Normal Blood Pressure Vs High Blood Pressure – What You Might Not Know About Hypertension

High blood pressure is nicknamed “the silent killer” because there are often no symptoms. While some people experience headaches or dizziness, the majority of people with high blood pressure feel just fine. These individuals will often think they have a normal blood pressure. The only way to know for sure if blood pressure is elevated is to measure it! A home blood pressure cuff is a very useful tool for people with hypertension and those that have a normal blood pressure resulting from prescription medication.

Patients should bring their cuffs with them to the doctor so they can check their machine against the one in the doctor’s office and be sure their home readings are correct. It’s also helpful for patients to write down blood pressure measurements made at home and bring those readings to office visits where they can review the numbers with the doctor or nurse. Some blood pressure monitors even store the blood pressure readings and the time the reading was taken, allowing a doctor to see what reading are at precisely different times during the day.

The blood pressure measurement has two numbers – systolic (sis-tah’-lick) and diastolic (di^-ah-stah’-lick). The systolic pressure is the

first number (or top number), which is the pressure in the blood vessels while the heart is pumping blood. The diastolic pressure is the

second number (or bottom number), which is the pressure in the blood vessels while the heart is resting between beats. Blood

pressure is read systolic over diastolic – for example, 120 over 80 or 120/80.

Systolic is measured when the walls of the blood vessels contract and diastolic is measured when the walls relax. Here’s how the new

federal guidelines break down regarding classification of hypertension:

o Normal Blood Pressure: Systolic less than 120 – Diastolic less than 80 (ex. 119/76)

o Pre-hypertension: Systolic 120-139 – Diastolic 80-89 (ex. 133/84)

o Stage one hypertension: Systolic 140-159 – Diastolic 90-99 (ex. 144/96)

o Stage two hypertension: Systolic 160 + – Diastolic 100 + (ex. 162/108)

Obviously, you want to keep your readings below 120/80. The lower you can get your blood pressure or closer to a

normal blood pressure you can achieve, without feeling faint when you stand up, the better.

Often individuals with hypertension will complain of feeling dizzy, or faint. The feeling may increase when the individual

stands or with increased physical activity. One cause for this feeling of faintness is that there is not enough pressure to

adequately supply the brain with oxygenated blood. Lower than normal blood pressure condition is called hypotension.

This is another important reason to have the ability to check your own blood pressure. Individuals who take blood

pressure medications will often complain of feeling faint or dizzy, especially when starting a new medication that may be

“too strong”. Checking blood pressure and recording it on a regular basis will allow you to work with you healthcare

practitioner to regulate you medication and adequately maintain a normal blood pressure.

If left untreated, hypertension can lead to the following medical conditions:

o arteriosclerosis, also called atherosclerosis

o heart attack

o stroke

o enlarged heart

o kidney damage

Arteriosclerosis is hardening of the arteries. High blood pressure can make the artery walls thicken and harden. When artery walls

thicken, the inside of the blood vessel narrows. Blood clots also can get trapped in narrowed arteries, blocking the flow of blood.

Arteries narrowed by arteriosclerosis may not deliver enough blood to body systems. Reduced or blocked blood flow to the heart can

cause a heart attack. If an artery to the brain is blocked, a stroke can result.

Hypertension makes the heart work harder to pump blood through the body. The extra workload can make the heart muscle thicken

and stretch. When the heart becomes too enlarged it becomes weak and ineffective, making it unable to pump enough blood through

the body. If the hypertension is not treated, the heart may fail.

If hypertension thickens the arteries to the kidneys, less waste will be filtered from the blood. If the kidneys fail and

wastes build up in the blood, there could be poisoning of the body system.

The primary means of controlling hypertension and maintaining normal blood pressure is early intervention. One of

the main components of early intervention is early recognition. Early recognition involves self monitoring of blood

pressure and coordination with your doctor or other health care practitioner. Be proactive by obtaining your personal

blood pressure monitor, measuring your blood pressure and working with your doctor to maintain a normal blood

pressure.

