Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

April 2024 // Archive

Date based archive
24 Apr

Mold and mildew are found everywhere in the environment. Both are a type of fungi that grow and thrive in moist conditions. Dark areas with little sunlight love to produce mold and mildew. The seeds and smores spread and spread and eventually enter the air. Those in the vicinity inhale and can encounter mold and mildew. Fortunately, the human body goes to bat working with the immune system to ward off these particles. Like anything in excess, when a person breathes in too much or is overly and repeatedly exposed, the body isn’t able to respond accordingly. Respiratory infections can occur as well as allergies and asthma. The eyes become irritated, itchy, and a person might start to cough and sneeze. Already having allergies or asthma can only complicate symptoms making them worse. Yet, some people are exposed to plenty of mold and mildew and have no side effects.

Some types of molds produce myotoxins which usually grow in outdoor areas. These myotoxins can also make their way into buildings, especially those that have moisture damage. Leaking pipes are a common culprit. Exposure to myotoxins has been linked to cancer, nervous system damage, and liver damage.

Mold can enter a person’s home through vents, doorways, windows, and heating and air conditioning systems. What is taken outside then taken inside can also cause mold in the home such as clothing, bags, shoes, and pets. Roofs and pipes are common areas. Mold likes to grow on wood products, paper products, ceiling tiles, wallpaper, drywall, carpet, and upholstery. Seems like anywhere there is moisture, mold can make its way in. It is very important to address the mold problem in the home. Some common remedies and suggestions include making sure the shower area, cooking, and laundry areas all have ventilation. Leaky roofs, windows, and pipes should be fixed right away. Any place that has been flooded should be dried and cleared up immediately.

Mold has a musty smell to it. No matter what color or type, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends removing the mold immediately. It doesn’t matter the type, as some people like to have testing done. Some people try to save money by determining what levels of mold are acceptable to get away with before a possible expensive removal process. Bleach is a self-home remedy to remove mold. Wearing protective gloves and being sure to ventilate is important.

Basements, garages, crawl spaces, attics, and bathrooms, are mold and mildew breeding grounds. Behind the refrigerator is also a common location. Mold and mildew don’t grow over night but letting the accumulation can lead to a costly clean up later. Fresh, clean, smelling good air, is what those lungs want. A breath of fresh air, especially in one’s own home, feels good and is invigorating. Hey, if you needed motivation to keep a clean house, well the threat of mold and mildew should do the trick.

16 Apr

Cornstarch has a bad reputation but is still so popularly used and consumed. It is an ingredient that thickens soups, sauces, and desserts. Cornstarch is versatile and the answer to many cooking recipes. Other uses include softening baked goods, holding together fruit fillings, and adding crispy coating to meats, vegetables, and crusts. Many people have it in their pantry because it is used for so many purposes. However, as good as it is for cooking, it isn’t so good nutritionally. It is considered a highly processed food that is stripped of all its nutrients.

When it comes to cornstarch in our diet, well, it happens to be high in both calories and carbohydrates. The good nutrients we benefit from and need like protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, are not part of the picture. Although we don’t consume a full cup of cornstarch when we do eat it, for content purposes, one cup of cornstarch has 488 calories, 117 grams of carbs, and only 0.5 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber. If you were to eat a fruit tart, you probably only have a tiny, tiny amount of cornstarch, but even this amount can affect your blood sugar. This is because cornstarch is high on the glycemic index. When we have foods that contain cornstarch, it is digested very quickly so your blood sugar spikes up quickly. Type 2 diabetics must be cautious.

A healthy diet can still have a minimal portion of cornstarch in it. Keep in mind, if cornstarch is used to thicken foods, well, it can do the same to your body. One to two tablespoons at a time on occasion is okay. It’s typically the type of foods you are eating that have cornstarch in them that probably aren’t the greatest. Having gravy, sauces, and desserts wouldn’t be foods to have daily. Puddings, custards, pancakes, waffles, beers, and ales aren’t what a healthy diet entails on a daily basis. The best way to stay away from cornstarch is to avoid processed foods entirely and when you cook leave this ingredient out of it. Basically, all foods with cornstarch also have plenty of sugar, fat, and sodium. There are other cooking alternatives to cornstarch such as tapioca, arrowroot, potato starch, or wheat flour. Be mindful, enjoy bites, and portion control might take willpower, but your overall health and body weight will thank you.

