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American Heart Month Means Time to Get in Shape

February 6th, 2014 Raquel Rothe

María Simón

Celebrity fitness trainer, volunteer

So it’s February, and although resolutions are beginning to fade, they’re still there, shining dimly in the background of your mental to-do list. The determination to get back in shape is still alive, but already unforgiving schedules, nagging colds, and less-than-optimal weather conditions have gotten in the way.

Whatever you do, don’t give up… February is here to the rescue! What better time to get back on the wagon than during American Heart Month! Whether your goal is to lose weight, lower your blood pressure or simply become more active, the path is clear and, contrary to what the negative voices in our heads are saying, these goals are attainable.

I’m all for vanity as a great motivator to get healthy, but let’s not lose sight of the most important goal: to live longer and stronger. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, even more than all cancers… combined! Obviously, excess fat is a contributing factor, and dropping a few pounds greatly improves heart health. Nevertheless, losing weight shouldn’t be the only focus. After all, in case you haven’t heard, strong is the new skinny! It is important to be informed and have realistic goals.

Research by the American Heart Association has shown that visceral (abdominal) fat is directly related to higher incidences of heart health issues. But before you throw yourself to the floor in a frantic attempt to do as many crunches as humanly possible, know that six-pack abs are no more healthier than those with reasonable height-to-weight ratios. The American Heart Association recommends a waist circumference that is less than 35 inches for women. However, this is relative to height. Therefore, a waist circumference that is less than half of one’s height is another guideline toward procuring a healthy size, as opposed to going by the air-brushed model on the cover of your favorite magazine.

By now, we’ve been bombarded with every lose-weight-quick diet tip and get-flat-abs-quicker exercise routine. Fitness professionals, like myself, are forever searching for exciting exercise combinations in order to motivate our clients. But between you and me, the truth is, simple is best. Sometimes, just finding the time (and a wearable sports bra) is complicated enough.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 30-45 minutes of any exercise to achieve a healthier lifestyle. The keyword here is “any.” You don’t have to be drenched in sweat and feel like you’re about to die in order to have accomplished a good work-out, but if you’re determined, a lot can be done in just 30 minutes.

Start with a casual warm-up, jogging in place for a minute, increase to sprinting for another minute, and add jumping jacks for yet another minute. You can go back to sprinting, then jogging to bring your intensity down before stopping. Add some arm circles and leg swings for dynamic stretches while keeping your heart rate somewhat elevated.

Now that you’re all warmed up, let’s use your home as a gym. The bottom two steps of any stairway can be used as a “stepper” to do alternating step-ups, adding knee raises to work the quadriceps and then heel lifts to work the hamstrings and glutes. Use a dining room chair for tricep dips, and you can even sit in the chair, hold on to your seat (literally), bring your knees into your chest and extend your legs for a great abdominal workout.

Finally, take it to the floor and add some planks to the mix, going from elbows to hands to make it a little more interesting (if not entertaining) for an effective core and upper body exercise. Spend a couple of minutes at each of your homemade stations, take a one-minute water break, and repeat three times. End your at-home exercise routine by holding a few static stretches and you are good to go!

Find out more information about Health Benefits of Weight Training for Women,Abdominal Exercises that Strengthen Your Core and other heart-healthy routines by visiting Go Red For Women.

This blog post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post andlesscancer.org, in recognition of both World Cancer Day and National Cancer Prevention Day (both Feb. 4), and in conjunction with lesscancer.org’s panel oncancer in Washington that day. To see all the other posts in the series, clickhere. For more information about lesscancer.org, click here

Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Improves Blood Pressure in Men

October 31st, 2012 Raquel Rothe

14 Little Changes for a Healthier Life

November 17th, 2011 Raquel Rothe

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/menshealth/14-little-changes-healthier-life

That’s pretty much it. Small changes, big results. It’s my mantra. And it should be yours, too. Fact is, it’s hard to make big changes in life. That’s why so many of us struggle with our weight and health. The problem isn’t knowing what to do; it’s doing it. So forget grand, life-changing goals and start small instead.

Do 5 Easy Things Now to Extend Your Life, what do sleep and sex have to do with it?

September 29th, 2011 Raquel Rothe

Words to expand your sleep vocabulary-#10

July 1st, 2011 Raquel Rothe

Hypopnea

A hypopnea refers to shallow breathing, or a transient reduction of airflow that occurs while asleep and lasts for at least 10 seconds. It is less severe than apnea, which refers to a more complete loss of airflow. Hypopnea may occur due to a partial obstruction of the upper airway.

