The Healthy Well

Spiritual, Mental, and Physical Refreshment: Grab a Cup

Archive for August, 2010

Real Friends Lend a Hand

There are lessons to be learned all around us. For instance, take these two tortoises-

Notice how one struggles to get back on all four feet. A friend comes along and sees the problem. He doesn’t simply ignore it and walk the other way, but he stops to see what can be done. After that, he continues walking right behind him.

Now, that’s a friend!

Leaving the Past Behind; Looking to What’s Before You

Any exercise other than Yoga has not been on my agenda since breaking my leg last May.  Although I’m now able to walk  without support, I have to take my time and I can’t stay on it for very long.  In spite of this, I felt it was time to leave the past behind and head back to the fitness center.

My foot is still a bit stiff and does not have a natural roll to it.  I was expecting physical therapy after the doctor removed my boot.  My ankle and lower leg still swell at times.  When I asked him about icing it, he simply suggested that I do foot and ankle exercises.  Evidently, this type of exercise decreases the swelling.  I was pleased not to have to undergo physical therapy.

I thought if I got on the treadmill, I might be able to strengthen my foot.   The digital window read 2.4 mph.  That’s a long way from my usual 3.5.

I held onto the hand rails and could feel the weakness in my lower right leg.  It took me 15 minutes to walk less than 1/4 of a mile.  I did as much as I could without aggravating it to the point that I’d be babying it again.

For the next 30 minutes, I worked out on the machines.  It’s amazing how much atrophy takes place with a broken bone.

Still in Cold Season?

Fred Ott's Sneeze (film by William K.L. Dickson)
Image via Wikipedia

Have a cold you can’t seem to kick? Maybe your body is trying to tell you something.

Ailments and sickness are often ways in which our bodies communicate stress.

Constant stress affects our immune systems leaving us susceptible to a variety of illnesses.

Moreover, if you are experiencing a stressful relationship with someone you love you may be experiencing a higher percentage of colds than normal.

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Do You Really Need That Calcium Supplement?

500 mg calcium supplement tablets, with vitami...
Image via Wikipedia

After breaking my right fibula (the lower part of my leg)  the thought of having early onset to osteoporosis crossed my mind.  I was surprised to learn that bone loss is considered a major health threat in the United States.  When a nurse friend of mine made the remark that breaking bones located in the extremities, such as lower legs and wrists could be signs of osteoporosis, I became a little more than concerned.

It might seem logical to conclude that I need a calcium supplement.  After all, lower bone mass occurs in people age 50 and older.  Only 27% of women in that group actually achieve the recommended calcium intake and only 40% of women between the ages of 20-40 years of age comply.

Information regarding daily calcium intake varies.  The Institute of Medicine sets the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) at 25,000 milligrams a day.  Other sources claim that depending on gender and age, daily calcium requirements should range anywhere between 1,000 – 1,300 milligrams  a day.  But, is it really all that simple?

Some years ago, I remember reading that some groups believed calcium supplements were pushed far too much on women.  The argument was that it is more likely that women lack magnesium rather than calcium.  Excessive calcium builds up over time leading to more serious ailments, even contributing to depression if not in balance with its counterpart, magnesium.  A more recent article suggested that calcium might even put women at the risk of heart attacks.

As one who is not prone to take supplements (or any medication) for the sake of taking them, I have to agree with the nutritionist: it is better to get your nutrients from food.  By maintaining a well-balanced diet with daily physical activity, the risk of osteoporosis can be reduced.

If you’re wondering whether or not you are getting your daily calcium requirements, find your baseline.  You can do this by keeping a food log for three or more days without changing your intake.  Compare what you normally eat to the suggested daily requirements and adjust.

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Don’t Kill the Messenger

Yesterday was our twin’s birthday.  One received a Nook, e-book reader from her husband.  As a lover of books, I wondered how she would take to having technology hijack her fingertips from the organic feel of real paper.  This was dangerous territory!

Rather than allow our emotions to carry us away, we tried to take the objective road: the pro’s and con’s of books versus Nook.
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