The Myth Of "Maximum Heart Rate = 220-Age"

You’ve probably heard of the formula “220-your age” for estimating maximum heart rate. Unfortunately, this formula is not very useful because it can be easily off by more than 20 beats on the high or low side. For me at age 54 this formula says my maximum heart rate should be 166, but I happen to know from more accurate tests that it’s at least 25 beats higher than that.

In books, on exercise machines, and on the walls of gyms, you’ll often see charts of suggested exercise intensity that are based on 220-your age. It’s also in calculators all over the web. I’d hardly break a sweat if I exercised at those levels. But more importantly, for some people the opposite is true and their maximum heart rate can be more than 20 beats lower than the formula predicts. If they were to exercise at the levels from the charts, their intensity could be too high, especially for anyone with a medical condition.

This formula is often quoted without any warning about its potential inaccuracy, and in addition to the inaccuracy, it turns out it has little scientific basis [Kolata, 2003]. Some people are aware that 220-age was never intended by its original authors to be a universal formula (it was intended to come up with a safe exercise level for patients in cardiac rehab and was based on a not very broad sample of subjects). But the problem is also in the basic assumption that max heart can be predicted on the basis of age alone. If you think about it, it seems nonsensical- regardless of family background, fitness level, whether we’re tall or short, underweight or overweight, etc, we all have exactly the same heart rate at a certain age, and maximum heart rate declines with age in all of us at exactly the same rate?

More recent studies have tried to revisit this concept on a broader sample of the population. For example, in one study, based on thousands of subjects, male and female, ranging in age from 18 to 81, the authors came up with a “best fit” equation of:

Max heart rate = 208 -0.7xAge.

However, if you look at the data this is based on, it looks like a cloud with only a vague trend towards heart rate decreasing with age; there’s a lot of scatter. The new formula is a little more accurate than the old one, but can still under predict or over predict max HR by 20 beats or so [Tanaka, 2001].

A recent review of many attempts to come up with a formula to predict max heart rate concluded that no sufficient accurate formula exists to predict max heart rate from age alone [Robergs, 2002]. In my opinion none is possible because of the large amount of scatter in the data. Exercise physiologist Dr. Fritz Hagerman, who has studied world-class rowers for three decades, has said that the idea of a formula to predict an individual’s maximum heart rate is ludicrous: he has seen Olympic rowers in their 20’s with maximum heart rates of 220, and others on the same team and with the same ability, with maximum rates of just 160 [Kolata, 2001].

Many books have charts with elaborate training schedules based on various zones of intensity, all based on maximum heart rate. It all may look very scientific, but it’s not too worthwhile if it’s based on an inaccurate number.

Another misconception I’ve come across is that the problem with the 220-age formula is fixed by using the “heart rate reserve” or Karvonen formula. In that formula, exercise intensity as expressed as a percentage of your “reserve capacity” between your resting heart rate (RHR) and max heart rate (MHR):

Target heart rate = X% of (MHR-RHR) +RHR

Where X% is the desired percentage. This is a useful formula because the intensities from it are related to a percentage of the heart rate corresponding to your maximal oxygen update VO2Max, which many exercise physiologists are fond of using. But the Karvonen formula still needs an accurate estimate of your max heart rate. If you stick in an inaccurate number based on an age related prediction like 220-age, the result will still be inaccurate.

Heart rate training can be a useful tool, if based on a good estimate of what’s a valid intensity level for you. Maximum heart rate can be measured accurately in a lab, but for most of us that’s kind of an expensive option. You can estimate other useful parameters like heart rate at lactate threshold from self-administered tests (see for example, [Carmichael, 2003]) and this can be used for heart rate based training. But for those of us that are interested in mostly in fitness, I question the necessity. I’m a “perceived level of exertion” kind of guy. On easy cardio days my pace is comfortable. On hard days, it feels hard, and when doing intervals, it’s very hard. This leads to good and steady progress.

References

-Carmichael, Chris, and Jim Rutberg, The Ultimate Ride: Get Fit, Get Fast, and Start Winning With the World’s Top Cycling Coach, Grosset & Dunlap, 2003.

-Kolata, G, “Maximum Heart Rate Theory Is Challenged”, The New York Times Health Page, April 24, 2001.

-Robergs, R, and Landwehr, R, “The Surprising History Of The ‘HRmax= 220-age’ Equation’, Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 5(2), 2002.

-Tanaka, H, Monahan, K, Seals, D, “Age-Predicted Maximal Heart Rate Revisited”, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 37(1), 153, 2001.

The Myth Of "Maximum Heart Rate = 220-Age"

You’ve probably heard of the formula “220-your age” for estimating maximum heart rate. Unfortunately, this formula is not very useful because it can be easily off by more than 20 beats on the high or low side. For me at age 54 this formula says my maximum heart rate should be 166, but I happen to know from more accurate tests that it’s at least 25 beats higher than that.

In books, on exercise machines, and on the walls of gyms, you’ll often see charts of suggested exercise intensity that are based on 220-your age. It’s also in calculators all over the web. I’d hardly break a sweat if I exercised at those levels. But more importantly, for some people the opposite is true and their maximum heart rate can be more than 20 beats lower than the formula predicts. If they were to exercise at the levels from the charts, their intensity could be too high, especially for anyone with a medical condition.

