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Baseball Heats Up A Frigid Nation

With Major League Baseball here, still frozen baseball fans can finally warm up Growing up near Chicago, the thought of spring training baseball as a kid provided warmth on cold

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A Complete Guide to Taking Care of Your Teeth

Taking care of your teeth is a serious business. A white, straight smile can make a huge difference when it comes to appearance – much nicer than a set of crooked, discoloured ‘gravestones’. However, many people don’t care for their teeth properly, making things harder for themselves in the long run. Failing to look after your teeth properly will not only result in a dodgy smile, but probably more money in dentistry costs and a whole lot of pain. Even if you have good oral health, you shouldn’t leave your next trip to the dentist too long before visiting again. Let’s take a look at how you should be caring for your teeth:

teeth.jpg

Photo Author: Flickr

How to Brush Properly

The amount of people that don’t brush properly is really unbelievable. The average person brushes for around 45 seconds – nowhere near long enough to clean teeth and rid the mouth of all that bacteria. Some people still use manual toothbrushes, even with all of the great electric toothbrushes out today. Brushing with mediocre equipment or even rushing a brush just isn’t good enough! Brushing properly is essential to your mouth health. You’re going to need:

  • An electric toothbrush (I recommend Braun).

  • A toothpaste containing fluoride.

If you want to make your teeth whiter, you could also select a whitening toothpaste. Here’s how to brush properly:

  • Make sure you toothbrush is fully charged in order for it to be at it’s most powerful.

  • Use a pea sized amount of toothpaste, and begin brushing your teeth. As you do so, concentrate on each tooth for a few seconds at a time, brushing in circular motions. You should also take time to brush the gums, backs of the teeth, and tongue. Make sure you cover all of your mouth and just keep going until your toothbrush vibrates to alert you that you’ve brushed enough. If you haven’t got one of these brushes, use a timer and set it to two minutes.

  • Don’t worry if your teeth bleed a little the first few times you do this – you won’t do any damage!

  • There’s no need to put excess pressure on the toothbrush, as the motion it makes automatically will be enough pressure alone. If you put too much pressure on the brush, you could brush away your enamel.

Many electric toothbrushes will tell you when it’s been 2 minutes – get one of these if you can! If bleeding continues for longer than a couple of brushes, you should see a dentist and discuss the problem ASAP.

Flossing

Flossing is the next important step in keeping your teeth and mouth healthy. The bits stuck in between our teeth can cause bad breath, as well as gum disease and other gross problems. For this you need to floss at least once a day. Make sure you select a floss suited to your teeth – some people will have wider gaps than others. Floss between every tooth for a few seconds to remove debris thoroughly (you won’t believe the amount of rubbish that gets stuck in there)!

Mouthwash

Mouthwash should never be used alone as a means to clean the teeth, but it’s a great way to follow brushing and flossing. It helps to get rid of any remaining debris in the mouth, freshen the breath, and in some cases even whiten the teeth. Make sure you swill for around 30 seconds for the full benefits – I like Listerine best!

Whitening

If your teeth are a little stained from certain foods and drink, there is the option of whitening your teeth. You can do this with a professional clinic like ABSAMC.com, or try it yourself at home. Obviously, the results you get with a professional clinic are going to be much better than anything you could achieve at home, but if you only have a case of mild staining then you should be fine. Make sure you buy a whitening kit from a reputable seller however, as some contain dangerous ingredients that can damage your teeth or make them sensitive.

Usually, a home whitening kit will involve you making a gum shield to insert into your mouth with the whitening product, while some kits just use strips. The whitening product always lasts longer if you keep it cool in the fridge! You may also get a small light to hold in your mouth as you do the treatment, as this is thought to accelerate the whitening process. Remember, you’ll probably only go a few shades lighter with a home kit – for dramatic results go to a professional!

Your Diet

Your diet has a lot to do with the state of your teeth. If you’re constantly eating and drinking sugary products, then you will probably find that your teeth start to deteriorate and you may need lots of fillings, or even teeth taken out. Try to eat natural products in order to keep your teeth as healthy as possible. You should also avoid smoking, as this is a great way to stain your teeth yellow/brown and give you awful breath. You can drink tea, coffee, and red wine, just make sure you do so in moderation!

Visiting The Dentist

Visiting the dentist is essential, and you shouldn’t leave it longer than a year in between visits. Any longer than this, and irreparable damage could be done to your teeth. The dentist will tell you just how well you’re doing in the oral hygiene area (you’ll be doing well if you follow these tips), and he may also clean your teeth for you. If you need a filling or something else, then he’ll likely book you in for that another day. Some people are afraid of the dentist, so put off going for as long as possible. However, this is very bad and can cause even worse damage – costing more money, and resulting in more pain in the long-run. Face your fears and go to the dentist!

Your teeth are very important – follow these tips and you’ll have a healthy, bright smile to be proud of!

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