Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Heart Rate Monitors

One of the secrets to optimal fitness isn't just the amount of exercise you get. It's the intensity level of that exercise—not too high, not too low. A heart rate monitor (HRM) is a useful tool to find this "sweet spot" of heartbeats per minute. What's the best heart rate monitor for your money?

An HRM's wristwatch-style receiver gives you real-time data on your workout's efficiency. Most models provide average heart rate, as well as the high, low and target heart rate reached during your workout.
Basic models offer up to 3 target zones; advanced models have from 3 to 6 target zones. With the capacity for multiple target zones, you can preprogram your heart rate monitor for a series of different workouts (e.g., endurance, aerobic and anaerobic variations described above). If your HRM offers only a single aerobic target zone, you'll need to reprogram it every time you want to change the exercise parameters.
Other features to consider when shopping:

  • Sport watch: Includes features such as a countdown timer, calendar and clock.
  • Stopwatch and lap/split times: After each lap at a track or every mile on a marked-distance race course, hit the "Lap" button to see how your pace has changed throughout your workout or race (a.k.a. your "split").
  • Recovery heart rate mode: Tracks the time it takes your heart to return to its normal, resting rate. It's a good indicator of cardiovascular fitness and especially important if your workouts include sprints or interval training.
  • Time in target zone: Tracks the time you spend exercising within your target zone. Some zones and goals require more time than others.
  • Calorie counter: Estimates the calories burned during exercise. This can be especially handy if your workouts are part of a weight-loss program.
  • Foot podSpeed and distance monitor: Calculates the speed and measures the distance covered in a particular workout. This is typically done via a GPS receiver for outdoor use or a foot pod for indoor use or use in an outdoor area with limited satellite reception. A foot pod uses an accelerometer to determine the length of each stride. For details, see the REI Expert Advice article, Speed and Distance Monitors.
  • PC interface: Connects your heart rate monitor to your home computer so you can download training statistics for analysis and storage. This may be wireless or require a separate computer connection.
  • Fitness trainer: This provides alerts for intensity levels that fall above or below your chosen training zones.
  • Coded transmitter: Encrypts transmissions from the chest strap to the wristwatch-style receiver to prevent crosstalk, which are signals from the wireless HRMs of others exercising around you.
  • Bicycle-mounting options: Many HRMs can dock to a bicycle's handlebar, though doing so may require a mounting accessory. Add a speed and cadence sensor to your bike to help maintain your cycling rhythm.
  • Battery replacement: Many, but not all, HRM wrist receivers use consumer-replaceable batteries to simplify maintenance. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tips for Doctors Building Web Sites for their Practice

What kind of a web site should a doctor have? We asked the experts at Act Now Domains and this is what they recommend:

1. Learn From The Competition and follow what worked for other doctors.

2. Simple, accessible information using words the average person without medical education would understand.

3. The web site should be very easy to use.

4. Professional, classy style is key to earning trust.

5. Profiles of doctors and staff are a necessity.

6. Focus on your local community since that's where your patients come from.

7. Submit the site to local directories.

8. Offer online consultations.

9. Provide useful content.

10. Make sure not to forget to include your address and contact information.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Causes of Constipation

What are the possible causes of constipation?

  • Inadequate water intake
  • Inadequate fiber in the diet
  • A disruption of regular diet or routine; traveling
  • Inadequate activity or exercise or immobility
  • Eating large amounts of dairy products
  • Stress
  • Resisting the urge to have a bowel movement, which is sometimes the result of pain from hemorrhoids
  • Overuse of laxatives (stool softeners) which, over time, weaken the bowel muscles
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson's disease or multiple sclerosis
  • Antacid medicines containing calcium or aluminum
  • Medicines (especially strong pain medicines, such as narcotics, antidepressants, or iron pills)
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Pregnancy
  • Colon cancer
  • In some cases, lack of good nerve and muscle function in the bowel may also be a cause of constipation.

Breastfeeding Tips

A new report lists 51 breastfeeding tips for new moms. The tips include information for all stages: before the baby is born, right after the child's arrival, and weaning babies off breast milk. Scientific studies have proven that people's IQ rises 8 points if they were breastfed. That's why we suggest to all new mothers that they read this guide and, if possible, breastfeed their children.

Health Issues in housing projects

Roaches are a major problem in the inner city housing. The City of New York tried to publish reports for families explaining how to get rid of roaches, but the problem persists. Additional security and janitors are being added by the City, but it seems that the problem may lie in the fact that tenants are not taking pride in their housing.

Some have suggested that rather than increasing government spending on the housing projects, the residents would be better served by privatizing these homes so that the residents would have a reason to take care of their own homes - these homes would be truly theirs, as they would be the full owners who would want to keep up the market value of the property they might some day sell.

Florida contractors are now required to follow medical safety regulations

Florida contractors are now required to follow medical safety regulations to make sure they do not cause cancer or any other diseases by using asbestos and other substances that would be harmful to not just people, but even their pets as well.

The medical safety regulations have also been passed in most other states over the last decade, and longer in some places.

The federal government may get involved as well, but has not passed any laws as stringent as the states have. Whether federal regulations are even necessary is a subject of a debate. Some say state laws are sufficient because they already protect people from medical harm. They further point out that having two sets of laws that contractors have to follow, one from the federal government and one from the state government, creates needless bureaucracy that not only fails to better protect, it actually serves to confuse people who might be in violation of one set of rules or the other due to conflicting demands. Others point out that if the federal government passes its own set of rules, it could take precedence over state laws and therefore create one set of rules for the whole country.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Supplemental insurance coverage for prescription medicine

Prescription medicine has become extraordinarily expensive. Not only is it nearly unaffordable without insurance, but even if you have health care coverage, the co-pays are often so expensive that lower middle class people may not be able to afford them. Whether it's a herpes flare up or a heart attack, the cost of prescription medication for treatment can be tremendous.

Nobody ever expects to get sick, and the result is that people don't plan for it. But sooner or later, we all fall ill. Many people have resorted to getting payday loans or using credit cards to pay for their prescription drugs. This, however, gets expensive very quickly and for people who need prescription medication on a regular basis, it is unaffordable.

Instead, we recommend getting supplemental insurance coverage, which would the part of the prescription drug cost that your regular insurance doesn't cover. It is inexpensive and if you have a medical problem, it may literally become a lifesaver.