This formula is often quoted without any warning about its potential inaccuracy, and in addition to the inaccuracy, it turns out it has little scientific basis [Kolata, 2003]. Some people are aware that 220-age was never intended by its original authors to be a universal formula (it was intended to come up with a safe exercise level for patients in cardiac rehab and was based on a not very broad sample of subjects). But the problem is also in the basic assumption that max heart can be predicted on the basis of age alone. If you think about it, it seems nonsensical- regardless of family background, fitness level, whether we’re tall or short, underweight or overweight, etc, we all have exactly the same heart rate at a certain age, and maximum heart rate declines with age in all of us at exactly the same rate?

More recent studies have tried to revisit this concept on a broader sample of the population. For example, in one study, based on thousands of subjects, male and female, ranging in age from 18 to 81, the authors came up with a “best fit” equation of:

Max heart rate = 208 -0.7xAge.

However, if you look at the data this is based on, it looks like a cloud with only a vague trend towards heart rate decreasing with age; there’s a lot of scatter. The new formula is a little more accurate than the old one, but can still under predict or over predict max HR by 20 beats or so [Tanaka, 2001].

A recent review of many attempts to come up with a formula to predict max heart rate concluded that no sufficient accurate formula exists to predict max heart rate from age alone [Robergs, 2002]. In my opinion none is possible because of the large amount of scatter in the data. Exercise physiologist Dr. Fritz Hagerman, who has studied world-class rowers for three decades, has said that the idea of a formula to predict an individual’s maximum heart rate is ludicrous: he has seen Olympic rowers in their 20’s with maximum heart rates of 220, and others on the same team and with the same ability, with maximum rates of just 160 [Kolata, 2001].

Many books have charts with elaborate training schedules based on various zones of intensity, all based on maximum heart rate. It all may look very scientific, but it’s not too worthwhile if it’s based on an inaccurate number.

Another misconception I’ve come across is that the problem with the 220-age formula is fixed by using the “heart rate reserve” or Karvonen formula. In that formula, exercise intensity as expressed as a percentage of your “reserve capacity” between your resting heart rate (RHR) and max heart rate (MHR):

Target heart rate = X% of (MHR-RHR) +RHR

Where X% is the desired percentage. This is a useful formula because the intensities from it are related to a percentage of the heart rate corresponding to your maximal oxygen update VO2Max, which many exercise physiologists are fond of using. But the Karvonen formula still needs an accurate estimate of your max heart rate. If you stick in an inaccurate number based on an age related prediction like 220-age, the result will still be inaccurate.

Heart rate training can be a useful tool, if based on a good estimate of what’s a valid intensity level for you. Maximum heart rate can be measured accurately in a lab, but for most of us that’s kind of an expensive option. You can estimate other useful parameters like heart rate at lactate threshold from self-administered tests (see for example, [Carmichael, 2003]) and this can be used for heart rate based training. But for those of us that are interested in mostly in fitness, I question the necessity. I’m a “perceived level of exertion” kind of guy. On easy cardio days my pace is comfortable. On hard days, it feels hard, and when doing intervals, it’s very hard. This leads to good and steady progress.

References

-Carmichael, Chris, and Jim Rutberg, The Ultimate Ride: Get Fit, Get Fast, and Start Winning With the World’s Top Cycling Coach, Grosset & Dunlap, 2003.

-Kolata, G, “Maximum Heart Rate Theory Is Challenged”, The New York Times Health Page, April 24, 2001.

-Robergs, R, and Landwehr, R, “The Surprising History Of The ‘HRmax= 220-age’ Equation’, Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 5(2), 2002.

-Tanaka, H, Monahan, K, Seals, D, “Age-Predicted Maximal Heart Rate Revisited”, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 37(1), 153, 2001.

Natural Cure For Fibroids – Eating to Reduce Fibroid Tumors

If you are considering trying a natural cure for fibroids, you should be aware that you can reduce fibroid tumors by carefully choosing which foods you eat. Of course, diet alone can not eradicate fibroids, but your diet plays an integral and extremely important part of any worthwhile system to get rid of your fibroids.

Most of us are aware of the impact our diet plays in terms of our overall health and wellbeing. Very often some common ailments can be triggered by eating a poor diet. With regard to fibroids, it is never "only" your diet which causes growth, but there is no doubt that it is an important influential factor.

In general, if eating to reduce fibroid tumors, you must follow the principles of a healthy diet. You must eat a minimum of 5-7 portions of fresh fruits and vegetables, concentrating on eating leafy green vegetables. Drink at least 2 liters of filtered water daily and you can also include fruit and herbal teas and diluted fruit juice. Other excellent foods to include are light, lean meats, such as chicken, and also eat wholegrains, seeds, nuts and beans.

Processed and red meats are best avoided, as are animal fats, caffeine and alcohol. Wherever possible, eat foods which are in their natural, raw states and avoid sugar and artificial sweeteners.

A natural cure for fibroids should also include symptomatic relief and in terms of your diet, eating iron rich foods will help with heavy bleeding. Certain iron-rich foods, such as kale, bran, certain seeds and nuts and bran can really help with fibroid shrinkage.

Because of the fact that fibroids are very rarely dangerous or life-threatening, this gives you the opportunity to try out a natural cure for fibroids without the worry that you might be postponing life-saving surgery. In most cases, fibroids will continue to grow if no action is taken as the root causes are still there, so taking prompt action is always a good idea.

