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How Fewer Steps Promote Heart Health in Older Women

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In the realm of physical activity recommendations, the ubiquitous goal of achieving 10,000 steps per day has long been ingrained as a marker of optimal health. However, recent research challenges this notion, particularly for older women, suggesting that substantially fewer daily steps may still confer significant benefits, particularly in reducing the risk of heart failure.

A study published in the journal JAMA Cardiology on February 21st sheds light on the potential cardiovascular advantages of a modest step count among women aged 63 and older. Led by Michael LaMonte, a research professor at the University of Buffalo’s School of Public Health and Health Professions, the study indicates that accruing around 3,600 steps per day may yield notable heart health benefits in this demographic.

Unveiling the Findings

Analyzing data from nearly 6,000 women in the United States, researchers tracked participants’ step counts using motion trackers over a span of up to seven consecutive days. Surprisingly, the average daily step count among these women stood at approximately 3,600—a significantly lower figure than the commonly touted 10,000-step benchmark.

The study’s results revealed a compelling association between lower step counts and reduced risk of heart failure. Specifically, accumulating 3,600 steps per day was linked to a notable 26% lower risk of developing heart failure. Moreover, the risk of heart failure was further mitigated by engaging in light-intensity activities, such as household chores, and moderate-to-vigorous exercises, such as walking at a normal pace.

Light at the End of the Tunnel for Heart Failure Prevention

Of particular significance is the study’s focus on heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), a prevalent form of heart failure among older women. Light and moderate physical activities emerged as potent protective factors against HFpEF, underscoring the preventive potential of routine daily movements.

One notable finding from the study is that the intensity of physical activity did not appear to significantly influence the risk reduction of heart failure. Both light-intensity steps and more vigorous activities yielded comparable benefits, suggesting that older women need not engage in strenuous exertion to safeguard their heart health.

These findings offer a paradigm shift in how we perceive the relationship between step counts and cardiovascular health, particularly for older women. Emphasizing the importance of daily movement, even in modest amounts, opens doors for tailored physical activity recommendations that prioritize attainable goals.

As we navigate the evolving landscape of health and wellness, it’s crucial to adapt our perspectives on physical activity guidelines to reflect the diverse needs of different populations. For older women, the revelation that fewer steps may still translate into substantial heart health benefits is not only encouraging but also empowering. By embracing the concept of “movement in moderation,” individuals can take proactive steps—quite literally—towards promoting heart health and overall well-being, one step at a time.

How’s your heart doing? Are you looking for ways to improve your heart health? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Health

Does Creatine Make You Lose Hair?

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(3XHealth.com) – A good supplement for muscle growth is creatine. Like many other supplements, it has potential side effects, but hair loss is not one of them.

A substance called creatine is found in meat products and produced by the body naturally. It helps build muscle. When combined with a weight training program, supplements containing it have been shown to enhance muscular growth.

Furthermore, it’s extremely safe—the few reported adverse effects of creatine supplementation, which include dehydration and muscle cramping, are all anecdotal.

Why, then, does everyone persist in promoting the myth that hair loss is caused by creatine?

This is partly because most men’s top concern is hair loss. According to the Cleveland Clinic, around 70 percent of men will encounter it at some point, and it is primarily caused by genetics.

The best way to protect what hair you still have is to avoid anything that can exacerbate your hair loss. For a very long time, creatine was considered one of those dangers.

Since then, a significant body of fresh research has disproven the misconception. Jose Antonio, Ph.D., an exercise physiologist from Nova Southeastern University, states that there have been over 500 scientific research on creatine.

There are no other foods or dietary supplements with as many encouraging studies.

Furthermore, nothing in all the research suggests that consuming creatine may cause hair loss as a negative effect. Though research is still being done, Antonio says, “the current body of evidence does not indicate that creatine causes hair loss or baldness.”

The hair-loss myth originates from a 2009 study in South Africa, in which a group of college rugby players took creatine daily for three weeks.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a testosterone derivative that, in high quantities, can shrink hair follicles, shorten the hair growth cycle, and cause hair thinning, was found to be “statistically significant” higher in the study participants.

