Essential Supplements for Older Individuals

As you age, it is more important than ever to make sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs, both through your diet as well as additional supplements. Here are some of the absolutely essential dietary supplements for seniors.

Calcium

Calcium is one of the most crucial dietary supplements for seniors as they age. We all remember those milk commercials from growing up, which talked about how milk leads to strong bones. They were right! Without enough calcium, seniors are likely to suffer from osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Women are incredibly susceptible to this, but both men and women should consider adding this supplement to their diets.

B12

As you age, you may not naturally be absorbing as much B12 from your food as you have in previous years. A B12 supplement can help mitigate this problem, and can even give you more energy throughout the day!

Folic Acid

When you skip out on the folic acid, you put yourself at risk of certain conditions such as anemia. Folic acid helps your body produce red blood cells. These are responsible for blood flow and can have a huge impact on your overall health.

Multivitamin

A daily multivitamin is a bit of a catch-all when it comes to supplements. This will make sure that you are getting a wide variety of different nutrients all in one pill. Talk to your doctor about specific multivitamin recommendations.

Omega Fatty Acids

When it comes to your vision, joints, and even daily energy, Omega 3’s are the secret to success. They can help keep your body healthy and can prevent certain conditions such as arthritis.

Vitamin D

Many people, especially in the United States, do not naturally consume enough vitamin D into their diets. Vitamin D is incredibly important and can help you more efficiently absorb calcium into your bones. Because of this, a Vitamin D supplement could be just what the doctor ordered for bone and overall body health.

When it comes to your health, nutritional supplements are an absolute must as you age. To learn more about what supplements you should be adding to your diet, check out this article.

Health Insurance Options for the Unemployed

Dealing with the possibility of unemployment is bad enough. Not having any income is very stressful, since you have no money coming in.

Further complicating matters is the loss of any associated benefits, which often includes health insurance. However, there are options, and knowing the best health insurance for the unemployed means you have a chance at getting great coverage even when you’re out of work and looking for gainful employment.

When you lose your job, you have several options in terms of health insurance to cover you while you are unemployed. The federal COBRA program will likely contact you through the mail, letting you maintain your current healthcare if you shoulder the full burden of the costs involved with the plan. This lets you keep the coverage you have at the end of your employment, but it can also be very expensive.

In most cases of unemployment, you’ll wind up with a special window to get coverage through the federal health insurance marketplace. This window is usually only open for 60 days when it’s not the yearly period for open enrollment taking place from November through December. However, you can peruse many different plans available through the exchanges, and depending on your income level in a previous tax year, you might even qualify for credits that might apply towards your premiums. Some people do this and wind up paying only $20 a month for their health insurance.

Short-term private insurance is another way to go. These policies aren’t usually as comprehensive as full health insurance coverage, as they’re more akin to catastrophic coverage options. However, they can cover you until the end of the calendar year to some degree, or at least until you find another job.

You should note that some states ban short-term insurance policies, considering them ‘junk’ insurance that aren’t worth the time and money. There is also technically a federal mandate requiring everyone to have health insurance coverage at all times, lest they face a penalty when they file their taxes. This penalty is not really enforced all that much, given the court lawsuits and politics involved with it. Having said that, going without health insurance for any length of time is a risky move.

Exercises for Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition that affects the bones. Over time, bones become porous, brittle, and susceptible to fractures. People with osteoporosis may believe that exercising could cause further damage to bones that are already weakened. This is erroneous.

Exercise For Stronger Bones

People who suffer from osteoporosis can actually benefit from weight-bearing exercises. The goal is to carefully strengthen bones by working up to a 30-minute workout of weight-bearing exercise nearly every day.

The type of exercise, amount of time, and intensity should all be monitored by a physician. People with mild osteoporosis may be able to do high-impact workouts, where someone with moderate osteoporosis may need to practice low-impact workouts. Either way, the bones will get stronger and progression of the osteoporosis may lessen.

What Types of Exercises?

People with mild osteoporosis may be able to increase bone density through jogging, aerobics, or gardening. Getting outside and weeding the flower beds or push-mowing the lawn can provide valuable exercise. Playing tennis with a friend or jumping rope alone can boost bone density if it’s done consistently.

Those with moderate to severe osteoporosis may not be able to handle high-impact workouts. The risks of fractures are greater when bones have less density. However, exercise is still necessary to preserve the bones and prevent further damage. Low-impact exercises are a wonderful way to stay healthy and strengthen bones.