Home Remedies For Cold and Cough

There are very many reasons for cold and cough. Intake of cold food, cold drinks and fried stuff etc causes cough. Seasonal changes is also one of the reasons for cough. Improper digestion of food transforms into a mucus toxin and this circulates through the body and reaches the respiratory system, where it causes colds and coughs.

The main signs that indicate the presence of cold & cough are running or blocked nose sneezing , sore throat , congestion, headache, low fever with body pain, loss of appetite, lethargy and sleeplessness.

Home Remedies for cough with onions, grapes & almonds:

1. Onions are useful in removing phlegm. Chop raw onions into fine pieces and extract juice from it. 1 tsp of this juice should be mixed with 1tsp of honey and kept for 4 to 5 hrs. This makes an excellent cough syrup and can be taken twice daily.

Crush a medium sized onion, add the juice of 1 lemon and then add 1 cup of boiling water to it. A tsp of honey can be added for taste. This mixture can be taken 2 – 3 times a day for good relief from cough.

2. Almonds are useful for dry coughs. Soak seven kernels of almonds overnight and remove the brown skin. Make a fine paste out of it. Add 20gms of butter and sugar to the paste. This paste can be taken in the morning and evening for good relief from dry cough.

3. Grapes act as an expectorant. Grapes tone up the lungs and acts as an expectorant, giving relief from simple cold and cough in a couple of days. A cup of grape juice mixed with honey gives good relief from cough.

Here are some more simple home remedies to control cold and cough:- Add honey and a pinch of salt to orange juice and drink it to get relief from cold, cough and throat pain. Include cabbage regularly in food to control cold and cough. Add pepper to guava to get relief from phlegm. Having cow’s milk with honey cures cold. Fresh cow’s milk with turmeric powder, drink early morning to get relief from dry cough. For children add tulsi leaves juice to mother’s milk for cold. Burn onion directly in the flame and eat to remove cough and chest congestion. Betel leaves juice with honey helps in getting relief from cough. Having a glass of milk with turmeric in the night gives relief from cold and cough. Taking steam with Vicks VapoRub gives good relief from cold. A warm drink also soothes the entire respiratory tact.

Negative Effects of Gymnastics on the Body

Olympic gymnasts are young, normally retiring around 18. Though there are some benefits to practicing at such a young age, they are far outweighed by the drawbacks. The obsession with unhealthily low weights has caused anorexia and bulimia in more than a few gymnasts, sometimes leading to death. Though many gymnasts are healthy, not all of them are. Here are some things you should look out for if you’re considering allowing your child to enter serious gymnastic competition.

Gymnastics stunts growth. Gymnasts that have a large strength:mass ratio are much better performers in the sport. What this means is that short, thin girls with incredible muscle mass do better in all elements of gymnastic competition. Whether this means that coaches work children extra hard to keep them from growing or that girls predisposed to smaller size succeed is up for debate, but the fact remains that regularly practicing gymnastics keeps girls from growing at the rate of non-elite athletes.

Injuries that occur in children last through adulthood. Whether a fractured ankle, torn muscle or joint or displaced kneecap, the injuries that you get in youth stay with you, often growing worse, in adulthood.

Excessive athletic activity leads to late-onset puberty and menstruation. Menstrual irregularities are incredibly common in gymnasts, with at least 75% of girls getting their periods years later than those who do not compete. This is not true of all elite athletes; gymnastics is the only sport in which all participants have stunted growth and late maturation.

Scientists are not sure what causes the growth issues associated with gymnastics. Still being studied, they have found that women and girls do “catch-up” on growth when they significantly cut down training hours and when they retire from the sport.

Graves’ Disease – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment Methods – peterhutch

Graves Disease: Graves’ disease is one of the most common autoimmune diseases, affecting 13 million people and targeting women seven times as often as … more about Graves Disease.

Graves Disease: A form of hyperthyroidism where the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine which results in various symptoms such as goiter, protruding eyes and skin disorders. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Graves Disease is available below.

Causes Graves’ Disease

Graves’ disease is caused by a malfunctioning of the immune system. Antibodies that usually protect the body against infections, viruses and bacteria, attack the thyroid gland.

The thyroid gland, in turn, produces excess thyroid hormone. It is not known what causes the immune system to attack the thyroid gland. A combination of factors such as heredity, sex, age, stress, smoking, and radiation have been implicated as possible triggers for Graves’ disease.

Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that is more common in middle-aged women than in any other group of people. The symptoms of Graves disease are caused by hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid gland, which produces more thyroid hormones than the body can handle. It is not known how the thyroid gland becomes overactive, however. So the exact cause of Graves disease cannot be pinpointed.

Graves’ disease symptoms

Anxiety

Irritability

Difficulty sleeping

Graves’ ophthalmopathy

It’s also fairly common for your eyes to exhibit mild signs of a condition known as Graves’ ophthalmopathy. In Graves’ ophthalmopathy, your eyeball bulges out past its protective orbit (exophthalmos). This occurs as tissues and muscles behind your eye swell and cause your eyeball to move forward. Because your eye is so far forward, the front surface of your eye can become dry. Cigarette smokers with Graves’ disease are more likely to have eye problems.