The 10 Things You Should Hate About The Loss of Sleep

September 20th, 2010 admin

Did you know that the lack of sleep can make you grumpy and foggy? You may not realize what it can do to your life, memory, sex, looks and even the ability to loss weight, these are all serious-and surprising effect of sleep loss.
Sleepiness Causes Accidents-Some of the biggest disasters in recent history were caused by sleep deprivation: the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island, the massive/destructive Exxon Valdez oil spill, the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl are just a few. Sleep loss is a big public safety hazard every day on the roads we travel. Drowsiness can slow reaction time as much as driving drunk; many studies have proven this and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that fatigue is a cause in 100,000 auto crashes with 1,500 crash-related deaths a year in the U.S.
The loss of sleep dumbs you down-Sleep plays a critical role in thinking and learning. Lack of sleep hurts these cognitive processes in many ways. First, it impairs attention, alertness, concentration, reasoning, and problem solving so this makes it more difficult to learn efficiently. Secondly during the night, various sleep cycles play a role in “consolidating” memories in the mind. If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t be able to remember what you learned and experienced during the day.
Serious health problems can lead to sleep deprivation-Sleep disorders and chronic sleep loss can put you at risk for:
Heart disease
Heart attack
Heart failure
Irregular heartbeat
High blood pressure
Stroke
Diabetes
According to some estimates, 90% of people with insomnia — a sleep disorder characterized by trouble falling and staying asleep — also have another health condition.

4. Lack of Sleep Kills Sex Drive-Sleep specialists say that sleep-deprived men and women report lower and libidos less interest in sex. Depleted energy, sleepiness, and increased tension may be largely to blame. For men with sleep apnea, a respiratory problem that interrupts sleep, there may be another factor in the sexual slump. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism in 2002 suggests that many men with sleep apnea also have low testosterone levels. In the study, nearly half of the men who suffered from severe sleep apnea also secreted abnormally low levels of testosterone during the night.

5. Sleepiness Is Depressing-In a 1997 study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, people who slept less than five hours a night for seven nights felt stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. Over time, lack of sleep and sleep disorders can contribute to the symptoms of depression. The most common sleep disorder, insomnia, has the strongest link to depression. In a 2007 study of 10,000 people, those with insomnia were five times as likely to develop depression as those without. In fact, insomnia is often one of the first symptoms of depression. Insomnia and depression feed on each other. Sleep loss often aggravates the symptoms of depression, and depression can make it more difficult to fall asleep. On the positive side, treating sleep problems can help depression and its symptoms, and vice versa.

6. Lack of Sleep Ages Your Skin-Most people have experienced sallow skin and puffy eyes after a few nights of missed sleep. But it turns out that chronic sleep loss can lead to lackluster skin, fine lines, and dark circles under the eyes. When you don’t get enough sleep, your body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol. In excess amounts, cortisol can break down skin collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth and elastic. Sleep loss also causes the body to release too little human growth hormone. When we’re young, human growth hormone promotes growth. As we age, it helps increase muscle mass, thicken skin, and strengthen bones. “It’s during deep sleep — what we call slow-wave sleep — that growth hormone is released,” says Phil Gehrman, PhD, CBSM, assistant professor of psychiatry and clinical director of the Behavioral Sleep Medicine program at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “It seems to be part of normal tissue repair — patching the wear and tear of the day.”

7. Forgetful? Sleepiness Makes You this way-If you are trying to keep your memory sharp? Try getting plenty of sleep. In 2009, American and French researchers determined that brain events called “sharp wave ripples” are responsible for consolidating memory. The ripples also transfer learned information from the hippocampus to the neocortex of the brain, where long-term memories are stored. Sharp wave ripples occur mostly during the deepest levels of sleep.

8. Losing Sleep Can Make You Gain Weight-When it comes to body weight, it may be that if you snooze, you lose. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. According to a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours. Recent research has focused on the link between sleep and the peptides that regulate appetite. “Ghrelin stimulates hunger and leptin signals satiety to the brain and suppresses appetite,” says Siebern. “Shortened sleep time is associated with decreases in leptin and elevations in ghrelin.” Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite. It also stimulates cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Ongoing studies are considering whether adequate sleep should be a standard part of weight loss program. So if we are gaining sleep, we should be losing weight.

9. Lack of Sleep May Increase Risk of Death-In the “Whitehall II Study,” British researchers looked at how sleep patterns affected the mortality of more than 10,000 British civil servants over two decades. The results, published in 2007, showed that those who had cut their sleep from seven to five hours or fewer a night nearly doubled their risk of death from all causes. In particular, lack of sleep doubled the risk of death from cardiovascular disease.

10. Sleep Loss Impairs Judgment, Especially About Sleep! Lack of sleep can affect our interpretation of events. This hurts our ability to make sound judgments because we may not assess situations accurately and act on them wisely. Sleep-deprived people seem to be especially prone to poor judgment when it comes to assessing what lack of sleep is doing to them. In our increasingly fast-paced world, functioning on less sleep has become a kind of badge of honor. But sleep specialists say if you think you’re doing fine on less sleep, you’re probably wrong. And if you work in a profession where it’s important to be able to judge your level of functioning, this can be a big problem. “Studies show that over time, people who are getting six hours of sleep, instead of seven or eight, begin to feel that they’ve adapted to that sleep deprivation — they’ve gotten used to it,” Gehrman says. “But if you look at how they actually do on tests of mental alertness and performance, they continue to go downhill. So there’s a point in sleep deprivation when we lose touch with how impaired we are.”