10 Apr

Yogurt is the result of bacterial fermentation of milk. This bacterium is called yogurt cultures. The fermentation of lactose produces lactic acid which is a milk protein. This milk protein gives yogurt both its taste and texture. Cow’s milk is the most popular dairy source used for yogurt production since it is the most readily available. However, yogurt can also be produced from the milk of a goat, buffalo, camel, ewe, or yak. Each type of milk produces different results, and it also depends on if the milk is pasteurized, raw, or homogenized. Most people eat yogurt as a dairy snack, with breakfast, dessert, at any time of the day because they like the taste. There are many good reasons to like yogurt.

Yogurt is filled with vitamins. It contains potassium, riboflavin, iodine, zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin A, and vitamin E. it also contains vitamin C which could help induce weight loss. Vitamin C tells fat cells to create less cortisol which is the hormone related to belly fat. This means that yogurt can help the body burn fat versus store fat. Yogurt is also filled with the good bacteria our digestive system needs. It contains active live cultures and probiotics. Low fat dairy products can also help lower blood pressure. Yogurt contains protein which helps a person feel satiated and fuller longer. Greek yogurt is especially high in protein. Specifically, for those who exercise, protein is important because it contains amino acids which can help muscles recover post-workout. The calcium in yogurt is great for bone health and strong teeth. Some yogurt types contain more than half of the daily requirement amount. The combination of calcium and Vitamin D can also help ward off osteoporosis.

All of these incredible health benefits certainly depend on the type of yogurt being consumed. Adding yogurt to one’s regular diet can be great, but reading labels is always necessary. One should consider the calories, fat, and sugar content. There are brands that add different fruits and preservatives that can almost make yogurt more of a dessert than a healthy option. Many reduced fats and low-fat options are packed with artificial sweeteners. Yogurt can also be used as an alternative to mayonnaise, to add thickness to salad dressings, or to replace sour cream. There are so many flavors and plain flavors can be used for many purposes. One must of course be able to handle dairy. Yogurt is a great tool for someone making healthy lifestyle choices. Find the type of right for your body, waistline, and taste buds and see how much it can help you.

04 Apr

Everyone has different types of skin lesions that are common and benign, meaning not cancerous. The most common are freckles, moles, and skin tags. Some people embrace these skin markers while others would rather do without and even try to get rid of them.

  1. Freckles: These are small brown spots found face, neck, arms, and chest. They are very common and a threat to one’s health. They are typically more common in the summertime and are more readily found on lighter skinned toned people. They are caused by sun exposure as well as genetics. It is always best to avoid excessive sun exposure and use protective sunscreen. People who develop freckles more easily are at increased risk for cancer. For those who don’t like the appearance of their freckles, they can be covered up with makeup.
  2. Moles: These are brown or black growths that can appear anywhere on the skin and sometimes are found in groups. They usually develop during the first 25 years of a person’s life. Some people can have up to 40 moles by adulthood. Over time, moles can slowly change by becoming more raised in shape, growing hairs, changing color, or they may not change at all. Some might even disappear over time. Moles are a result of the cells of the skin growing in a cluster instead of spreading out along the skin. These cells are called melanocytes. They can darken over time due to sun exposure and sometimes during pregnancy. Most moles are not dangerous. However, one should be mindful and check moles for any changes in height, size, color, or shape. Upon concern, a dermatologist can help determine if the mole is cancerous. Moles that are more often exposed to the sun should be checked often. Checking moles and using the ABCDE method is recommended.

Asymmetry: One half of the mole doesn’t match the other half.

Border: The edge of the mole is jagged or irregular.

Color: The mole has different shared throughout and not a consistent tone.

Diameter: The diameter of the mole is larger than a pencil eraser.

Evolution: The mole is changing in color, shape, and size.

  • Skin tags: These are a small flap of skin that hangs off by a connecting stalk. They are usually found on the neck, armpit, chest, back, under the breast, or near the groin. They are more common in women and arise when weight gain occurs or sometimes more often with age. They are not painful but might be irritating to the person if they wear jewelry or with some clothing. They can be cut off or burned off.

Our skin is our outer later and what we should take care of to protect. Afterall, our skin is our protective layer. Take time to take care of yourself and your body will reward you with radiating beauty and a great reflection you like to see.