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A new drug shows promise in repairing stroke damage

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Old man with stroke

Nervgen.com provides information about new therapies for treating nervous system damage resulting from injury or disease.

A new study, published recently, offers encouraging evidence for a novel injectable drug’s ability to lessen some of the early brain damage brought on by a stroke. This means that human victims of a stroke may one day be able to regain or enhance bodily functions, including key cognitive ones.

According to the American Heart Association, stroke accounted for nearly one in every 19 deaths in the United States in 2019. Stroke is the only condition treated with an FDA-approved drug that does not repair damage and must be administered within 4.5 hours. Stroke victims lose millions of brain cells when blood flow is cut off due to lack of blood flow. Individuals who survive a stroke are at increased risk for disabling impairment in speech, language, and general motor coordination, as well as walking and cognitive difficulties.

NVG-291-R is a novel drug that is being developed to assist with neuron regeneration after a stroke. To test the drug, scientists at the University of Cincinnati induced strokes in mice. NVG-291-R not only created new neuronal connections but also stimulated stem cells to migrate to areas of the brain that had been damaged by a stroke.

The researchers were pleased with the outcome.

The researchers noted improvements in motor and sensory function in the mice—meaning that they were able to walk, grasp objects, and detect the presence of objects on their paws. Spatial learning and memory were also boosted, according to the press release.

The researchers noted that the drug was equally effective whether given up to seven days after the stroke occurred or not. Other therapies in development for stroke damage must be administered within 24 to 48 hours of a stroke or they will be ineffective, the researchers said.

NervGen, a biotech firm dedicated to nervous system restoration therapies, created the drug. According to CEO Paul Brennan of NervGen, ‘the existing standard of care for stroke is one drug administered to less than 10% of those affected, and it only prevents additional injury in those who receive it.’

“Our drug may revolutionize stroke treatment if the substantial improvements in function that we observed in this study are also seen in patients.”

The findings of the study were published in the Cell Reports medical journal.

Nervgen.com provides information on developing therapies for nervous system damage resulting from injury or illness.

Avoid making these beginner mistakes when building your biceps.

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Avoid making these beginner mistakes when building your biceps.
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio: https://www.pexels.com/photo/determined-muscular-sportsman-exercising-with-dumbbell-3836878/

These issues are simple to resolve. Let’s address some of the most common issues that may be preventing you from achieving your biceps goals.

Immediately after lifting a dumbbell for the first time, most gym rats hope their T-shirts will be blown away by a pair of cannonball bis someday.

Most trainees understand that developing a formidable set of guns is more of a journey than a quick trip, and they will reach their destination sooner if they focus on proper technique when performing dumbbell biceps curls. According to Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., most lifters make a host of little errors the first time they do biceps curls—poor form and mechanics being among them—which can impede early gains and prevent them from achieving the arm pump they desire.

Fortunately, most of these issues are simple to resolve. Let’s address some of the most common issues that may be preventing you from achieving the biceps you want.

Avoid these three beginner mistakes.

One major mistake people make is focusing too much on their shoulders.

The more repetitions you do during a set of bis curls, the more likely you are to shift your shoulders in order to help propel the movement. As a result, your biceps receive less emphasis.

The trick to avoiding this error is to pin your elbows to your sides and move at the joint only. Whether you use barbells, dumbbells, cables, or any other type of curl, the goal is to focus on isolating the biceps muscle. You won’t be able to eliminate shoulder involvement with every rep (you’ll eventually become fatigued), but keeping your elbows tight will help your biceps do the work for the majority of reps.

Using too much wrist flexion is a common mistake.

Keeping your wrists in a nice, neutral position each time we curl will create the most challenge for our biceps.

The issue with incorporating wrist flexion into a biceps curl, as opposed to keeping the wrist straight, is that you’ll use the wrist and forearm muscles to initiate the movement, which will keep the biceps under tension throughout the lift. Consequently, when the wrist is flexed, the lever that the biceps must work against is decreased, resulting in a less demanding exercise and a lessening in the stimulus that promotes muscle growth.

