Get more blood flowing to your brain — and more clever thoughts flowing from it — by drinking a little beet juice in the morning. Like every other part of your body, your brain requires good blood flow in order to function quickly and effectively. And research shows that a morning shot of beet juice may help ensure good circulation to your cranium. Why beet juice instead of apple or orange? Beets are a good source of nitrates, helpful little substances that get converted into nitrites by bacteria in our saliva. And nitrites do a world of good for blood vessels, helping them to relax and better assist blood flow and oxygen circulation. When researchers recently upped participants’ nitrate intake by having them drink 16 ounces of beet juice with breakfast, among other dietary changes, a brain scan done just a day later showed noticeably better blood flow to white matter in the frontal-lobe region of the brain, an area where blood flow often suffers over time.
Many times, simple lifestyle changes — especially adding regular, moderate exercise to your daily schedule — work wonders for circulation. Exercise can also strengthen the heart and help lower blood pressure, two things that support healthy circulation.
If your physician has given the go-ahead to get moving, but you’re having trouble starting — or sticking with — an exercise program, here are a few suggestions: -Exercise first thing in the morning, so you can enjoy the feeling of accomplishment and avoid excuses, such as “I’ll do it later,” which seldom happens. -Break up the 30 to 45 minutes of daily recommended activity into 10- to 15-minute sessions throughout the day. -Vary your routine to prevent boredom and injuries. -Join a social group that’s focused on a specific activity, akin to ballroom dancing, bicycle riding, or hiking. Many people find it motivating to be around others who are doing the same thing. -Remember that doing some activity — even for only ten minutes — is better than doing nothing at all. A short walk around the block beats sitting on the couch. Believe it or not, those blocks add up!
The negative health effects of anxiety, such as increased coronary heart disease risks, have long been documented and accepted in the medical community. But now, research suggests that individuals with high levels of anxiety have an increased risk for stroke.
The researchers, who are from the University of Pittsburgh, published the results of their study in the journal Stroke.
They say that anxiety disorders – characterized by fear, unease and worry – impact nearly 20% of US adults each year and often last for at least 6 months.
A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain stops, and the American Stroke Association says this cuts off oxygen and nutrients that are vital for the brain. When this happens, brain cells die, and depending in which side of the brain the stroke occurs, effects can include paralysis, vision or speech problems, memory loss and behavioral changes.
Most smokers say they want to quit and many will make a New Year’s Resolution to quit in 2014. If this is your year to quit, here are five tips to help you along the way: -Learn from past experiences. Most smokers have tried to quit in the past and sometimes people get discouraged thinking about previous attempts. Those experiences were necessary steps on the road to future success. Think about what helped you during those tries and what you’ll do differently in your next quit attempt. -You don’t have to quit alone. Telling friends that you’re trying to quit and enlisting their support will help ease the process. Expert help is available from the American Lung Association and other groups. Friends who also smoke may even join you in trying to quit! -Medication can help, if you know what to do. The seven FDA-approved medications (like nicotine patches or gum) really do help smokers quit. Most folks don’t use them correctly so be sure to follow the directions! It’s never too late to quit. While it’s best to quit smoking as early as possible, quitting smoking at any age will enhance the length and quality of your life. You’ll also save money and avoid the hassle of going outside in the cold to smoke. -Every smoker can quit. At the American Lung Association, we firmly believe that every smoker can quit. Each person needs to find the right combination of techniques for them and above all, they need to keep trying.
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a part of your heart is blocked for a long enough time that part of the heart muscle is damaged or dies. The medical term for this is myocardial infarction. A heart attack is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms of a heart attack, call 911 or your local emergency number quickly.
-DO NOT try to drive yourself to the hospital.
-DO NOT WAIT. You are at greatest risk of sudden death in the early hours of a heart attack. Chest pain is the most common symptom of a heart attack. You may feel the pain in only one part of your body, or it may move from your chest to your arms, shoulder, neck, teeth, jaw, belly area, or back. The pain can be severe or mild. It can feel like:
-A tight band around the chest
-Something heavy sitting on your chest
-Squeezing or heavy pressure The pain usually lasts longer than 20 minutes. Rest and a medicine called nitroglycerin may not completely relieve the pain of a heart attack. Symptoms may also go away and come back.
Other symptoms of a heart attack can include: anxiety, cough, cainting, light-headedness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, palpitations, shortness of breath or profuse sweating. After a heart attack you may need Holter Monitoring
Study suggests that music might help people who have trouble remembering the past. You know those popular songs that you just can’t get out of your head? A new study suggests they have the power to trigger strong memories, many years later, in people with brain damage.
The small study suggests that songs instill themselves deeply into the mind and may help reach people who have trouble remembering the past.
It’s not clear whether the study results will lead to improved treatments for patients with brain damage. But they do offer new insight into how people process and remember music.
“This is the first study to show that music can bring to mind personal memories in people with severe brain injuries in the same way that it does in healthy people,” said study lead author Amee Baird, a clinical neuropsychologist. “This means that music may be useful to use as a memory aid for people who have difficulty remembering personal memories from their past after brain injury.” Video: Alzheimer’s Disease
A new study of men by researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, has found that some insomnia symptoms are linked to a higher risk of death.
In a recent online issue of Circulation, they describe how they found that among men experiencing specific sleep problems – such as non-restorative sleep and difficulty falling asleep – there is a modest increased risk of death from heart-related problems. Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of Americans. People with insomnia have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, with the result that they do not get enough sleep and may not feel refreshed when they wake up. Previous studies have concluded that sleep is important for heart health, and many have linked poor or insufficient sleep with increased risk factors for cardiovascular-related diseases.