If you would like to join in on discussions regarding your sleep, please Become a Fan on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/sleepEZcenter We would LOVE to be a resource for your sleep!

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

September 12th, 2010 Raquel Rothe

So you never have energy and you are tired most days…..you may have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

OSA is a serious, potentially life-threatening disorder that occurs during sleep, and that may lead to life-threatening conditions. The upper airway repeatedly collapses, causing cessation of breathing (apnea-air flow is blocked) or inadequate breathing (hypopnea) and sleep fragmentation. The sleep fragmentation results in chronic daytime sleepiness.

Identifications:

Are you sleepy during the day?
Do you have disruptive snoring at night?
Do you have pauses in breathing during the night?
Do you have pauses in breathing during the night?
Do you wake yourself up choking or gasping?
Obesity
Large neck (less than 17″-men, less than 16″-women)
Restless sleep
Diagnosis: If you have these signs and symptoms, they could be indicative of sleep apnea. Report these signs and symptoms to your healthcare professional as you may need to undergo a diagnostic sleep study. This test is painless and provides information about how a patient breathes during sleep. The data that is collected will enable the physician to determine the type and severity of sleep apnea, along with your treatment options.

Potential Consequences if OSA is left untreated: Now you know you have sleep apnea but not sure you want it treated? “I think I will be fine without wearing that mask. I’ve slept this way most of my life”.
Decreased quality of life
OSA patients, prior to diagnosis and treatment, consume 2 1/2 times more health care resources that patients without OSA
Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Cardiac arrhythmias (irregularities in heart rate/rhythm)
Stroke
Heart Attack
Diabetes
Increased risk of motor vehicle and work-related accidents due to sleepiness
Interventions could include Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy, surgery, body position modification, oral appliances, lifestyle changes such as weight loss (if needed), good sleep hygiene, and avoidance of alcohol, sedatives and hypnotics. Your health depends on your intervention to improve your quality of life. At Sleep EZ, we provide a home-like environment that is relaxing so if you need to undergo diagnostic testing for sleep apnea your experience is more comfortable. Remember, it’s your insurance, it’s your choice where to be tested. Sleep EZ “Diagnostic excellence in a serene setting”

Some of the more common sleep disorders

June 22nd, 2010 admin

Our slumber can be plagued by over 80 known sleep problems and disorders. It is important to talk to your doctor or a sleep specialist as these can be diagnosed and are treatable. If you are having difficulty sleeping, be sure to maintain a sleep diary and share this with your doctor or healthcare specialist when reporting the issues. Some of the more common sleep disorders include:

Circadian Rhythm Disorders-The complex biological “clock” in humans sometimes breaks down. In delayed sleep phase syndrome, the “clock” runs later than normal. The sufferer often cannot fall asleep before 3 or 4 a.m. and cannot “wake” before noon. In advanced sleep phase syndrome, a person falls asleep early, for example at 7 or 8 p.m. and wakes at 3 or a.m. and is unable to fall bask asleep.

Insomnia-is a sleep problem experienced by over 50% of Americans, according to the 2008 NSF Sleep in America Poll, who report difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakenings, waking too early and having trouble getting back to sleep, and waking unrefreshed. Insomnia can be short or long-term and may be due to stress, an underlying medical or psychiatric problem such as depression, a loss or poor sleep/health habits.

Sleep Apnea-is commonly recognized sleep disorder. Sufferers actually stop breathing for at least 10 seconds, waking up hundreds of times per night, snorting and paused breathing as their body struggles for air. Untreated, its linked to high blood pressure, diabetes, and an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Narcolepsy-people experience “sleep attacks” that can occur at any time. Strong emotions sometimes bring on a sudden loss of muscle control called “cataplexy”. When falling asleep or waking up, sufferers also may experience brief paralysis and/or vivid images and sounds.

Restless Legs Syndrome-is recognized by people having unusual sensations in the legs (and sometimes arms) that disturb sleep. Only movement brings relief. Individuals may also experience periodic limb movement disorder, PLMD, or jerking of the legs during sleep.

Sleepwalking-a tendency to get up and wander about while asleep, is common in children and tends to run in families. Protect the sleepwalker by keeping doors and windows locked.

Sleep Terrors-often scream or fight but have no memory of the event the next day.

Treatments for sleep disorders may include medication, light therapy, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices, and scheduled naps.

Sleep Apnea Solutions – ABC News

May 4th, 2010 admin

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/sleep-apnea-solutions-10511936