Maintain a neutral wrist position throughout the exercise to avoid wrist flexion. Only the elbow should flex during a curl; the wrist should remain neutral.

The third biceps-building mistake is being lazy with supination.

Our biceps perform two actions: bending at the elbow and supinating or turning the palm upward. To emphasize the muscle squeeze, both actions should be performed efficiently with each repetition.

Make sure that your palms are shifting to the ceiling early in each curl rep if you want to get the most out of your curl. Otherwise, you’re not doing it right.

How Fitness Helps Your Mental Health

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How Fitness Helps Your Mental Health: A Guide to Getting Fit and Feeling Fantastic
Photo by Jenny Hill on Unsplash

Mental health and fitness are both crucial factors to a happy, healthy life. While it is common knowledge that staying active can improve your general wellbeing, many overlook the positive impact that being physically fit can have on your mental health. To help you understand how fitness positively impacts your mental well-being, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide that delves into the impact of physical activity on your mental state. From relieving stress to fighting depression and anxiety, these benefits of getting fit and staying active will have you feeling fantastic in no time!

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Stress can wreak havoc on both your physical and mental health and can even lead to serious health issues like diabetes, weight gain, and heart disease over time. Luckily, a healthy amount of exercise can help combat stress by reducing levels of cortisol and boosting serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and sleep. In fact, regular exercise is as effective as medication for relieving stress and anxiety, making it a great option for those looking to manage their mood through lifestyle changes. Regular exercise can also help you sleep better by improving circulation and reducing stress hormones that keep you up at night.

Fight Depression

While exercise can be an amazing way to combat stress and anxiety, it can also be effective in treating depression as well. One study found that regular exercise significantly reduced symptoms of depression in adults aged 40 and over. How does this happen? Exposure to natural light causes your brain to release a chemical called serotonin. Serotonin is responsible for making us feel happy and balanced. When serotonin levels are low, it can lead to depression. Exercising can help increase your serotonin levels, improve your mood and help you feel happier. Exercise can also help you sleep better, which is important for treating depression. Sleep is the time when your body heals and regenerates. It’s when your brain recharges and you release hormones that help you feel happy. When you’re depressed, you tend to have trouble sleeping. The reason for this is that your brain is always active when you are awake. It’s like it can’t switch off. Whereas when you’re sleeping, your brain slows down, which is what you need when you’re depressed.

Promote Better Sleep

Exercising regularly can help you sleep better, which is important for treating depression. Sleep is the time when your body heals and regenerates. It’s when your brain recharges and you release hormones that help you feel happy. When you’re depressed, you tend to have trouble sleeping. The reason for this is that your brain is always active when you are awake. It’s like it can’t switch off. Whereas when you’re sleeping, your brain slows down, which is what you need when you’re depressed. Exercise makes your body produce chemicals that can help you relax and let go of the stresses of the day. These are called endorphins, and they can make you feel happy, like a natural high. Regular exercise can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated when you wake.

Improve Your Mood

Regular exercise has been proven to reduce anxiety and help manage mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder. Experts agree that physical activity truly is a mood-altering activity, with many citing the release of mood-boosting endorphins as the reason for this. Exercise also elevates your endorphin levels through other mechanisms, such as the increase in blood flow and the burning of calories. In addition, regular exercise has been shown to boost energy levels, which can help you take on the day feeling great.

Strengthen Your Brain and Muscles

As we age, our muscles and brain cells naturally begin to deteriorate. This is referred to as “aging”, or “senior moments”! Exercising regularly can help you maintain your strength, mobility, flexibility, and cognitive function as the years progress, meaning you can stay actively and independently involved in life for longer. Now that’s something to get excited about! Exercising regularly can also help prevent age-related diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. The reason for this is that it encourages your body to produce more “good” cholesterol (HDL), which helps lower your risk of developing heart disease. Additionally, regular exercise increases your metabolism, triggering your body’s fat-burning abilities. This can help you lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels and preventing insulin resistance.