Moderate osteoporosis sufferers may still enjoy dancing. Line dance with friends or hit the clubs for a night of beneficial activity. Others who prefer a quieter lifestyle can go for a hike or climb stairs. Exercise doesn’t have to be done in a class. Climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator is a great way to get a consistent workout.

Even those with severe osteoporosis still have exercise options. Try an elliptical machine. The gliding motion works the muscles and bones without any jarring impacts. Step-aerobics is also a good option. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to work out is simply to take a walk. Walk around the neighborhood or get on the treadmill. Strive to attain 30-minute workouts. Walking is a great weight-bearing, low-impact way to prevent more damage from osteoporosis. Remember – the key is consistency.

Strengthening Your Lower Back

For a body to move comfortably, different muscles have to move as well. It is significant for the muscles to function well, for they play a vital role in the body. Sometimes it is painful and difficult to move when the lower back part is not okay. Thus, one should ensure their lower back is working well. For positive results, it is necessary to strengthen the lower back using effective measures. Below are essential exercises to strengthen the lower back.

Swimmers

One can start with swimmers’ exercises. With the swimmer’s exercise, one should lay on their stomach and extend their hands to stretch their body. From here, they should lift their shoulders and legs off the floor then paddle the legs and arms just as you would when swimming. These exercises should take about 30 to 40 seconds.

 

Back extensions

Another great exercise for strengthening your lower back is back extensions.  To do these, lay on your stomach as you extend your arms in front. From here, you must lift your shoulders and upper chest from the floor. It is important to repeat these exercises 20 times to get the right results. When doing the back extensions, it is vital not to be too hard on your body in order to avoid excess pressure on your lower back

 

Cat-cows

Cat-cows are also effective lower back exercises to strengthen your lower back. With this exercise, put your knees and hands in a four-point hold position. After doing this, you’ll need to take a deep breath as you open up your chest. From here, you should roll back your shoulders as you arch your back, which should leave you in a cow-like position. Once you’re through, you should breathe out slowly, curve your spine up and bring your stomach in. From this point, you should easily stretch your hands and knees to the floor.

 

Final thoughts

Doing the above exercises in moderation is extremely important. Having the time and ability to strengthen the lower back is crucial for good posture. These exercises will also help you prevent certain injuries and maintain good health. Practice makes perfect, and these small actions will bring a difference in your body movements.

Low-Impact Exercises for Your Joints

Low-Impact Exercises for Your JointsWhether due to age, pregnancy, or injury, needing to be gentle on the joints does not have to mean giving up on a fitness routine. There are options for different budgets and workout styles that help strengthen the body without further damaging injured joints.

Swimming has long been recommended for people with joint issues, and for good reason. The buoyancy of the human body in water relieves pressure on the joints, allowing the body to move in ways that could cause strain on land. Regular swimming has even been shown to reduce pain and increase strength in those suffering from osteoarthritis.

Elliptical machines, rowing machines, and seated stationary bicycles are all excellent choices for a cardio gym workout that prevents strain on the joints while still providing enough resistance to strengthen them. For those passionate about running, a good treadmill will be much easier on joints than running on hard concrete.

Resistance bands are a versatile, inexpensive tool that can be used for warmups and workouts. They are excellent for strengthening the joints without stressing them too much and provide a similar workout for the body as using free weights or a cable machine.

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise involving gentle flowing movements. Although it was originally designed as a martial art, it is a perfect exercise for people suffering from joint problems. Tai chi improves balance, reduces joint pain, and aids in stress reduction.

Barre workout programs are an excellent choice for those suffering from joint pain. These programs focus on controlled, smooth movements performed along with upbeat music, providing a fun, energizing workout without undue strain on the joints.

Yoga and pilates are wonderful choices to stretch and strengthen the body while caring for the joints. Since yoga’s introduction to the West, its popularity has soared; the practice is beneficial for the mind and body, developing strength, flexibility, and focus. There are myriad varieties to choose from. Yin yoga stretches the body deeply but gently. Aerial yoga is beneficial for students with joint pain, as some of the body weight is supported by a fabric swing. For a more intense class, Ashtanga, Bikram, or another Vinyasa provide a tough workout without undue impact on the joints.

Exercises for Bone Health and Aging

 Aging changes the body in some interesting ways. One of the most unusual is that the body weakens the bones as adults age. This happens when the body takes phosphates and calcium from the bones to be used elsewhere. This is a problem because it leaves the bones more brittle. It’s essentially the cause of osteoporosis.

 Osteoporosis is of particular concern in women, but it can affect all older people to some extent. Luckily, research has demonstrated that there are ways to prevent and limit this problem. Taking vitamins and mineral supplements is one thing that helps. Another is exercise, especially high-impact and resistance.

