Health Watch: Avoid shin splints
Shin splints cause a radiating pain in the front lower leg and often make an appearance among new walkers and runners who exercise on hard surfaces that offer no shock absorption.
The underlying cause of shin splints is weakness in the lower leg muscle, an area known as the tibialis anterior.
Follow these tips from Life Fitness to avoid a constant battle with shin splints and learn ways to cope with them appropriately.
- Take your walking/running routine to a softer surface, which will reduce the shock that travels through the legs.
- Try exercising on a treadmill, grass or sand.
- Consider purchasing orthotic shoe inserts at a local drugstore. If your shin splits are extreme, it may be helpful to visit a podiatrist for prescribed custom inserts.
- Pace yourself! Increase your mileage gradually. Walking or sprinting an instant 5K after a winter-long hibernation will leave your muscles overworked.
- Alternate your exercise regimen by cross-training, which offers variety and can help relieve overall muscle stress.
- Don't forget that stretching is one of the most underrated forms of therapy and relief. Make it part of your daily routine, and your shins will thank you.
- Try walking on your heels. Walk across the room two or three times at first, and slowly build up to repetitions.
- While standing or sitting, lift your foot slightly off of the ground and draw the alphabet with your toes. Repeat on the other side.
- Flex and point the toes any time you're sitting. Try making this a daily routine.
New Research: Midwives needed in low-income countries
Every year 358 000 women and 3.6 million newborn babies die due to largely preventable complications during pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period. In addition, every year, nearly 3 million babies are stillborn. Most of these deaths occur in low-income countries and happen because women – often poor and marginalized – have no access to functioning health facilities or to qualified health professionals, notably midwives and others with midwifery skills.
-- World Health Organization
Did You Know?
The annual number of new HIV infections has declined steadily from an estimated 3.1 million in 2001 to 2.6 million in 2009. – CDC
Health Tip: Resource to help manage diabetes
New videos to help people make lifestyle changes and cope with the demands of diabetes were announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ National Diabetes Education Program. The series of three- to five-minute videos, which can be found at www.YourDiabetesInfo.org/HealthSense, address topics like:
- setting goals to improve your health
- managing type 2 diabetes
- living with type 2 diabetes: finding the support you need
- preventing type 2 diabetes
- maintaining a healthy weight
- practical tips and action steps: physical activity
Number to Know
172: In 2003, the World Health Organization’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control made a commitment to reduce global tobacco use. Today, 172 countries have adopted the FCTC, and many are using the MPOWER package, developed by the World Health Organization. The acronym stands for monitor tobacco use, protect from tobacco smoke, offer help to quit, warn about the dangers, enforce marketing bans, raise taxes on tobacco.
Children’s Health: 8 percent of children have food allergies
A large national study of food allergies in the U.S. finds that more children have allergies, including severe allergies, than previously thought. The study found 8 percent of children under age 18 had a food allergy, or roughly 5.9 million children. Of those, 38.7 percent had a history of severe reactions, and 30.4 percent had multiple food allergies. The most common foods children were allergic to were peanuts (25.2 percent), milk (21.1 percent) and shellfish (17.2 percent). Black and Asian children had higher odds of having a food allergy compared with white children, and children from families with lower incomes were less likely to have food allergies than children from families with higher incomes.
-- American Academy of Pediatrics
Senior Health: Know the symptoms of stroke
In treating stroke, every minute counts. Knowing the symptoms of a stroke, making note of the time of the first stroke symptoms and getting to the hospital quickly –– within 60 minutes if possible –– can help spare someone from serious long-term disability. Here are the symptoms of a stroke:
* Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg (especially on one side of the body).
* Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech.
* Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
* Sudden trouble walking, dizziness or loss of balance or coordination.
* Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
GateHouse News Service