Copyright (c) 2008 FOJ,LLC. All Rights Reserved

Five Components of Fitness

Generally, physical fitness is defined as the ability of a person to meet the physical demands of daily life and carrying out the day-to-day activities without unnecessary fatigue. There are numerous benefits of physical fitness which include better health, greater strength, more flexibility, increased energy, improved appearance and many more. Being physically and mentally fit helps to improve the quality of life.

Fitness is more than just exercise. It is not just about your weight control, strength, endurance, fat etc. Exercise is indeed good for you, but in order to get the most out of exercising, you should follow a balanced exercise program. To achieve your fitness goal, you will need to balance all of its components.

There are mainly five components of physical fitness, which you need to consider for optimal health.

Let’s take a look at each of the fitness components necessary for optimal health.

1. Cardiorespiratory endurance

Cardiorespiratory endurance is the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen during sustained physical activity. It consists of exercise like walking, running, biking, rowing, treadmills, jogging etc. that forces functioning of your cardiovascular system i.e. lungs, heart, and blood vessels. It consists of aerobic physical activities lasting longer than 90 seconds. It is very important to be fit in your cardiovascular systems. To improve cardiovascular endurance, aerobic exercise should be performed at least 3 times per week, 15-20 minutes each day.

2. Muscular endurance

Muscular endurance is the ability to perform repeated muscular effort over a period of time without fatigue. A good muscular endurance can perform more number of repetitions of a particular strength training exercise such as running, jogging, cross-training on an elliptical machine, etc.

3. Muscular strength

Muscular strength is defined as the maximum amount of force produced by a muscle in a single effort. It is the ability of the muscle to exert strength during a workout or an activity. To increase your muscular strength, exercise using heavy weight for 3-6 times. It is measured by maximum amount of strength a muscle has while lifting or during an exertion. The best ways to improve the muscular strength is by performing anaerobic weightlifting exercises like the bench press, leg press, shoulder press, or bicep curls etc.

4. Flexibility

Flexibility is defined as the ability to bend and move the joints through full range of motion. It depends upon many variables like gender, age, body composition, behavioral activity etc. By the flexibility of your joints the fitness level is measured. If you have good flexibility, injuries related to joints could be prevented but poor flexibility increases your risk of injury. It helps in improving lower back health, reducing the appearance and effects of arthritis, and reducing muscle-tendon injuries. Exercises such as stretching, yoga, Pilates, swimming etc. are the way to improve the physical flexibility.

5. Body composition

Body composition is the percent of body fat compared to your lean body mass (muscles, bones, tendons, ligament, organs etc.). High percentages of body fat can lead to coronary disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic disease, low energy and many more. It is directly relates to the overall fitness level. It consider the individual body type according to the height, frame size, weight and the ratio of the fat mass to lean muscle mass.

It is important to focus on all of these five fitness components in order to have a complete and effective fitness plan. The fitness plan will help ensure optimal health and prevent chronic disease like heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetics etc.

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Dysplastic Mole – An Abnormal Looking Mole, But Is It Dangerous?

A dysplastic mole, also known as dysplastic nevi, is a mole that does not look normal. It may have uneven borders that appear to spread or fade into your skin; it may have a mix of different colors; or it could be scaly or bumpy when you run your finger over it.

Having a dysplastic mole is not uncommon and not necessarily dangerous. Dermatologists disagree over whether or not a dysplastic mole is more likely to develop into a dangerous skin cancer called melanoma. However, if you have many dysplastic moles on your body you are in a higher risk category for developing melanomas.

Therefore, you want to learn what to look for to determine if your mole is dangerous or just a harmless abnormally looking mole.

Dysplastic Mole Characteristics

A dysplastic mole can differ from a normal mole in color, shape, surface texture, and possibly size. It is normal for a person to have up to 40 moles on their skin. However, if you have a dysplastic mole issue, you are more likely to notice many moles covering your body, and it would not be unheard of to have 100+ moles.

