DESIGNING A HEALTHY DIET FOR THE NEW YEAR

Every year, millions of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. The majority of these resolutions focus on diet in attempts to lose weight and be healthier. A new year is the perfect time to jumpstart a healthy diet to make the changes you want to see for yourself throughout the year. However, research shows 80 percent of resolutions fail by February. Many people strive for unrealistic goals, which ultimately set them up for failure.

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EXERCISE HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON THE BRAIN

While exercise has long been known for its positive effects on physical health and its ability to heighten energy and help manage chronic health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol, exercise is now being lauded for its beneficial effects on the brain.   These benefits touch almost every aspect of life. Exercise helps sharpen short-term memory and improve long-term memory. This happens because exercise can reduce insulin resistance and inflammation and stimulate….

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GETTING STARTED AND STICKING WITH IT

As we kick off 2018, you may be thinking about resolutions pertaining to your health and fitness. It’s easy to determine some ways to improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. However, it’s not always as simple to stay motivated and make the new commitments part of your lifestyle. Now is the perfect time to set goals, whether it be for the number of days you intend to work out each week, how many steps you want to take each day or healthy meals you want to prepare for your family.

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Anxiety disorders are complex. They often interfere with daily life and may last a lifetime, especially if left untreated. A significant number of people do not seek help, at least not until the problem becomes very uncomfortable. Professional help can make a difference, but there is much someone can do on his or her own along with the assistance of an expert. The following activities often help those with anxiety:


•  Consult your family doctor and have a physical to make sure nothing else is wrong that could be contributing to the anxiety.

•  See a mental health expert for an evaluation. It is impossible for the layperson to accurately diagnose his or her particular type of anxiety.

•  Avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs.

•  Practice stress management, relaxation techniques and deep-breathing exercises. Give yourself a time out. Do something relaxing, such as listening to music.

•  Start an exercise program. Physical activity may have a calming effect.

•  Aim for seven to eight hours of sleep at night.

•  Give your medication a chance before giving up on it, and do not go off it without your physician’s OK.

•  Create a support network.

Emily burst into her parents’ bedroom one night, crying and moaning. “I think I’m dying,” she gasped, clutching her chest. Her heart was pounding wildly and sweat soaked her nightshirt. Her mother called 911 when Emily fell to the floor in a daze. This was not some exotic West African disease; this was a panic attack.


Daniel Watson, MSW, LISW, says depression was at one time the most common mental health problem in the United States. Today anxiety has surpassed depression to become the No. 1 mental health problem in this country. Anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults (18 percent of the population) yearly. The National Institute of Health says about one in five adults are affected.


Daniel A. Barlow, in his book, “Anxiety and Its Disorders” (2004) says there are different types of anxiety:


•  Generalized Anxiety Disorder — chronic, excessive, uncontrollable worry. Symptoms include restlessness, irritation and fatigue.


•  Social Phobia — a marked fear and avoidance of social situations. Feeling hopeless and obsessing about being watched are characteristics of social phobia.  

THE MANY FACES OF ANXIETY

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

•  Panic Disorder — recurrent, unexpected, intense panic attacks the patient often mistakes for a more serious malady.


•  Agoraphobia — fear and/or avoidance of situations due to severe stress when in a place other than home.


•  Specific Phobias — fear and/or avoidance of objects or situations. Here, excessive, constant fear of an event is prominent, such as riding in an elevator.


•  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) — reliving a trauma repeatedly or having a recurring distressing dream or flashbacks of a traumatic event.


•  Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) — a person with OCD may have frequent unwanted thoughts (obsessions) or behaviors (compulsions) that create anxiety. A person with this disorder may check the oven frequently, wash his hands repeatedly or perform any number of activities obsessively, all to allay his anxiety.