Is it a cold, or are they allergies?

Who knows, right? Symptoms are so similar and both of them are very common at this time of the year. A runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, headache, sensitive and watery eyes…how can we know if we need an antihistamine or a medicine against the cold symptoms?

Well, it could be tricky, but is not impossible, and it’s important to know the difference in order to get the appropriate treatment.

Now, allergies, cold, and flu, all affect the respiratory system, but each one of them has specific symptoms that differentiate from the others.

Let’s start by saying that when you are suffering from allergies your body’s immune system is fighting against an allergen, which means that you will experience the symptoms for as long as you are in contact with the trigger, or the element that you are allergic to. If you are allergic to a specific flower, or to pollen, for example, your allergies are going to be present while those allergens are around you. We can be talking about an entire season of many weeks or even months.

When we talk about a cold or even the flu, two weeks should be the regular time that takes to fight against the virus, because instead of trees, dust or animals, the cold is generated by a virus.

Besides a runny nose, the watery eyes and the other symptoms that are easily confused with those of the allergies, when you have the flu or a cold, you will probably present fever, fatigue, and body ache.

Even though there are some over the counter medicines that offer relief for the cold symptoms, there is no a real “cure” for a cold, and most people could recover on their own without the need to visit a doctor.

There are also non-prescription medicines to help with the allergies, but in most cases, it’s important to consult a specialist in order to know what are you allergic to and maybe to explore a long-term treatment.

The main message here is to be careful and to listen to your body. Don’t use medicines if you are not sure about the origin of your symptoms and always, always, consult a doctor if those symptoms persist more than normal.

 

 

 

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Let’s dance!

You may love to dance, maybe you enjoy just the fact of enjoying your favorite music while moving around following the rhythm. If that’s you, this is going to make your day!

Experts say that dancing is actually good not only for your spirit but also for your health! Yes, and the benefits extend from there.

So, every time that you dance you are activating a series of benefits that cover your brain, your body, and even your mood.

Many studies have found that your balance improves through the act of dance, and it includes elderly people. The reaction time, motor performance, coordination and walking speed are also part of the gains that the dance offers to any person who practices it.

If your favorite tune is jazz, folk, tango or ballroom, specialists say you are getting more than a fun time from every dance session. However, they say, any kind of music you enjoy on the floor will have a benefit over your health.

Now, another very interesting thing about this is that you don’t need a partner, a designated time, or a special location to enjoy a good dance or to get the benefits from it. You can dance at home, you can dance in the morning, at night, on a weekday, or during the weekend, all you need is that music you love and yourself. If you are part of a social dancing activity it’s even better! Let’s say that you are at a wedding or simply enjoying a night out with friends, in that case, your cardiovascular workout will last longer.

If you take classes, your workout will keep improving while your joints and muscles are getting in good shape. And don’t forget the weight loss benefits! By now, dancing routines like Zumba, aerobics and much more are famous around the world for their impressive results for those looking to stay fit and for those trying to lose weight.

According to a review published in 2009 in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, dancing could help people with Parkinson’s disease, a condition that is characterized by slow movements, impaired balance, and rigid muscles.

Think about this, if listening to your favorite music is always helpful to turn a bad day into a nice time, imagine what happens when you not only are listening but dancing that music! The results in your mood are amazing! Actually, some doctors call dancing a great tool for you to have a “mental break”, saying that it’s the perfect opportunity for your brain to escape from routine and stress when need it. So, let’s dance!

Becoming a vegetarian? Organization and information could be the secret

We all have thought about that, either by curiosity, by interest, or by a legitimate decision to make changes. How is it to be a vegetarian? Reality is that every day thousands of people around the globe make the decision to start more than a new diet regime, a new lifestyle, as vegetarians.

The reason? Well, there are several. First, we can find those who refuse to consume animal protein in an attempt to preserve those lives and to set a precedent against what they can see as animal cruelty. Others have done their research to realize that they can get their protein intake just from plants and grains, and decide to go that way to avoid the cholesterol, antibiotics and other things that you could have while consuming animal protein. Finally, there is a whole group of people that follow the idea that all the animal proteins are not only bad but also a trigger for a good number of health conditions that kill thousands of people every year. We are talking about cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, just to mention a few ones.