However, none of the rugby players in the study experienced hair loss due to taking the supplement. Antonio and an internationally renowned team of researchers reviewed the most prevalent myths surrounding creatine for the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

Furthermore, the creatine-treated study participants’ baseline DHT levels were 23% lower than those of the placebo group, and their measured DHT growth “remained well within normal clinical limits.”

Stated differently, their initial DHT levels were modest and remained low. “Physiologically meaningful” and “statistically significant” are two different concepts, according to Antonio.

Twelve further clinical experiments have examined the effects of creatine supplements on testosterone. However, none have confirmed the South African study’s results.

Still, the report circulated on social media, giving rise to the myth that creatine causes hair loss.

In any case, what is creatine?

Creatine is a derivative of amino acids. It aids in synthesizing and storing phosphocreatine (PCR), a chemical the muscles use to produce energy during high-intensity, brief workouts. Antonio expresses regret for the negative perception of creatine. He states, “I’ve been taking it for 25 years.”

He cites research that suggests creatine helps people with neuromuscular disorders, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and traumatic brain injury.

It may also help with memory and brain function. The supplement might lessen the severity of a concussion’s damage. Additionally, creatine plus exercise may combine to slow down and reverse sarcopenia or muscle loss with aging.

Are there any further adverse effects of creatine?

Although the Food and Drug Administration has classified creatine as GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe), it is not an FDA-approved medication.

When used properly, the only adverse effect of creatine is little weight gain, which usually results from increased lean muscle mass.

Anecdotal reports of renal harm, blood sugar issues, heart issues, muscular pulls and cramps, dehydration, and diarrhea are rare. However, there is no proof that the symptoms were brought on by creatine alone and not by another substance.

Though additional research is required, a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism reveals that coffee may reduce the effectiveness of creatine.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ sports nutritionist, Leslie Bonci, R.D., warns that not everyone will benefit from creatine.

According to Bonci, vegetarians “who don’t currently consume creatine as part of their daily diets” may benefit more from creatine supplements because it is an organic substance that occurs naturally in most meats and fish.

Adnan Nasir, M.D., MH dermatology expert, advises any man considering including creatine into his diet to check out a respectable health food or vitamin and nutrition store.

The supplement can be purchased as a drink mix, energy bar, tablet, or powder. Find out where to get a reliable creatine supplement.

Men who have kidney illness should see a physician before bringing a barrel of powder home. They should also take the prescribed dosage, usually 3 to 5 grams daily.

20 grams at a time won’t make them become the Hulk overnight. Since creatine dissolves in water, taking too much of it will be like dumping money down the toilet.

If nothing else, you can be confident that taking creatine will not cause you to lose hair around the shower drain.

Do you use creatine as part of your daily routine?

 

Copyright 2024. 3XHealth.clom

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Health

New Study Says Half of Americans Wouldn’t Disclose STD to New Partner

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A recent review reveals a troubling trend: only about half of people with a sexually transmitted disease (STD) disclose their infection to new partners before engaging in sexual activity. This reluctance is driven by various factors, including fear, misconceptions about protection, and anxiety over potential relationship repercussions.

Reasons for Non-Disclosure

Fear is a significant barrier preventing individuals from revealing their STD status. Many worry about being judged, rejected, or losing their partner. Additionally, some believe that using condoms provides enough protection, which can lead to a false sense of security. Others feel that in casual encounters, such as one-night stands, there’s no obligation to disclose their condition. This mindset can contribute to the spread of infections.

The review, which combined results from 32 previous studies, also found that some individuals “pass” as uninfected to avoid uncomfortable conversations. This behavior highlights the complex and vulnerable position people with STDs often find themselves in.

Prevalence and Rising Rates of STDs

According to the review, about 1 in 5 people in the United States have an STD at any given time, with over 26 million incidents reported annually. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis rates are at record levels and continue to rise, underscoring the urgent need for effective communication and preventive measures.

Motivations for Disclosure

Despite the challenges, many individuals do choose to disclose their STD status. Reasons for disclosure include love, a sense of moral obligation, and the strength of their relationship. The research found that the reaction and response of the partner play a critical role in the decision to disclose. Positive reactions from partners can encourage more open and honest communication.

The Role of Ignorance and Misconceptions

Ignorance regarding sexual health also contributes to the decision not to disclose an STD. For instance, some people with herpes believe they cannot transmit the virus when it is in remission, which is not true. Others think that condoms can entirely prevent transmission, which is another misconception.