Conclusion

Mental health and fitness are both important factors to a happy, healthy life. While it is common knowledge that staying active can improve your general wellbeing, many overlook the positive impact that being physically fit can have on your mental state. Exercising regularly can reduce stress and anxiety, fight depression, promote better sleep, improve your mood and strengthen your brain and muscles. There really is no excuse not to get out there and fit in a workout – so what are you waiting for?

Benefits of Fern-Activ Multivitamins

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Did you know that a lack of vitamins can result in dry hair, pimples, and even depression? Sounds scary. But it’s also true. Fern-Activ Vitamins are an essential part of our diet; they don’t just improve our appearance or body but also help keep our minds healthy. Users should take multivitamins regularly to supplement their diet and avoid deficiencies. You might have read somewhere that this type of pill is unnecessary and not necessary, but the evidence shows the exact opposite. In fact, experts recommend taking Fern-Activ multivitamins as soon as you start seeing results. Once you see the benefits of them—no pun intended—you will never stop taking them again!

Image Source: FreeImages

What Are Multivitamins?

A Fern-Activ multivitamin is a supplement that provides vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that may otherwise get missed in a person’s diet. The term “multivitamin” can also refer to a product that combines various vitamins and minerals in one tablet, capsule, or another dosage form. Multivitamins are usually taken daily, as they help prevent deficiencies in the body caused by factors like diet, age, or certain medical conditions. Multivitamins also provide antioxidants, which help fight harmful free radicals in the body and promote overall health. Multivitamins can also help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer, such as breast and colon cancer. Generally, multivitamins contain vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, as well as minerals iron, zinc, selenium, iodine, and magnesium. Extra ingredients can include amino acids, ginseng, and probiotics. However, the exact formula may differ from brand to brand.

Benefits of Taking Fern-Activ Multivitamin

Multivitamins are fortified with essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. A healthy diet is the best way to get your daily intake of nutrients, but it isn’t always possible. A multivitamin can help fill in the gaps, especially if you live an unhealthy lifestyle or have an unhealthy diet. – Help prevent certain diseases and conditions: While a multivitamin can’t cure all diseases, some studies suggest they may reduce the risk of certain diseases and conditions, especially in people who are at risk, such as people over 50 or those with certain health conditions, such as diabetes.

These diseases and conditions include cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. – Improve mood: People with a vitamin deficiency may notice changes in their mood and mental health, including depression, irritability, and reduced cognitive function. – Fight off infections: An adequate intake of certain nutrients, like vitamin C, iron, and zinc, helps the immune system fight off infections and avoid getting sick more often.

How To Know Which Multivitamin Is Best For You

There is a lot of debate out there about whether multivitamins are effective. Though most doctors suggest taking them, there are some who don’t think they are worth the trouble. The good news is that you don’t have to rely on what others say, but you can use your own experience and decide for yourself. As mentioned above, vitamins and minerals are essential in the diet. Moreover, they are not found in abundance in certain foods. So, if you miss one or two, it can affect your health. You can either pinpoint your deficiencies with a blood test or just take a general multivitamin supplement to get everything.

Why Should You Start Taking Fern-Activ Multi-Vitamins Now?

As we have discussed above, specific vitamins are necessary for the diet. There are others that are essential but are not as easily obtained from food sources. Thus, it is necessary to take them in the form of supplements. However, there are people who ignore the importance of Fern-Activ multivitamins and assume that their body has everything it needs. This is not true for everyone, though. Some people may have a vitamin deficiency they are unaware of. Some people may not get enough vitamins and minerals from their diet for a variety of reasons. They may not eat enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. People who eat a vegan or vegetarian diet may need to take supplements to make sure they get enough vitamins and minerals, especially B vitamins and iron.