Is all that true? It depends on who you talk to. It is true that well-known experts from around the world have studies and research that show a certain connection between the consumption of animal proteins and the risk of developing diseases like breast cancer and diabetes. It is true that there are documented cases of patients which have greatly improved their health by changing to a vegetarian lifestyle. It is true that most of the meat and chicken that we find at any supermarket in the country is plagued with antibiotics and other substances. It is true that animal cruelty has been a common practice in several farms where chickens, pork, and cows are hosted for production of meat, eggs, and milk. We all have seen the images, articles, and investigations around those topics. But the only truth that you should consider is your own one.

Every person is a unique universe. Only you can determine what is good or not for you. Only you can make the decision to try different things or to stay with what you already know. What’s important here, is to research, to read about the topic, to talk to different kind of people, to evaluate the pros and cons, to consult your doctor and to finally make a decision having in mind that you are who best know yourself.

In case you decide to become a vegetarian, start by reading about the benefits and the possible effects in your body. The internet is full of websites and pages where recipes, tips, and even coupons are available for those who have decided to start leaving behind the animal proteins.

Organize your menus, make a budget, look for easy recipes and plan ahead your meals, and take baby steps. Once you know what you are going to eat every day, it’s easy to continue. The struggle is to look for new dishes, but again, your cyber friends could be the key.

We always say that changes are good. If this is your case, enjoy it! You will discover a whole new world ahead of you. Just remember that balance is a good word to define whatever you do in life.

 

What we learned from Irma

There is a saying that from every tragedy we learn, that from the dark moments, always a light is born. Did we learn the lessons from Irma?

The destructive and monstrous hurricane announced its presence, took its time, and came to us, and even though we knew it was coming, many people decided to ignore the warnings of the authorities.

Yes, we have seen dozens of hurricanes, we have heard the warnings and at the end of the day, things are not as bad as they were pictured, right? But how is it possible to know how strong it will beat us? Reality is that we don’t know. Mother nature is always unpredictable.

We know now that the communications and electrical infrastructures around us are vulnerable, and some would say even weak. If you think that has nothing to do with you, it actually has!

When we know that after a storm we could lose basic services like water and electricity, we have to be ready and prepared to face that situation. Some thought that as usually happens, the regular canned food and extra couple of bottles of water would be enough. But they were not.

The long lines in front of almost empty supermarkets are proof of it. The fear of thousands of families for not being able to get their medicines or basic foods for their kids are proof of it.

Irma showed us that enough is not what we think. Irma showed us that optimism should not be confused with neglect. Irma showed us that what at first sight seems to be “just rain”, is not. That rain paralyzed thousands of families, thousands of businesses, thousands of people who had to stay at home, without working and not being able to earn a dime for days. They probably didn’t lose their roofs or their walls, but they lose the services that make those roofs and walls habitable.

Irma showed us that a couple of hours are enough to change the lives of whole cities for months. Irma showed us that we have to be humble before mother nature.

Memory is fragile, but it’s important that we keep these lessons alive and in mind.

 

Be ready! Adult acne is increasing and it could be part of your life

Adult acne is increasing and it’s more common than many may think. The bad news for women is that as a matter of fact, females are more likely to have it than men.

But, why? Why is it that after having passed adolescence, adults might worry again or for the first time in their lives about pimples?

The answer is not simple. According to many experts, there are several possible causes, but here are the most common:

  1. Hormonal changes
  2. Stress
  3. Diet
  4. Cleansing routine
  5. Health issues

 

Dermatologists say that the first step is to determine the cause of your breakouts, so, we could start going over the list.

Hormonal changes are difficult to detect by the patient, but women could pay special attention to their menstrual cycle. If the acne appears around that time of the month, that’s a good clue to follow.

A good way to fight stress is exercising, and it also helps you to promote a better health in general.

In terms of your diet, experts recommend a low-fat consumption routine, with a lot of water and fresh veggies and fruits.

Now, this might sound crazy, but if you are cleansing your skin too much, that could be the cause of the acne breakout. Dermatologists say that a gentle face wash, once a day is good and enough to protect your skin.