 Recent research in mice has demonstrated the benefits of running, climbing, and jumping in preventing bone density loss. These activities increase the production of bone marrow components that help stave off illness and signs of aging. Stromal cells appear to be one big part of this process. They produce osteocytes or new bone cells. They also impact the production of immune system-related cells. 

 This study, conducted at UT Southwestern, suggests that older humans can continue to produce new bone cells, too. Mouse models are often used in studies because, as mammals, they have a lot in common with human beings. Uncovering this information is an exciting development for doctors and for anyone who wants to maintain their bone health as they get older. Of course, further research will be necessary to understand why exercise helps aging human bodies. 

 There is one reason that researchers believe that this process must be similar in people. Bone density in astronauts decreases while they’re in space. There’s no resistance as on Earth because there’s no gravity. When people return from orbit, their bones are less dense, and their immune systems are less effective. This seems to track with what has been observed in the mice in this study. 

 Strength training has long been recommended as a preventative against osteoporosis. You can easily try bodyweight exercises such as pushups and plyometrics; you can even try lifting weights, and using resistance bands is another example. Even swimming can be beneficial. Water offers much more resistance than air. It’s crucial as you age to remember to stay active and live a healthy lifestyle. 

 Common Skin Rashes to Know and Identify 

 A rash can be defined as a change in the skin’s appearance. Rashes are common and can have many causes, such as a drug reaction, a viral or bacterial infection, or a chemical or a new soap or lotion reaction. Food allergies can cause a rash, too, and these are particularly common in infants who develop eczema as a reaction to a milk protein allergy. Here are some common rashes to know:

 Drug Allergy

 This type of allergy can present itself as an itchy red rash, often over large parts of the body, that can appear anywhere from hours to weeks after exposure to a particular drug. A reaction can occur even if it’s a drug that has been taken in the past. A drug-induced allergy rash can often be mild, fading on its own after discontinuing the medication. Still, it can also be life-threatening if it’s accompanied by hives, elevated heart rate, and difficulty breathing. If these symptoms persist accompany a drug allergy rash, the user should seek medical treatment immediately. 

 Eczema

 Often confused with psoriasis, this condition looks like white scales over red, irritated skin that may be greasy and itchy. Things including stress and diet can cause flare-ups. Sometimes, the cause is unknown. Eczema can come and go. Some people outgrow it; others have it for life. Treatment ranges from no treatment, depending upon the severity, to special creams containing steroids. Other non-steroidal creams are available. 

 Psoriasis

 This rash appears as a red, thickened patches of skin covered with silvery scales. It’s usually itchy. The skin may break open and bleed. Psoriasis is a chronic condition usually first appearing in the mid-teens to early adulthood. It’s uncommon in young children. It has an autoimmune cause that is poorly understood.  This illness can be treated by creams, steroids, methotrexate, and biological medications targeted at the body’s immune system. 

 Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis often results from skin contact with an allergen. The skin will be red, itchy, scaly, and raw and may ooze fluid from small blisters. There will be a distinct border of normal skin touching the inflamed skin area where the allergen contact occurred. The best treatment is avoiding the allergen, but hydrocortisone cream and oatmeal baths may help ease the discomfort. 

5 Mental Health Podcasts for Guided Assistance

Mental health has become more open than it was before. There are discussions on social media sites, on mainstream media, and even in random discussions. As guided assistance gets popular, there are also mental health tools to help. If looking for something to listen to to help you get through a rough patch, here are some of the best mental health podcasts.

Mental
This podcast is based in the UK and has won multiple awards due to its endless efforts to destigmatize mental health.
Bobby Temps and Danielle Hogan host this podcast. The former is a model and writer while the latter is a youth counselor. Together with their regular hosts, they hold discussions on different mental health topics.
They also discuss different scenarios that help listeners understand the struggles of mental health and also tips and ways to manage or help when they occur.

Mentally Yours
This podcast is hosted by Ellen Scott and Yvette Caster who like to indulge with their guests on the “wierd stuff” that happens in our minds.
Their discussions range from how to handle diagnoses, helping friends, and even tips on managing the bad days.

The Hilarious World of Depression
There is nothing funny about mental health, which is why this title is such an irony, However, John Moe uses humor to tackle this giant.
Together with a host of various comedians, they talk about dealing with mental health when everyone expects you to be always happy.
The podcast itself is hilarious so expect to laugh along the way.