Warning! Things to Look Out For When Taking a Multi-Vitamin

You might be wondering if there are any disadvantages to taking multivitamins. There are a few drawbacks to consider. Firstly, it is possible to overdose on certain vitamins, especially Vitamin D and iron. If you take too much, the excess vitamins get stored in your liver and kidneys, and a buildup can cause problems over time. To make sure you aren’t getting too much, it’s a clever idea to take a one-a-day multivitamin. You also need to take your multivitamin at the same time every day, so your body gets the nutrients it needs each day. If you have certain health conditions, like kidney or liver disease, you may need to talk to your doctor before taking multivitamins. They may recommend a lower dosage or a specific type of vitamin that is easier on the kidneys.

Conclusion

Fern-Activ Multivitamins may not be the only supplement you should take, but they are a good place to start. A multivitamin provides you with a balanced mix of essential vitamins and minerals, most of which you may not get enough of through diet alone. A daily multivitamin is a safe, inexpensive way to fill any potential nutritional gaps and ensure that you’re getting enough essential nutrients in your diet. Keep in mind that multivitamins are not meant to be a replacement for healthy eating. Rather, they are a supplement to a well-rounded diet. If you eat a balanced diet and get plenty of fruits and veggies, there is no need to take any supplements. Choosing a good multivitamin can be tricky, but you now know everything you need to know about this important supplement.

Fern-Activ multivitamins are available online at https://ifernhealth.com. It’s authentic and directly shipped from the i-Fern Factory.

Remembering Jerick Ternida

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Jerick Ternida will be remembered as one of the admired bodybuilders in the Philippines. A brand ambassador, multi-awarded athlete, mentor, and husband, he has given so much to the bodybuilding and fitness industry that he genuinely loves.

Below is the restored 4K video of Jerick Ternida’s posing routine at the 2008 Ensayo Classic competition. Music is Aria-Queen of the Night by Lani Misaluchia.

https://youtu.be/FgwD4RVspk0

Below is the restored 4K video of Jerick Ternida’s posing routine at the 2003 Musclemania Philippines competition at the Hard Rock Cafe Makati City Philippines.

His last interview with IronPinoy Magazine was in 2009. The print and a digital copy are available at this link https://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/34817/

The screenshots are available below:

What to Expect from the Top Fitness Gadgets of 2022

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Finess Gadgets 2022
Photo by Armin Rimoldi: https://www.pexels.com/photo/young-woman-in-swimwear-using-tablet-5269463/

Fitness gadgets are not only for techies and geeks. They can be useful for everyone, from the novice to the pro. They can help you stay fit and stay motivated. The fitness world has shifted from a fitness tracker to a fitness gadget. These fitness gadgets are smart, sophisticated, and feature-packed. They track your fitness and provide guidance in a smart way. They also help you stay motivated and stay fit. They also help you better manage your time and stay aligned with your fitness goals.

These are the top fitness gadgets lined up for release in 2022. Let’s take a look!

Fitbit Versa

The Fitbit Versa is the first smartwatch from Fitbit. It looks like the Ionic but does not have an optical heart rate sensor. It has a 1.45-inch LCD display, making it slightly larger than the Ionic’s 1.35-inch. The display has a resolution of 128 x 128 pixels with a pixel density of 285 ppi. As expected from a Fitbit, the Versa can track steps, distance, active minutes, sleep, and calories burned. However, it can also track stairs climbed, menstrual cycle, and stress levels. It has the same software as the Ionic.

It is water-resistant up to 50 meters and has a swimmer’s finish. It can store up to 500 songs, 9 swim sets, and track swimming distances. It also lets you share your swim sets with friends. It has GPS and GLONASS for tracking your location and altitude. It also has an altimeter for tracking your elevation. The Fitbit Versa comes in two sizes: small and large. The small fits wrists up to 7.5 inches, so it’s mostly for women. The large fits wrists up to 8.5 inches, so it’s mostly for men.