Thyroid hormone has been recognized as an important factor in brain function, so either too much or too little causes malfunction. In a few patients, the emotional pattern is that of mild euphoria. In others, profound fatigue or weakness may be the most noticeable symptom. The mind is often very active, and the patient may have insomnia. Rarely, patients develop visual or auditory hallucinations or a frank psychosis. The latter may not completely clear up after thyrotoxicosis has been treated, but may result from an underlying condition existing before the Graves’ disease.

Treatment of Graves’ disease

Here is list of the methods for treating Graves’ disease:

Your doctor will prescribe either methimazole (Tapazole) or propylthiouracil (PTU) pills. These drugs act to prevent the thyroid from manufacturing the thyroid hormone.

Anti-thyroid drugs which inhibit production or conversion of the active thyroid hormone.

Surgical removal of most of the thyroid gland is the other alternative for severe cases of Graves’ disease.

The choice of modality for initial treatment of Graves’ disease is based on symptoms, individual preference, and the experience of the health care provider. In North America, radioactive iodine is often the first treatment of choice whereas in Europe, the initial choice for treatment is antithyroid drugs.

Many of the treatment modalities for Graves’ disease render the thyroid gland non-functional and lifetime replacement with synthetic thyroid hormone is required. Some studies indicate that regardless of the treatment chosen, approximately 50% of patients remain hypothyroid (low levels of thyroid hormone) even 10 years after treatment.

A Rotator Cuff Exercise a Day Keeps the Physio Away

A good suggestion that I would have for any person who does strength training is: “make sure you have shoulder stability and rotator cuff exercises in your program at least once a week throughout the year.”

The shoulder joint is an extremely mobile joint due to the fact it sacrifices stability. The shoulder joint has many factors that help increase its stability, none more important than the rotator cuff muscle group.

There are four rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder which play a vital role in stabilising the arm into the shoulder capsule. If these muscles become weak there is an increased likelihood that an injury will occur, commonly a rotator cuff tear or in a severe case a dislocated shoulder.

It is common to see rotator cuff exercises included ONLY in a shoulder rehabilitation program. While these exercises are fantastic for rehabilitation, they have a vital role in injury reduction. Strengthening the rotator cuff will assist in overall strength of the shoulders as it will give you more control which will allow you to lift heavier weights for exercises such as Bench Press.

Rotator cuff muscles are very active when your arms are above your head for example taking a mark in AFL. This is due to the scapulo-humeral rhythm where the shoulder blade and the humerus move at different ratios allowing the correct tracking of the shoulder blade. If incorrect tracking occurs the client can succumb to injuries such as shoulder impingements or AC joint separation.

For this article, I am going to give you the basic progression of exercises that will build stability and strength. These exercises are simple and are beneficial for all clients, whether they are elite athletes, young athletes, or simply a fitness client.

There are five exercises all together. The order of these exercises will firstly promote stability and the correct sequencing of the shoulder joint. Secondly it will promote strength for the rotator cuff muscles. I recommend that you perform one of these exercise’s at least once a week and if you follow the order provided the risk of shoulder injury will decrease. Once you have completed all of these exercises, simply start all over again but with more weight.

I generally use the following repetition ranges for 4 weeks:

Week 1: 2 x 10
Week 2: 3 x 10
Week 3: 3 x 12
Week 4: 3 x 12

The tempo that you will use is a regular rhythm of 2-0-1 (2 seconds down, 0 seconds on the bottom, 1 second up).

Exercise #1: Floor – Scapula Support

This is the first exercise I use to promote stability in the shoulder joint. This exercise enhances postural awareness and ensures appropriate motor patterns as it flattens the scapulas against the rib cage preventing scapula winging. This exercise requires no movement therefore you should HOLD this position for 20sec and repeat this exercise 3 times.

Exercise #2: Floor – Scarecrows (BW)

Scarecrows are used to strengthen upper back and shoulder musculature, while encouraging good scapula positioning and sequencing assisting the scapulo-humeral rhythm decreasing the likelihood of shoulder impingements. To begin with, the exercise should be performed without any weights. Once correct sequencing has been established light dumbbells can be used (1-4kg).

Exercise #3: Db Straight Arm Raises

This is the first exercise I use to start strengthening the rotator cuff muscle group. It is basically the same action as a tennis back hand and for someone who has never completed external rotation work, it will be good to start on 2 or 3 kg. The average person will perform it with 4kg.

Exercise #4: Db Diagonal Supraspinatus

Db Diagonal Supraspinatus is used to strengthen the supraspinatus muscle and stability by improving the length-tension relationship of the rotator cuff muscles. Improving this relationship will improve the amount of force that can be exerted by the rotator cuff muscles especially the supraspinatus. This exercise should be completed with light weights, I recommend starting with 3kg.

Exercise #5: Db High External Rotation

The high position of this exercise makes it the best for above head sports, but exercises 1-4 are important for building the base strength needed prior to performing this exercise. You will probably start on 3kg and only move up small amounts. I think of this as more of a control exercise, so do not worry about the weight too much.

Good Training!

Ben Williams

Jobs For People With Back Pain

Back pain is one of the leading causes of missed work and disability in the U.S. People with back conditions often have to modify their behaviors to manage pain, and this modification can interfere with the ability to perform your job.