Therapy Lab
This is a guided assistance mental health podcast hosted by Doctor. Sheri Jacobson. Apart from being a professional psychologist, she also has personal experience with mental health having spent time in therapy from the tender age of 17.
She understands the struggle of mental health and the need to have accessible health points.
She has talked about her journey and has hosted other people who have also overcome hardships stemming from mental health.

Living in This Queer Body
Being different can cause a multitude of mental health issues. People in the LGBTQ+ community have one podcast that helps tackle these issues.
Asher Pandjiri is a psychotherapist who identifies as non-binary.
In her podcast, she discusses the issues that arise from trying to fit in and dealing with hate. She also hosts guests who talk about transphobia, homophobia, body dysmorphia, and many other stories that help shed light.
Her vision is to use these discussions to help the community deal with mental health in a healthier way.

How to Manage Situational Anxiety

Situational anxiety is a normal form of anxiety that many people experience on a daily basis. This form of anxiety is one that occurs as a response to a certain situation, such as the first day at a new school or job, a meeting with a boss, or having to talk in front of a large group. There are a few symptoms of situational anxiety that may occur in a person, such as difficulty concentrating, nausea, lightheadedness, irritability, dry mouth, trembling, nervousness, muscle tension, sweating, and more.

Talk to your doctor if you think you are dealing with situational anxiety. He or she will access your symptoms and diagnose whether they may be related to other mental health conditions. They may or may not prescribe some form of anti-anxiety medication to manage your symptoms. In the meantime, here are some ways you can manage situational anxiety on your own.

Prepare for the Situation

Many people feel this type of anxiety when they are unprepared for a certain situation. Always make sure you have plenty of time to prepare yourself for your upcoming issue, whether it is starting a new job or having to give a speech. Go through the steps in your mind and visualize what you will do or say before the actual day.

Exposure to Your Fears can Help

Exposure therapy is a type of approach that is commonly suggested to those with anxiety and phobias. The idea of exposure therapy is to expose yourself to your fear a little bit at a time. You can start slowly by simply thinking about the problem that will make you anxious. Work up facing your fears by actually putting yourself in your fearful situation.

Stop Thinking Negatively

Always dwelling on the “what-ifs” of your situation is a sure way to contribute to negative thinking. Yes, it can be hard to change, especially if you are used to thinking this way. However, you can start changing your thoughts by replacing negative ones with positive ones instead.

Try Relaxation Techniques

When you know you will feel situational anxiety, practice relaxation techniques to get you through the situation. Deep breathing and visualization will help you quickly calm down when you are upset. Practicing these coping strategies regularly will help decrease the amount of situational anxiety you experience over time.

Office Burnout’s Effect on Your Health

Everyone has bad days at work, even those who love their jobs. On the other hand, if the bad days outnumber the good to the point where you dread even going to work, you might have a problem with office burnout. Office burnout is a kind of work-related chronic stress, and it affects more people than you might realize in ways that you might not expect. Some of the symptoms of office burnout include feeling exhausted at the end of a workday, a general feeling of cynicism and detachment from coworkers and clients, and a feeling of extreme dissatisfaction with your job. It’s a feeling that creeps in slowly over time, so slowly that many people are unaware they are being affected by it.

What Causes Office Burnout?

There are many things that can cause office burnout. They vary from person to person and job to job, but some of the more common causes include:

  • A lack of control over your job duties and schedule
  • A toxic work culture full of hostile coworkers or disrespectful managers
  • Poor work-life balance
  • Overworking and being overly-engaged with your job

In short, anything that might make you miserable at your job can lead to burnout, and it can have a serious effect on your overall health as well as your attitude about work. Some of the more obvious effects include depression, anxiety, fatigue, and irritability, but burnout can also increase your likelihood of developing heart disease, respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. Isolation from friends and family, substance abuse, and even poor financial management have also been linked to office burnout.

What You Can Do

Even if you love your job and couldn’t imagine doing anything else, you will experience burnout at some point in your career. The best way to combat it is to identify when you are feeling burnt out. If you find yourself feeling stressed out at the end of a workday or you’re dreading even going to work at all, ask yourself why and what you can do to fight these feelings. It could be that you just need validation that what you are doing matters to your company, or it could be that you need to find a hobby that distracts you when you’re not working. It could be that you just need to take some time off and put any vacation time you have to good use. If it turns out that you can’t handle working at your job any longer, you might be due for a career change.

In any event, there may not be any way to prevent feeling burnt out on your job at least once in a while, but you can listen to yourself and know when it’s time to make some changes in your life. You know yourself and what you can handle on the job better than anyone else, and it’s time to put that knowledge to good use.