Fossil Q Strap

Fossil is set to release the Q Strap in October. It is designed for Android users. The Q Strap is a fitness band that doubles up as a smartwatch. It has a built-in optical heart rate sensor, letting you keep track of your heart rate without any other sensor. It has a 1.78-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 192 x 180 pixels. The Q Strap comes with interchangeable bands, so you can have one that matches your style and color. It also has interchangeable watch faces, letting you have one that looks good on your wrist. It has music controls, letting you control music on your phone and/or fitness apps like Strava. It also has Google Assistant, letting you control your smart home devices with your voice. It has a battery life of 10 days and can be charged via a USB-C cable.

Apple Watch Series 4

Apple is set to release the Apple Watch Series 4. It has a faster processor, so it is more responsive. It comes with a built-in GPS for tracking your location. It has a larger display, letting you view more information at a glance. It also comes with a built-in heart rate sensor, letting you keep track of your heart rate without any other sensor. It also comes with fall detection, letting you see if you fall while you are wearing it. It has an improved battery life of up to 18 hours and comes with a new aluminum watch case. It comes in silver, gold, and gray. The Apple Watch Series 4 starts at US$399 and is available in the US, the UK, China, and India.

Samsung Gear Sport

Samsung is set to release the Gear Sport in October. It is the company’s most expensive wearable to date. The Gear Sport comes with a built-in GPS for tracking your location. It has a larger display, letting you view more information at a glance. It also comes with a built-in heart rate sensor, letting you keep track of your heart rate without any other sensor. It also comes with fall detection, letting you see if you fall while you are wearing it. It has an improved battery life of up to 20 days and comes in two colors. It comes in black and blue. The Gear Sport is available for US$349.

Mission: Run

Mission: Run is a smart running belt from Garmin. It has a built-in GPS for tracking your location. It has a built-in optical heart rate sensor, letting you keep track of your heart rate without any other sensor. It also comes with nutrition tracking, letting you track your intake of calories and nutrients. It has 4GB of storage that can be expanded using the included microSD card. It has an in-built music player, letting you use your music on the go. It also has a powerful speaker for taking phone calls, giving you hands-free operation. The Mission: Run also has a rechargeable battery that gives you up to six weeks of battery life. It is available in three colors: black, blue, and grey. The Mission: Run is sold in the US, Canada, China, France, Germany, the UK, and the rest of Europe. The US price is US$249.99, with a unit price of US$159.99.

Polar Vantage

Polar is set to release the Vantage in October. It is the company’s first 4G wrist-worn fitness tracker. It has a built-in optical heart rate sensor, letting you keep track of your heart rate without any other sensor. It also comes with GPS for tracking your location. It has a built-in 4GB storage that can be expanded using the included microSD card. It also has a stats widget, letting you view your data at a glance. It has an in-build music player, letting you use your music on the go. It also has a speaker for taking phone calls, giving you hands-free operation. The Polar Vantage is charged using a magnetic USB-C cable. It can be charged using a computer, a wall charger, or a USB-C car charger. It has a battery life of up to a week and is available in four colors: black, blue, green, and orange. The Polar Vantage is sold in the US and the rest of the world.

Garmin Vivosmart 4

Garmin is set to release the Vivosmart 4 in October. It is a fitness wristband that doubles up as a smartwatch. It has a built-in optical heart rate sensor, letting you keep track of your heart rate without any other sensor. It has a built-in 4GB storage that can be expanded using the included microSD card. It has an in-build music player, letting you use your music on the go. It also has a speaker for taking phone calls, giving you hands-free operation. The Vivosmart 4 is available in three colors: white, black, and blue. The Vivosmart 4 is sold in the US and the rest of the world.

Garmin Vivosmart 5

Garmin is set to release the Vivosmart 5 in October. It is a fitness wristband that doubles up as a smartwatch. It has a built-in optical heart rate sensor, letting you keep track of your heart rate without any other sensor. It has a built-in 4GB storage that can be expanded using the included microSD card. It also has an in-build music player, letting you use your music on the go. It has a speaker for taking phone calls, giving you hands-free operation. The Vivosmart 5 is available in three colors: white, black, and blue.