Location is another consideration when deciding if a dysplastic mole is present. While normal moles can occur anywhere on your body, you are more likely to find them above your waistline on areas that are exposed to the sun. You would not expect to see normal moles on your buttocks, breasts, or even your scalp, so you should have these moles checked.

A dysplastic mole is most commonly found on your back and other highly sun-exposed skin surfaces. These abnormal moles can also occur below your waistline such as on your buttocks or leg as well as above your waist on your breasts and scalp.

Normal moles are evenly colored and seen as tan or brown spots. The moles on a normal person all look somewhat similar. It is normal to have about 40 moles on your body.

A close look shows that a normal mole is round or a bit oval, but has a distinct border. Normal moles can be flat and remain flat or they can raise overtime and even form a small, smooth bump. They are typically smaller than a pencil eraser (less than 5 millimeters in diameter).

A dysplastic mole tends to have an assortment of colors. You may notice tans, browns, reds, and pinks mixed within one mole or in moles near each other. You may have just a couple of dysplastic moles or you may have a couple of hundred on your body.

You can also distinguish a dysplastic mole from a normal mole by its borders. A dysplastic mole has abnormal borders that seem to be notched. Also, the dysplastic mole’s border is not sharp, but instead appears to be fading into the skin.

Another distinguishing characteristic of a dysplastic mole can be its texture. You can have a dysplastic mole that is smooth, but others can look or feel scaly or rough when you rub your finger across them. They can also grow larger than a pencil eraser; however, keep in mind that an abnormal or cancerous mole can grow as a brand new mole, so if you detect it early, it may appear quite small.

Risk Factors for Dangerous Dysplastic Mole

Are you light skinned and have light hair and eye color to match? Then you must be particularly careful to monitor any abnormal looking mole you find on your skin. I used to joke that I could never get a tan and rather I would go from white to red (sunburn). This wasn’t so funny after I developed a spot of skin cancer in the crease of my inner elbow.

I have all of the risk factors for developing melanoma. Check yourself against this list:

  • Light skin complexion
  • Light colored eyes
  • Light colored hair
  • Freckles
  • Numerous typical and dysplastic mole
  • A personal history of skin cancer
  • A family history of skin cancer
  • Sensitivity to the sun (you flush or get red easily)
  • Skin that does not tan easily
  • A history of repeated sunburns

Having all or some of these risk factors does not mean that you will develop skin cancer, or that your abnormal mole will turn cancerous. But, having these risk factors should make you more vigilant and you should be monitoring your skin monthly.

How to Monitor a Dysplastic Mole and Your Skin

Because skin cancer can be a serious and even life-threatening condition, it can be scary to take a look in the mirror and discover an odd looking mole. Early detection is key to finding a potentially dangerous dysplastic mole or new mole on your skin.

To monitor your skin you should:

  • Perform monthly home skin exams. Use a strong light so your moles are easy to see. If you are performing the exam on yourself, stand in front of a full mirror while holding a small hand mirror and look at every inch of your body including your scalp, between your toes, and the bottom of your feet.
  • If you notice a dysplastic mole or anything suspicious, err on the side of caution and schedule an appointment with a dermatologist or a doctor who often deals with skin lesions.
  • If you do not have a suspicious mole but you have any of the risk factors for dysplastic mole, schedule an annual skin screening appointment with a dermatologist.

There is a mnemonic that may help you determine if a mole is dangerous. It is called the ABCDE rule, and while it has some flaws that I will point out for you, it is still useful as an early monitoring tool.

A = Asymmetrical mole

B = Borders are notched or irregular

C = Color can be a mix of tan, brown, red, and pink

D = Diameter of a dysplastic mole or melanoma may be large

E = Evolution. A mole that changes or newly appears on an adult can be a dangerous sign.

Obviously this mnemonic is not a perfect system and some dangerous moles may not hold up to this test. For instance, a melanoma may start as a new growth, therefore, if you detect it in its early stages, it will not be large, but is dangerous.