If you follow a healthy diet, if you are taking good care of your skin and your environment and still the acne is persistent, it could be time to visit your doctor. There are different health issues that only a physician could diagnose in order to let you know if they are related to your acne.

As always, don’t give up and take it easy. The most important thing is to take action.

How to avoid to get sick on a plane?

That’s probably one of the most important questions we should ask ourselves before we catch a flight. Unfortunately, it could be the last thing we take into consideration while getting ready for a trip, but the reality is that getting sick on a plane is not a myth, it happens, but you can follow some tips to at least try to avoid it.

Is not about being paranoid or compulsive about the issue, is more about being conscious of the fact that you will be basically trapped for a certain amount of time in the same space, breathing the same air, with someone who might be sick. Actually, if we think how the processes are, you will be occupying a seat in the plane that less than an hour ago was occupied by another person. Was that person sick? What if they left a virus in the space that now and for your entire trip will be yours?

We all know that the time taken by airlines between one flight and the next one in the same plane is minimal. They clean the restrooms, pick up the trash from the floor and that’s basically it.

So, we are facing a situation in which we depend on ourselves, and nobody else. Now, here are some tips that experts, including doctors, recommend us to follow in order to avoid getting out of that plane with an unwanted guest:

  • Bring a portable pack of disinfectant wipes with you. Clean the seat and every part of it that you will be in touch with, but pay especial attention to the tray, which is proven to be one of the dirtiest parts of a plane. Even if you cleaned it up, never eat directly from it.
  • Use the air vent above you. It creates a current to keep germs away from you, and the air filters actually help to capture viruses and bacteria that, otherwise, could land on you.
  • Don’t consume tap water from the plane and don’t use it to brush your teeth either.
  • While using the restroom, always try to avoid direct contact with the door, the lid of the toilet or any other surface.
  • Use sanitizer after using the restroom.
  • On an international flight, ask for hot meals. The heat helps to kill germs.
  • Try not to use pillows or blankets from the plane. Only the first flights of the day have fresh and clean sets.

 

If we think about all we can avoid by taking simple steps like these, it’s not crazy, right? Nobody wants to start a trip, even if is a business one, feeling sick. Before your next plane trip, think about this and enjoy a safe and healthy flight!

Sleep more and be happier

A well-rested body is a body with better energy levels and alertness…it’s a body ready to face an active and challenging day.

We all know the benefits of a good night of sleeping but seems like we are actually ignoring most of the deepest gains we can get from it.

Did you know that sleep promotes happiness? Yes! After a good night’s sleep, our brain is ready to keep the work of balancing all the enzymes, hormones and chemicals that the body produces and uses for many functions, including the ones that determine if we are happy and relaxed.

Thatś not a surprise if we consider that the lack of sleep has been always associated with depression and other mental problems, right?

Now, a healthy body is a happy body, and that’s precisely what brings us to the next benefit. Our immune system is like an army, and it’s in charge of dealing and fighting against viruses, pathogens, and problems, but in order to do it in the best possible way it needs to rest, and only the proper sleep could offer the time and conditions for it.

The same thing happens with our organs, bones, tissue, muscles, etc. Every single part of the body works tirelessly and a good sleep is not an option, but a need for them to recover and rest.

It’s clear that when someone suffers from insomnia or any other sleep disorder, is because something is not working properly, and the best thing to do is to consult a physician as soon as the first symptoms appear.

Once you have sleep deprivation, the stress, the fatigue, and other conditions make their triumphal entry to your body and to your life, causing an innumerable amount of discomfort. So, it’s very important to take action as soon as you detect the first symptoms of lack of sleep.

Even the simplest cases of insomnia affect your body and your brain and prevent you from enjoying a fully charged life.

Now, if you are lacking sleep time because you have a very intense social life, or because your smart phone is so attractive that you can’t resist to use it once you are in bed, to check your emails, your messages or your social media, then, you have to remember how good you feel after a good night of sleep. Remember that your brain and your body need anything between seven and nine hours of sleep to be ready for the next day, and to show to the world, how happy and smart you can be.