Achieving Fitness Goals With Gamification: 3 Steps to Stay Motivated and Workout for Life

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Achieving Fitness Goals With Gamification
Photo by The Lazy Artist Gallery: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-doing-exercise-inside-gym-2247179/

Gamification is an effective way to keep people engaged and motivated with their goals. It involves using game elements to engage people in something other than just the goal itself.

Motivation is key when it comes to sticking to a fitness regimen. Whether you’re trying to get in shape for the first time or you’re looking to get back into shape after being away from the gym for a while, it can be difficult to stay motivated.

We’ve all been there — we set a goal, work hard to meet it, and feel proud of ourselves when we’re done. But the struggle is real and staying motivated is the biggest challenge facing many who want to get fit.

Gamification helps get people excited and engaged with their goals. It doesn’t matter whether you’re trying to get in shape for the first time, ready to get back into shape after a break, or you want to achieve a fitness goal like losing weight or getting in shape for your wedding. The end result is the same: You’re working towards a specific goal and you need to stay motivated and keep working hard. If you’re ready to get started on your fitness journey, read on for tips on how to use gamification to help you succeed.

What is Gamification?

Gamification is the use of game theory mechanics to engage users in a non-game setting. The goal is to make a process, service, or system seem more interesting and engaging through the use of game elements.

To gamify any given situation, you first need to define the context. Next, look at how players interact with the context. Finally, evaluate how the context affects the players.

Gamification can be used to improve or incentivize a wide range of behaviors, including health, education, and financial goals. For example, gamification can be used to encourage healthy eating habits, improve basic math and literacy skills, or to encourage financial management skills.

How to Use Gamification in a Fitness Program

In order to use gamification effectively in a fitness program, you need to think about your target audience. Who are your users? What do they care about?

Once you’ve figured that out, you can think about how games are used to motivate people. Which game mechanics would be most useful in your context?

For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you might look at game mechanics that reward players for achieving their goals, as well as game mechanics that help players stay motivated and on track.

Examples of Gamified Fitness Programs

The most obvious example of a fitness program that uses gamification is the Fitbit. Every Fitbit device is a combination pedometer, sleep tracker, and health monitor. With each step you take, you’re contributing data to a Fitbit profile that shows how active you are, how much you’ve slept, and how your health is trending. The data you contribute is then analyzed and used to incentivize users with badges and virtual rewards.

Another example of a fitness program that uses gamification is the LoseIt! app. LoseIt! is a fitness program that uses gamification to get users motivated to succeed. The app tracks diet, workout, and weight goals. It also offers social features like challenges with friends and virtual rewards.

Tips for Using Gamification in a Fitness Program

In your fitness program, you can use gamification to:

– Keep users engaged – Whether you’re encouraging them to achieve a certain fitness milestone or you want them to get excited about your program, you want to keep them motivated. With gamification, you can do just that.

– Motivate users to work hard – This is especially important if you’re trying to lose weight or get in shape. You want to make sure that users are motivated to work hard, so they stay motivated.

– Guarantee user satisfaction – With any kind of program, you want to make sure that users are satisfied. One way to do this is by offering consistent and effective rewards.

Conclusion

Keeping yourself motivated and accountable for your goals is important. However, it can be challenging when you don’t have any form of motivation. One way to boost your motivation is by using gamification. This is a strategy that uses game mechanics to motivate users. The best part is that it’s easy to implement and can be done with minimal effort. All you need is some creativity and an audience to inspire you.

Gamification can be a great way to get people excited about your program and motivated to succeed. Whether it’s fitness, weight loss, or something else, gamification can help bring people together and boost engagement.