Many people choose to or need to continue working in the face of chronic pain; this could be because of the difficulties surrounding disability or worker’s compensation payments, a desire to stay active or love for one’s job. Determining whether you can stay in your current line of work demands assessing your limitations and the flexibility of your work environment.

In general, people with chronic back pain need to avoid heavy lifting, prolonged sitting and prolonged standing/walking. The work environment must not demand repetitive motions that strain the back such as twisting. If it is possible to perform your job while either sitting or standing, you may be able to resume work. Ergonomics are an important consideration; work spaces must be designed to support proper body mechanics and limit back strain.

People with back injuries should cease construction work, landscaping, truck driving or any other job requiring hard physical labor or mandatory, prolonged sitting.

Best Jobs For People With Back Pain

Any job that is flexible concerning your position and doesn’t require heavy lifting may be possible for a person with back problems. If you can no longer continue the job you had before or are entering the job market for the first time and have back pain, consider the following work opportunities that are likely possible for people with back pain.

Freelancing is essentially applying your skills from home. Data entry, computer programming, web design, writing, data entry, editing, translating and researching are some of the skill sets that can land you a freelancing job. Working from home allows you to set your own schedule and take breaks for exercising and stretching whenever you choose. Be creative with your work station; set it up so that you can perform some of your work while standing. Sites like http://www.elance.com/ help connect freelancers to employers securely.

Teachers can often choose whether to sit or stand throughout the day and generally don’t need to perform physical labor. If you have or will obtain a bachelor’s degree, this profession may be an option for you.

With the right accommodations, jobs that require desk work can be possible for people with back injuries. An ergonomic workstation in an office, call center or customer service center will help keep you from straining your back. Taking breaks for quick walks, having the option to stand or sit at your desk and using an adjustable chair will make these types of jobs accessible to you.

Refer to the Job Accommodation Network’s website at http://askjan.org/media/back.html for more information on workplace accommodations.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that a sedentary lifestyle is the answer to back pain; keeping active is one of the most important components of back pain treatment. Making adaptations to your work life may make employment possible to you. If not, a disability or worker’s compensation lawyer may get you the help you need.

Penis Pain: Handling the Lumpy Penis

Guys like to take pride in their equipment, and a lumpy penis can strike a blow to that pride. When that lumpiness also brings about penis pain, it’s a double blow. Guys with common sense practice appropriate penis care, but sometimes a lumpy tool requires a little extra care.

Lymphangiosclerosis

Bumps and lumps can pop up on the penis for various reasons, including genital warts, Fordyce spots, etc. Sometimes, a condition called lymphangiosclerosis is to blame.

What is it? Well, it sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. Lymphangiosclerosis refers to a hardened lymph vessel, in this case occurring in the penis. It’s typically an inch or two long, and presents as a raised area of skin, fairly thin. At first glance, a guy might simply mistake this for one of the numerous veins that run throughout the manhood. However, veins are blue and a lymphangiosclerosis lump is not.

The lump has a definite hardness to it; doctors often describe it as feeling calcified or fibrous. It can be discerned in the penis in both its flaccid and erect states. In some cases, the “bulge” is particularly pronounced and noticeable. It is this lumpiness that many men and their partners find aesthetically off-putting. Looks aside, many partners who encounter the lump while caressing or orally gratifying the rod assume that it is some form of infection or disease – resulting in a cessation of the pleasurable activities that led to its discovery.

Cause

The exact cause of this penis lump isn’t really known; however, it appears to be the result of enthusiastic sexual activity. When a guy is engaging in sex (with a partner or himself) with a little too much abandon or too much roughness, something in the process aggravates the lymph node and creates the swelling and hardening. Naturally, when having so much fun, a man doesn’t notice anything. It may be many days later before he takes a look and sees there has been a new development.

Pain

Again, it’s important to emphasize that lymphangiosclerosis is not the result of (or cause of) a social disease. It is not contagious, and it’s benign. But that doesn’t mean it can’t cause penis pain.

The pain is typically not encountered while the member is in its flaccid state. And an erection all by itself does not usually bring on pain.

However, when that erect penis is being put to its intended use – either through partner sex or masturbation – it can be a different story. The affected area has a tenderness to it that can become aggravated through friction. In addition, in some cases the lump may be large enough to cause some discomfort for the partner as well, although this is far less common.

Another side effect is that the calcified lump may cause a degree of curvature in the tool. For some men, this may add slightly to the discomfort they feel during sex.

Treatment

Lymphangiosclerosis is fairly common; many men will encounter it during their lives; some men will encounter it frequently. The lump usually goes away on its own, although this may take some weeks. If it does not go away after a couple of weeks, it could be a sign of another problem, such as a blocked vein.

If possible, a man should help avoid penis pain by refraining from sexual use during this period, but that is not absolutely essential. Men can avoid exacerbating pain from a dry or chafed tool with the regular application of a first-rate penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil). For proper care, a crème that contains natural moisturizing ingredients, such as Shea butter and vitamin E, should be used. It’s also beneficial if the selected crème contains acetyl L-carnitine; the rough handling which created the condition may also have caused a loss of sensitivity in the tool, dampening the enjoyment a man receives from sex. Acetyl L-carnitine is neuroprotective and can help restore diminished sensitivity.

Insomnia & Old Age

Contrary to popular belief, insomnia and sleep issues are not intrinsically linked to aging. Instead, health issues and medical complications are the likely culprit for why so many of our senior citizens have trouble getting a good night’s rest.

