HEART DISEASE AND THE NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT

Like many Americans, do you believe heart disease affects mostly men? In fact, heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women in the United States. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined.  Heart disease, according to The Healthy Heart Handbook for Women, written by members of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is one of several cardiovascular diseases that affect the heart and the blood vessel system. Others include stroke, high blood pressure and rheumatic heart disease.

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10 COMMON WEIGHT-LOSS MYTHS

There are so many misconceptions about weight loss and diets that it can be hard to know what to believe. Here are some common weight-loss myths.   Snacking and eating fast food are bad ideas.    Actually, eating small, healthy snacks between meals could help you eat less so you don’t overeat or binge later. Dietitians recommend having five small meals a day, instead of just three. Snacking has a bad rap because of some of the snack choices we make, such as potato chips, cookies, candy and other fattening items.

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FITNESS TIPS FOR LOSING WEIGHT

Summer is finally here, and you want to get your weight down and be in the best shape ever. This summer, make it your mission to reach your weight-loss goals – the same ones you probably set for yourself at the beginning of the year. Fortunately, it’s never too late to start down the path to health and wellness. Follow the guidelines below so you can put yourself on a fast track. Turn these tips into lifelong habits to ensure lasting success.

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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.