Certain Antioxidants May Lower Dementia Risk

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Certain Antioxidants May Lower Dementia Risk
Tom Wang / Shutterstock

Antioxidants are a type of compound found in vegetables and fruits. They help protect your cells from a certain type of damage. Eating lots of products can help lower your risk of heart disease and other health problems. A new study found that certain antioxidants in these foods may also reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, harms your ability to remember, think, and make decisions. Studies have found several lifestyle factors that may help lower the risk of getting dementia. These include eating a healthy diet, being physically active, and socializing with others. Getting enough sleep and doing activities that challenge your brain may also help.

Studies of antioxidants’ effects on dementia have had mixed results. Some have found that they protect the brain. Others have not. These studies asked people to remember what types of foods they’d eaten over a long period of time.

In a new study, researchers measured antioxidant levels in blood samples from more than 7,000 people. Participants were between the ages of 45 and 90. They were part of a nationwide study tracking their health over 16 years.

Blood levels of certain antioxidants were linked with a lower risk of developing dementia. These included lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in green, leafy vegetables. They also included beta-cryptoxanthin, which is found in some orange-colored fruits.

“Further studies are needed to test whether adding certain antioxidants to the diet can help protect the brain from dementia,” says NIH’s Dr. May Beydoun, who led the study.

6 steps to help you protect your vision

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6 steps to help you protect your vision

When improving your health and wellness, it’s essential to take care of your eyes too. For African Americans, this is especially important because of increased risk factors for eye disease and vision loss.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, glaucoma — a disease that damages the optic nerve and causes vision loss — is three times more likely to occur in African Americans.

The risks of glaucoma are magnified further when you consider that the disease strikes, on average, 10 years earlier and progresses faster among African Americans, according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation

The good news is that with early detection and treatments, including a wide range of eye drop medications, laser treatments and several types of incisional surgery, the majority of patients with glaucoma maintain their vision. By becoming aware of your risk factors and taking preventive steps, you can help protect your eyes.

1) Finding answers in your genes
While the risk factors for eye disease continue to be studied, the ophthalmology community believes genetics can play a role.

“Aside from the access to care challenges that confront members of minority populations, African Americans have a range of genetic predispositions that make them more susceptible to eye diseases such as glaucoma,” says Dr. Eydie Miller-Ellis, professor of clinical ophthalmology and director of the Glaucoma Service at the Scheie Eye Institute, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

“This includes an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and other serious medical conditions that can also contribute to poor eye health.”

2) Don’t dismiss a lack of symptoms
Since glaucoma often develops without symptoms and you can lose vision without noticing it, Miller-Ellis stresses that early action is vital for African Americans to help prevent glaucoma and other eye diseases.

“The increased risk of early onset glaucoma makes it critical for African Americans to take steps to protect their eye health at a young age,” says Miller-Ellis. “Many people are lulled into a sense of complacency when it comes to their vision because they believe they see fine. But a lot of asymptomatic disorders like glaucoma can be damaging your eyesight without you realizing it.”

3) Schedule an eye exam
Understanding that you are at greater risk for eye disease and vision loss is the starting point toward protecting your eyesight. Begin a routine of yearly dilated eye exams with an ophthalmologist so that vision problems can be detected early. The Glaucoma Research Foundation recommends African Americans get a comprehensive exam to check for glaucoma starting at age 35.

4) No vision plan? No worries
Don’t let the lack of a vision plan hold you back from scheduling a screening for glaucoma. Medical eye exams and treatments for eye diseases, including glaucoma, are typically covered by regular health insurance. Check with your healthcare provider for specifics on your level of coverage. In addition, EyeCare America offers medical eye exams with volunteer ophthalmologists across the U.S., often for free.

5) Know your family history
Some eye diseases, such as glaucoma, can be hereditary. And for African Americans, the risk of glaucoma is 20% higher if it’s already in your family.

“To prioritize healthy vision, it’s important to have a complete understanding of your family’s history of eye disease,” says Dr. Mildred M.G. Olivier, founding regional dean at the School of Medicine, Ponce Health Sciences University, St. Louis campus. “That’s why I encourage African American families to not only discuss their individual history of eye disease, but also ensure that everyone in the family goes for an annual eye exam.”

