Your heart rate (a.k.a. pulse) is a measure of how many times your heart beats in a minute. Generally, a healthy resting heart rate (RHR) varies between 50 and 90 beats per minute (bpm), but this number can vary depending on factors such as medications and fitness levels. Many of us know our heart rates during exercise since most cardio machines have a heart rate display or because of the use of heart rate monitor devices which allow us to track fitness and performance. However, do you know your heart rate when you are at rest and does it matter? It absolutely does and it is one of the simplest measures of heart health, and can even help with stress management. Let’s look at some of these factors:
A Sprained Artery
Let’s say you were playing tennis and were running to make a forehand return. Unfortunately, your foot slips and your ankle turns inward, causing you to fall to the ground. Your body instantly senses the injury and activates your immune system to initiate the process of inflammation. Blood vessels open up around the injured ligaments to allow an army of different cells, such as white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets, to flood the injured ankle and start making repairs. As a result of this response you notice the classic symptoms of inflammation, such as swelling, redness, heat and pain over the ankle. The swelling is actually like an internal ankle brace which prevents you from moving your ankle in a direction that would worsen the injury. For the most part, you can see that the inflammatory process is one that protects the ankle and helps with the repair process.
None of us would ever want to be incapacitated to the extent that we could not make decisions affecting our well-being. Unfortunately, for some of us, that day may come.
For most individuals, that time comes later in life, but for others it happens much too early.
What sort of medical situations could cause such a scenario? You could be incapacitated by accident or illness, such a serious head injury, heart attack, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, meningitis or many other illnesses, diseases, and injuries.
To help in these situations, California has established an Advance Health Care Directive — sometimes referred to as a “living will” — that instructs physicians as to your wishes for medical treatment if you were to be incapacitated and unable to make decisions on your own.
Our quest for the fountain of youth is never ending. Although we can’t reverse aging, how can we slow down this process and maintain our energy, vitality and health as we approach our golden years? We all know that exercise and a healthy diet are key in preventing diseases and age-related complications, but in this blog post, I want to talk about a more specific chemical marker for aging known appropriately as “AGE.”
What immunizations am I due for? Should I get a flu shot? When should I have a colonoscopy or mammogram? Do I need to have an annual physical exam? To help answer some of these important questions and ensure you and your family stay healthy, PAMF provides an easy-to-follow online guide with up-to-date screening, immunization and preventative care information for each life stage.
PAMF’s Health Guidelines Task Force, which includes primary care doctors, specialists and health educators, reviews new health information and regularly updates these recommendations. Find out what health maintenance guidelines are right for you according to your age and gender:
View the complete 2013 guide. There you’ll also find many other resources to keep you in good health in 2013 and beyond.
Consider this guide a conversation starter when you next meet with your doctor and care team. It will help you work with your doctor to establish the wellness steps that are best for you.
PAMF’s Top Tips for Good Health
Keep Preventive Care Up-to-Date. Ask your doctor what screening tests and immunizations are right for you and when they are due. Then, complete them on schedule.
Know Your Body. If you notice a change that is persistent or of concern, contact your doctor.
Eat a Healthy Diet. Know your Body Mass Index (BMI) to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Eat more foods high in calcium and fiber and low in saturated fat and trans-fatty acids. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables. Use a BMI calculator to learn your BMI. Are you South Asian? Use our South Asian BMI calculator.
Don’t Get Caught in the Haze. Avoid smoking and inhaling others’ tobacco smoke. If you need support quitting, talk to your doctor.
Get Up and Move. Get your heart rate up. To find your target heart rate for exercise, subtract your age from 220, then multiply that number by 0.7, or 70 percent. Exercise for 30 minutes each day.
Play It Safe. Use sunblock, wear a bike helmet, fasten your seatbelt and use the right-size car seats for kids. Avoid driving, or driving with others, under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Practice safe sex.
Make Your Wishes Known. Complete an Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD). Find more information and AHCD forms in English and Spanish. Need help completing an AHCD? Stop by one our four Community Health Resource Centers where our trained staff and volunteers can print out an AHCD and help answer any questions you might have.
Create Balance. Reduce stress and make the most of each day! If you need help managing depression or mood changes or if you are abusing alcohol or drugs, seek your doctor’s help. Sign up for a PAMF mindfulness class today.
Sarcopenia is derived from the Greek meaning “poverty of flesh.” In medical terms it means the age-related decline in muscle mass which is typically at a rate of 0.5-1 percent muscle loss each year after age 25. This slow atrophy of our muscles is subtle enough that it may not be cause for immediate attention, but eventually it leads to early muscle fatigue, problems with balance, and increased sports injuries, since we lose our supportive muscles when we try to perform exercises and activities that require more agility (skiing, snowboarding, dancing, basketball, etc.).
Have you noticed how you or your parents walk now compared to earlier in life? People become less sure-footed, they may walk with their legs a little wider apart to provide more support, and eventually the use of canes and walkers may be necessary. Many elderly people who fall frequently are a victim of age-related sarcopenia.
Sedentary Muscle Fatigue
Another common type of sarcopenia is something I call “sedentary sarcopenia.” This is where prolonged sitting has led to significant muscle weakness in virtually every major muscle group. Many of my young software engineer patients tell me that even though they can walk for long distances and work out on an elliptical (stair climbing machine), as soon as they try to climb stairs they get completely out of breath. Sure, some of this is attributed to being aerobically out of shape, but many of us overlook the fact that weaker leg muscles cause fatigue earlier, so we breathe harder, our heart beats faster, and we struggle to move on.