Dysplastic Mole – Final Thoughts

You can have one dysplastic mole or many, but this does not mean you have skin cancer. Having said that, if you have a lot of these abnormal moles on your body, your risk of skin cancer increases.

If your doctor checks your moles and confirms that they are harmless, you still may be bothered by their appearance on your skin. Normal moles can be removed and you have options for removal. The main options are surgery, laser surgery, or natural removal. Surgical removal can be faster than natural removal; however, the cost will be much higher and the risk of scarring is greater.

I recommend using natural ingredients to slowly fade the mole. This can actually condition the skin, costs very little, and has very little risk, if any, of scarring.

Catering Equipment and Commercial Refrigeration for the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry is a large, very active, and ever evolving industry. The demand for their services is high, and customers expect the best service at any restaurant or hotel that they visit. In order to remain competitive as well as supply to the demand of the customers, restaurants and hotels need to have efficient processes in place as well as the correct catering equipment. They need to be able to deliver consistently and quickly every time. In response to this need, there is a wide range of catering equipment and commercial refrigeration available to the hospitality industry.

The vast array of catering equipment available to the hospitality industry includes the following products.

Every restaurant needs crockery and cutlery. It’s best to invest in durable plates, cups and saucers to minimize damage.

Display dishes and serving dishes are very useful for hotel restaurants that make use of buffet areas. Chafing dishes and bain marines are also high in demand in this area.

Coffee machines and urns are required for serving warm drinks especially during breakfast times. It’s ideal to find a commercial coffee machine that is able to endure the constant demand for coffee on a daily basis and at all times of day and night.

There are various warmers that keep dishes warm before serving such as pie warmers, cup warmers, plate warmers, induction warmers, and heated display cabinets.

Other catering equipment available to the hospitality industry includes fryers, grillers, chip dumps, pasta cookers, toasters, ovens, carvery stations and many storage options. Finding the right catering equipment for your restaurant or hotel will depend on how many customers you serve on a daily basis and most importantly the food items on the menu. Different food items require different kitchen equipment as preparation and cooking methods vary vastly. Also, consider the types of food you serve and if you can prepare it in advance or when it is ordered. These criteria will narrow down your search for the correct catering equipment for your restaurant.

Commercial refrigeration equipment includes beverage coolers, blast chillers or freezers, cold food bars, chest freezers, cold rooms, freezer rooms, wall chillers, upright freezers, and display fridges. The range of display fridges available for the hospitality industry include ice cream display fridges, pastries display fridges, and cake display fridges. For your specific restaurant, you have to do your homework in order to choose the correct one to suit your requirements.

The hospitality industry is spoilt for choice when it comes to quality catering equipment. There are many options that are designed to save you time and money as well as increase your profits while keeping customers happy.

Old Wives’ Tales Are Not Just For the Old – The Italian Fear of Cold Drafts

After over a decade of living in Rome,  I have had the opportunity to watch and contemplate on several of the cultural peculiarities that really make Rome and Romans very different to the rest of the world. Coming from an Italian family such as mine, I am well used to the warnings that accompany some activities that you might considered to be totally harmless but to Italians if not headed could surly result in death! The following are an idea of some of these “dangerous activities”; drinking anything with ice, going out with wet hair, or being given the “malocchio” (evil eye) to name a few. Generally I would just ignore these superstitions and chalk them down to old roman wives tales, especially  the one about the not drinking anything with ice… I mean how are you expected to have an ice coffee without any ice I ask you?

The dreaded “colpo d’aria”(gust of air) which would have Italians wrapped in a scarf in the height of the summer for fear of getting a creak in their neck, I used to find this quite amusing and a quaint characteristic of Italians, but it  has now become a bit of a bone of contention. Thanks to global warming and climate change Rome has had one of its warmest Mays in years and no one was expecting the heat that arrived so as you can imagine hardly any of the stores  or other places of business had started to use their air conditioning, as I too was getting my bikini bod ready for the summer and had started to hit my local gym in preparation for the summer.