6) Empower yourself
Olivier also encourages people to be their own advocates in breaking down the health inequity barriers for minorities that may stand in the way of better eye health.

“It’s important to ask your primary care physician to refer you to an ophthalmologist for an annual medical eye exam,” says Olivier. “When you are at the eye doctor’s office, make sure you are getting all the information you need and understand all of your options concerning your eyesight and any problems that arise.

Olivier and Miller-Ellis are working to improve access to eye care among minority populations as leaders of the Rabb-Venable Excellence in Ophthalmology Program, which supports minority medical students, residents and fellows in ophthalmology. The Rabb-Venable program is part of the National Medical Association – Ophthalmology Section and supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute.

The Glaucoma Research Foundation offers resources for African Americans to help build a plan for better eye health, including the guide “Understanding and Living with Glaucoma.” This free booklet, supported by Aerie Pharmaceuticals, is available at www.glaucoma.org/booklet.

Can I exercise even if I am Pregnant?

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Pregnancy and Pilates
Photo by Yan Krukov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-pregnant-woman-sitting-on-a-yoga-ball-7155539/

How doing Pilates helps you stay fit through pregnancy and makes it easier for the body to recover after childbirth. By Ivy Ong.

Should pregnant women exercise? The simple answer is yes because a healthy and active lifestyle with a regular exercise regimen benefits everybody. For pregnant women, exercising can decrease pregnancy symptoms like backaches, bloating, fatigue, swollen ankles, even gestational diabetes according to research, and other discomforts when you’re expecting. What’s more, exercising through pregnancy helps the body become more resilient, making recovery after childbirth – also known as postpartum recovery – quicker and easier.

If you’ve led a physically active lifestyle before pregnancy, you should be able to carry on with your activities in moderation and with modification. High-impact cardio should definitely not be on your list of activities while pregnant, but swimming, walking, yoga, and Pilates are highly recommended prenatal exercises. Don’t worry if you’ve never exercised regularly before, pregnant women can safely begin an exercise program following the advice of their doctor.

For your safety and to make the most of your workout, consult with a trainer knowledgeable in prenatal and postnatal exercises. In pilates, instructors specialize in pre-natal or postnatal pilates and can customize an appropriate exercise program during pregnancy and postpartum.

Pre-natal Pilates

Pregnant women are more prone to backaches and pain around the pelvic area, which is partly due to changes in posture as the baby grows, partly due to the weight of the baby, and partly due to hormones. Doing pilates strengthens abdominal muscles as well as deep stabilizer muscles, this, in turn, strengthens the whole torso so that aches and pains are minimized.

As your posture changes with the growing baby, you may feel clumsier and less balanced. Pre-natal Pilates not only trains pregnant women to be more sensitive to weight distribution but also teaches correct weight distribution with good posture and alignment. The exercises in pre-natal pilates are done in a way to help reduce the load on the pelvis and lower back, and through these exercises, you will learn to find safe and comfortable positions for yourself as you move about in daily life throughout your pregnancy.

Postnatal Pilates

The foundation of Pilates is all about breathing, moving with the breath, and moving with intention, so you can actually start doing Pilates days after childbirth. Ask your Pilates instructor to guide you through breathing exercises plus pelvic floor and abdominal muscle activation exercises. If your instructor can create a program for you to work on in your own time at home, do these regularly to promote mobility and circulation as well as to regain strength.

Doctors would advise waiting six to seven weeks to begin exercising again, and as with other exercises, you can safely start doing postnatal pilates in the sixth to seventh week of postpartum recovery. Postnatal pilates brings back good posture and alignment while strengthening mothers for the physical demands, and even emotional demands, of caring for the baby. It also helps you regain muscular strength in key areas that were affected by pregnancy and delivery.

Ask All Core Pilates about prenatal and postnatal Pilates. Located at the Upper Ground Floor, Alabang Town Center. Call or text 0917-187-2207 for more information.

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