Symptoms of sleeplessness, or insomnia, include difficulty falling or staying asleep, waking up frequently throughout the night and being unable to fall back asleep, waking up very early in the morning, and a constant sense of fatigue.

Just like other adults, seniors need about 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night in order to feel fully refreshed and recuperated in the morning, however many American seniors have difficulties getting even just a few hours of sleep. Whatever your age, sleep is a crucial component of both mental and physical well-being.

A lack of sleep can cause attention and memory problems in older family members, and has also been linked to depression. As we age, a good night’s sleep is especially important because it improves concentration and memory formation, allows your body to repair any cell damage that occurred during the day, and refreshes your immune system which helps to prevent disease.

Factors that can contribute to poor sleep in old age include:

One of the main concerns with senior health is the frequency of sleep issues. Finding the right mattress which offers support and the proper amount of firmness can improve sleep and decrease the frequency of sleeplessness, a common problem amongst the elderly.

1. Poor Sleep Habits: the most common cause of insomnia amongst the elderly is poor sleep habits, including irregular sleep hours (going to bed and waking up at inconsistent times), frequent daytime napping, alcohol consumption before bed, high caffeine intake before bed.

2. Pain/Medical Conditions: severe pain can keep you from sleeping well; certain health conditions can interfere with sleep – incontinence, heartburn, asthma, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis.

3. Medication: some medications stimulate us, leading to an inability to sleep; others cause drowsiness during the day which will cause us to stay up at night; be sure to take note of the possible side effects of your medication and discuss with your doctor any alternatives.

4. Lack of exercise: exercise is crucial to getting a good night of sleep, find out more about the importance of exercise and aging at Senior Monitoring.

5. Psychological Conditions: mental or emotional stresses and disorders – from depression to a recent death – can cause serious disturbances to sleep which may last for long periods of time.

6. Sleep Disorders: conditions such as sleep apnea occur more frequently in old age and can interrupt sleep patterns.

The first step to alleviating sleep issues is to identify the causes of your sleeplessness. Whether you suffer from sleep apnea, have an anxiety disorder, or simply need to get more exercise, all of the above factors can be remedied or eradicated. Consult your doctors to create a plan and find solutions that will best benefit you and your condition.

Many of these adjustments are cheap, quick and easy to implement and can drastically improve the quality of life of a senior citizen. For the millions of seniors who choose to age at home, safety is a top priority and must not be overlooked by families and caregivers. The key to ensuring a happy and safe home life for some elderly family members is to eliminate potential hazards and set up as many safety nets as possible. Stay tuned for future articles on safety tips for your kitchen, living room and more.

The Many Manifestations of Fear

Fear manifests itself in many forms. At it’s mildest, it is experienced as a vague sense of anxiety or frustration, or a sense of discomfort that is difficult to pin down. At its extreme end, fear can kill. In between these two ends, fear manifests itself in all negative feelings.

Take for example anger. At first glance, anger may not seem to have anything to do with fear but on closer scrutiny we can recognize that the root cause of that anger arises from fear. A simple display of anger at someone who suddenly cut into our lane while we are driving has its root in our fear of accident, which means damages to our car, injury to self or even loss of life. The fear of accident has a deeper fear of loss of life and property. Sometimes the anger is directed at ourselves for our carelessness in driving.

Procrastination is also a result of fear. People who procrastinate in doing what they needed to do are not facing up to their fears or aversions to certain things and situations. Even laziness may be a symptom of fear in facing up to certain tasks.

Greed is a form of fear. The root cause of greed is our fear of not having enough food, money or security. From this root cause grows not only the desire to have enough but to have more than enough so as to cover the fear of loss. The more one fears, the bigger his buffer of security is, and so his needs to accumulate more and more.

Fear also manifests itself in the form of poverty, poor health, lack of energy and interests, and depression. Fear also manifests itself as obsessive compulsive disorder, panic attacks and the many types of phobias.

It is fear that leads men to war and wanton killings. It is fear that leads to violence.

If we can recognize the many faces of fear, we can then see how costly it is to live in fear all the time. Perhaps then we can be motivated to transform fear and find peace.

Dictionary of Common Foot Ailments

•    Athlete’s Foot.  A skin disease caused by a fungus and characterized by dry, itchy, flaky skin.  Prevent athlete’s foot by washing the feet regularly and wearing sandals in public showers.

•    Bunions.  A hereditary condition characterized by a bump protruding from the big toe’s metatarsal bone on the side of the foot.  Bunions can be treated by purchasing footwear that accommodates the deformity, or through surgery.

•    Calluses and Corns.  Patches of thick, dry, hard skin that form as the foot attempts to protect itself from above average pressure or friction.  Corns can be distinguished from calluses by their hard centers surrounded by soft, irritated flesh.  Calluses and corns are symptoms of ill-fitting shoes, or wear and tear on the feet.  They can be treated by soaking the feat, moisturizing the feet, exfoliation (using an instrument such as a pumice stone), or by a doctor.  

•    Cavus Foot.  Cavus Foot is characterized by high arches.  It may be caused by a neurological disorder, and it often results in secondary foot deformities such as hammertoe and claw toe.  Pain and instability are common complaints of people with Cavus Foot.  The condition is treated using orthotics, orthopedic footwear and sometimes with surgery.  