The Need for Comprehensive Sex Education

The study emphasizes the need for comprehensive sex education to help individuals make informed decisions that protect the health of their partners. “A lack of sexual health knowledge indicates that many individuals are not receiving sufficient comprehensive sexual health education,” the researchers said in a journal news release. In the United States, comprehensive sex education is still taboo rather than the norm, which contributes to widespread misinformation and risky behaviors.

Conclusion: Promoting Open Communication and Education

The reluctance to disclose STD status to new partners poses significant public health risks. It’s crucial to foster open communication and provide comprehensive sex education to mitigate these risks. By improving sexual health knowledge and encouraging honest discussions about STDs, we can better protect the health and well-being of individuals and their partners.

Have you ever faced the challenge of disclosing an STD to a partner? How did you handle it? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments below! Your insights could help others navigate these difficult conversations and promote a healthier approach to sexual relationships.

 

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What You Need to Know About Headaches: Types, Triggers, and Treatments

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When you’re dealing with pain, pressure, and pounding in your head, it’s easy to fear the worst: Is it a brain tumor? Fortunately, that’s rarely the case. According to Dr. John Messmer, medical director at Penn State Health Medical Group, headaches alone are not a common sign of a tumor, since the brain itself doesn’t feel pain. While a headache might develop if a tumor causes spinal fluid to build up, most headaches are just headaches.

Different Types of Headaches

Not all headaches are the same. They can be classified into three main types: migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. Each type has its own characteristics and responds to different treatments. Understanding these differences can help you manage your headaches more effectively.

Migraines

Migraines often affect one side of the head or occur behind the eye and can last for days. Migraines may be preceded by an aura, where people experience blind spots or see shimmering spots or flashes of light. Routine physical activity usually worsens them.

Migraines can also be accompanied by stroke-like symptoms, such as numbness on one side of the body, particularly in older individuals who had migraines when they were younger. Treatment options for migraines vary based on their severity. Milder migraines can be fixed with over-the-counter painkillers like aspirin or ibuprofen, combined with a nap in a dark room. For more frequent migraines, doctors may prescribe stronger medications, including triptans or calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor blockers, which work best when taken at the onset of the headache.

The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but known triggers include alcohol, certain foods, and hormonal changes in women.

Tension-Type Headaches

Tension-type headaches can occur in any part of the head and often feel like pressure. These headaches can spread into the neck and are not necessarily caused by life stress or muscle tension. Triggers for tension headaches include anxiety, anger, excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption, and poor posture. The pain from tension headaches can affect any part of the head.

For infrequent tension headaches, relief can often be found with Tylenol or ibuprofen. For those who experience them more often, lifestyle changes such as taking riboflavin supplements, exercising, stretching, and engaging in relaxation therapy can be beneficial. It’s essential to identify and address the underlying issues that may be contributing to these headaches.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are vascular headaches, meaning they involve blood vessels. They are uncommon and typically affect men. Cluster headaches are characterized by severe pain, often around one eye, and can occur in cyclical patterns or clusters.

The same medications used to treat migraines can be effective for cluster headaches, and supplemental oxygen therapy can also provide relief. If headaches are impairing your work, education, or relationships, it’s time to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

When to See a Doctor

Headaches can significantly impact your quality of life, and it’s crucial to seek medical advice if they become frequent or severe. For some people, one headache a week might be manageable, while for others, even one headache a year can be too much.

If you’ve never had headaches before and they start occurring regularly, it’s important to see a doctor. Migraines often start in the teen years, so if they begin later in life, you should consult with your healthcare provider. Additionally, if your headache is accompanied by blurry vision or an inability to use one of your limbs, seek emergency medical attention immediately.

Conclusion: Managing Headaches

Understanding the different types of headaches and their triggers can help you manage them more effectively. While migraines, tension headaches, and cluster headaches each have unique characteristics, treatments are available that can provide relief. If headaches are disrupting your life, don’t hesitate to see a doctor.

Have you experienced any of these types of headaches? What treatments or strategies have worked for you? Share your experiences and tips in the comments below! Your insights could help others find relief and better manage their headaches.

 

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