•    Claw Toe.  A condition where the toes are permanently curled, like in a clenched fist.  Claw toe is usually the result of ill-fitting shoes.  

•    Fungal Toenail.  Fungal infections in the nails are usually acquired in public swimming pools or locker rooms.  Treat fungal nails with oral or tropical anti-fungal medication.

•    Hallux Valgas.  A foot deformity that results in the big toe angling towards the little toe so that it loses its proper alignment.  Hallux Valgas is associated with bunions.  

•    Hammertoe.  A foot deformity where the second joint of the second, third or fourth toe remains in a permanently bent position (like a hammer).  Hammertoe is usually caused by ill-fitting shoes and may be uncorrectable without surgery.  

•    Ingrown Toenail.  Nails that dig into the skin are known as ingrown toenails.  They can cause infection and sometimes need to be removed by a doctor.  Prevent ingrown toenails by trimming straight across the nail and by avoiding shoes that are too tight.   

•    Plantar Fasciitis.  The stretching or tearing of the plantar fascia, which supports the arch of the foot.  Treat plantar Fasciitis with heel pads, splinting and physical therapy.  Sometimes shock wave treatments are used as an alternative to surgery.

•    Ulcer.  An open wound on the foot.  Foot Ulcers are especially common and especially dangerous among people with diabetes and lymphedema.  They must be treated aggressively to ensure infection does not spread.

Horse Chestnut Herb Description – Herbal Medicines

Taxonomic class

Hippocastanaceae

Common Trade Names

Horse Chestnut Extract, Horse Chestnut Power, Horse Chestnut SFSE, Venostasin Retard, Venostat

Common Forms

Capsules: 250 mg, 300 mg

Also available as extract using aescin to standardize concentration.

Source

The seeds from Aesculus hippocastanum are used to formulate horse chestnut extract sometimes known as Hippocastani semen. The bark of young branches should be used; the older bark is poisonous.

Chemical components

Horse chestnut is composed primarily of triterpene glycosides and flavonoids (quercetin, kaempferol, astragalin, isoquercetin, rutin), coumarins (aesculetin, fraxin, scopolin), allantoin, amino acids, choline, citric acid, and phytosterol. Products are adjusted to contain triterpene glycosides calculated as aescin (escin).

Actions

Anti-inflammatory actions have been documented for the saponins (aescin). Aescin reduces transcapillary filtration of water and protein and increases venous tone related to increased prostaglandin F 2 alpha (vasoconstrictor). Murine studies have demonstrated a reduction in vascular permeability from artificial insults (that is, acetic acid or histamine) after pretreatment with components of horse chestnut (escins, desaacylescins). Aescin stabilizes cholesterol­containing membranes of Iysosomes and limits the release of the enzymes. Usually, the release of the enzymes is increased in chronic pathological conditions of the vein. These enzymes normally break down the mucopolysaccharides in the cell membranes in the capillary walls, but this action is inhibited byaescin . Aescin has shown notable antiviral activity in vitro toward a strain of influenza VIrus.

Reported Uses

Horse chestnut therapy has been claimed to be effective for treating diarrhea, fever, hemorrhoids, phlebitis, and enlargement of the prostate gland. Some data exist to support a role in venous insufficiency.

Data also suggest a role for horse chestnut in treating varicose veins. Certain enzymes responsible for the metabolism of substances that regulate capillary rigidity and pore size were found to be reduced in patients with varicose veins treated with 900 mg of horse chestnut extract. Concentrations of these enzymes have been found to be elevated in patients with varicose veins and may playa role in this disorder .

Dosage

Dosages of 100 to 150 mg/day P.O. of the aescin component, given as a single dose or in divided doses b.i.d., have been clinically tested in humans.

Adverse Reactions

CV: shock.

GI: hepatotoxicity, nausea (with oral use), vomiting.

GU: nephropathy.

Hematologic: severe bleeding and bruising (caused by anti thrombotic activity of aesculin).

Musculoskeletal: muscle spasm.

Skin: hypersensitivity reactions, pruritus, urticaria.

Interactions

Anticoagulants, aspirin: Increased risk of bleeding because of aesculin, a hydroxycoumarin. Monitor the patient. Contraindications and precautions

Horse chestnut is contraindicated in pregnant or breast-feeding patients; effects are unknown. Use cautiously in patients who are hypersensitive to other members of the horse chestnut family and in those with bleeding disorders.

Special Considerations

The fruit, leaves, and older bark of horse chestnut are poisonous.

Monitor liver function test results.

Inform the patient and health care staff that horse chestnut may color urine red.

Instruct the patient to report fatigue, fever, unusual bleeding or bruising, and yellowing of skin or eyes.

Advise the patient to only use products derived from the seeds or bark of young branches.

Advise the patient to report changes in effectiveness of other drug therapies.

Urge the patient to check with his health care provider before taking other prescription or OTC drugs that may contain aspirin.

Points of Interest

Germany’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices recognizes horse chestnut extract as effective in treating chronic venous insufficiency.

Do not confuse horse chestnut with buckeye, also called horse chestnut.

Horse chestnut has been used I.V. in Europe for postoperative edema, presumably for its diuretic activity.

Commentary

Compression stocking therapy has been the primary treatment option for chronic venous insufficiency, although patient compliance is generally poor. No allopathic drugs are indicated for treating this disorder. Standardized horse chestnut extracts or certain components (escins) have intriguing properties and may be useful in patients with symptoms associated with this disorder. Future studies should pursue this potential application. Of note, some data from previous controlled trials have examined parameters that might be considered subjective, such as fatigue, leg pain, pruritus, and tenseness. Additional large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials that examine both efficacy and safety in a more objective manner are needed before horse chestnut or any of its components are given a definitive role in therapy.

Some Unconventional Treatments to Nail Fungus

People who are or have been afflicted with nail fungus will attest to the fact that it is a tough adversary to beat. There are many treatment options available including pharmaceutical topical and oral medications as well as natural herbal remedies. But they take forever to finish, are messy or are downright ineffective.

It is no wonder that some sufferers have come up with some of the most preposterous treatment options out of sheer desperation. Forget about mouthwash or vapor rub, as these prove mainstream and humdrum compared to our compilation. There are no medical studies to back up these claims. But we deem them worthy of publishing mainly to educate and to an extent humor our dear readers. But then again, maybe a few years into the future these outlandish practices will conquer the medical journals under proven safe and effective cures for nail fungus. But don’t take our word for it. Always consult a physician for all your health concerns.

Monistat

Monistat is the common cure for feminine yeast infection. Judging from the drug indications alone, a female patient one day hypothesized that it might work for her nail fungus infection as well. She tried it and found it effective after a few months of diligent application on her infected digits. She started a ripple of endorsements until someone decided to post a testimonial over the internet.

Magnifying Glass

A brilliant guy thought of frying the fungus with a magnifying glass for 30 seconds daily. Nothing else is known about this case, whether it turned out to be successful or for how long he had to endure this treatment until he decided to spread the word.

Common Household Cleaning Agents

There have been many desperate patients who have blindly banked on the germ-killing action of their favorite household cleaning agents. If they work on the tiles, surely they’ll work on your toes! But then again, there’s never a good reason for anybody to try on their own flesh these harsh chemicals designed for efficiently cleaning inanimate objects. Tilex, Lysol, bleach, even swimming pool algaecide – name it, somebody has probably tried it on nail fungus.

Chelation Therapy

Chelation therapy is the treatment of heavy metal poisoning using chelating agents. It is also used as alternative medicine for autism and heart disease among others. It is exclusively administered by a physician and can be potentially fatal. There are reportedly a few people who have resorted to this treatment for managing nail fungus.

Try Urine

Somebody has actually posted a testimonial on urine as treatment for nail fungal infection. Come to think of it, it’s handy and free. It’s probably the urea, urine’s primary component, that did the job. But then again, we don’t want to bet on it.

Potassium Iodide

This chemical is widely used as a thyroid cancer blocking agent in cases of overexposure to radiation. Nail fungus treatment is an unorthodox use of the chemical agent and can pose serious a threat to thyroid health. Unless there is a real threat of radioactive fallout, we suggest that you keep away from this chemical and turn to other natural remedies to nail fungal infection.

How to Throw a Bowling Ball: Release Technique Explained

In the bowling shot, the moment you release the ball is crucial. This is because the smallest of movements of your hands or wrists can have a major effect on the trajectory of the ball. It often means the difference between a gutter and a strike! This article will teach you what you need to know about releasing a bowling ball.

Techniques for an Effective Bowling Release

It’s a common for bowlers to think about the release as a stand-alone motion, but this is a mistake. Instead, you should understand that a bowling release is closely connected to the rest of your stroke. From approach to delivery, the bowling swing needs to be one smooth, unified motion.

When making your approach (which means the steps you take up to the foul line) you want to swing your arm like a pendulum straight back and forth, not to either side.

Once you make your last step and start to slide with your foot, the ball should be at its lowest point near your leg. Make sure to keep your toes pointed straight ahead towards the target spot.

At this point, it’s time to actually release the ball.

The first step is to remove your thumb from its hole. Just about a split-second later, you release your middle and ring fingers.

You must be sure to keep your wrist and arm straight when you release the ball, they should not move to either side. Also be sure to keep your shoulders aimed straight ahead.

The swing isn’t done when our fingers come out, though, as the follow-through is also very important. Once you have sent the ball down the lane, stay in balance and let your arm continue to swing. It should finish aimed directly at your target, with your shoulder remaining square.

The Importance of Timing

It’s crucial to understand that you need to release the bowling ball at the correct moment during your armswing. Many common problems are because of this, such as dropping the ball too early which results in a lack of control and power.

Bowling Release When You Throw a Hook

Although the techniques of a smooth stroke and proper timing are the same no matter what bowling style you use, a hook bowler will have a slightly different motion when releasing the ball.

After removing the thumb from the thumb-hole, a hook bowler should rotate his or her forearm slightly, instead of keeping it completely straight.

When removing the middle and ring fingers from the ball, you should lift them up and to the side of the bowling ball. In a hook bowling follow through, you should look like you are giving someone a handshake.

This motion should be counter-clockwise for right-handers and clockwise for lefties. This lift action puts the right type of spin on the ball so that it travels down the lane straight at first before curving inside to hit the pocket.

As with any aspect of bowling, practice is key to success. If you work on making your bowling release as smooth as can be, your scores can really start to improve.