I know you think that its may be quite advanced for Italians to have air conditioning but its now quite widely available and not just  for the wealth Americans. When I first move to Rome though it was a different story back in the day of the Lira, Ac’s were few and far between so I have survived without it and I am sure will again at some stage, but one thing that I cant do without especially in a hot and sweaty gym while working out is a FAN! So intending only to endanger my own life, if you are to believe in the fear of the “colpo d’aria”, I head to a secluded corner of the gym to use a machine near the fan, at this stage no one else was in the area so my work out was conduct under the nice breeze of the ceiling fan near me. My sweaty workout was soon stopped by a woman I recognized from my step class, she strode right up and without pause for consideration just turned off the fan. As miffed as I was, I was not in the mood for getting confrontational so I just got off the machine and turned back on the fan to enjoy the rest of my work out, that’s when things started to heat up and I don’t mean from the work out!

Paranoid schizophrenic but otherwise lovely aerobics queen: (from here on out we will refer to her as PSBOLAQ): Excuse me, you can’t do that!

Me: Oh no? Funny, I don’t remember you asking would it be OK to to turn off the fan before you did, and seeing how I was here first, maybe you could come back in ten minutes when I’m done my work out  if you’re so worried about it.

PSBOLAQ: Everybody knows that it’s harmful! All I need is to get on that machine when a blast of air hits my neck and I’ll be laid up for a fortnight  with bronchitis!

ME: (trying to be nice) No, of course you don’t need that, but I came over to this abandoned corner just so that you and the rest of the people here would not have to take that fatal risk

PSBOLAQ: Yes, well naturally I cannot stay on the same machine all morning long, its not part of my gym routine I need to use all the different types of machines!

ME: Yes I understand your  need for the perfect gym body you will just have to put up with the fan if you want to use the machine near to it. I have exercised with a fan on for about 15 years now, and low and behold I am still alive to tell the story!

PSBOLAQ had had enough….before I knew it she had walked off to find the gym manager to report my attempted mass murder by exposing the gym to the small bit of fresh air that a ceiling fan can generate. To think that 2 grown women could not sort out the issue of the fan still annoys me, anyway back to the story, the manager obviously tying to avoid an all out cat fight in his gym tried to appease the both of us and opted to turn the fan to its lowest setting thus finding a happy compromise. So back to our work outs we went and as promised 10 minutes later I had left the area, on my way I did get to see PSBOLAQ dash off her stepper to turn off the fan before some other ‘crazy lunatic’ tried to kill her with some fresh air! I still don’t understand why they have fans there if we aren’t allowed to use them without having all that hassle!

While this scene was unfolding in the gym, I tried to scan the room to see how the other Italians reacted to it (Italians seem to enjoy getting involved whenever there is a “situation”). What I saw was a assortment of reactions…a few sympathetic smiles, a few pretending not to listen, and a few looking at me as if I were the mad hatter.

My question is this, If modern science has taught us anything, we know that colds and flus are transmitted by the spread of a virus or bacteria. Why then, do people still insist that they ride on the magic carpet of a gust of air? It’s going to be a long and very hot summer at that gym…

Coccyx (Tailbone) Pain – Causes and Treatment

Anatomy

The coccyx (KAHK-siks), or tailbone, is the bony structure at the bottom of the spine. In humans, it’s the bud of an undeveloped tail, which we lost the need for long ago. The coccyx comprises three to five separate but fused small bones. The coccyx functions as a kind of hub where muscles, ligaments and tendons of the lower back and pelvic region attach. It plays a part in supporting the body’s weight when standing and sitting.

Disorder

Coccyx pain, or tailbone pain, is a common complaint. The medical term for coccyx pain is coccydynia (kahks-si-DEYE-nee-ah) or sometimes coccygodynia (kahks-si-go-DEYE-nee-ah). Coccydynia is a general term that describes a range of symptoms from mild tenderness to intense pain. The term also describes a set of conditions from different causes requiring different treatments. Coccyx pain is five times more common in women than in men because of the structure of the female pelvis.

Causes

The most common cause of tailbone pain is trauma or injury to the tailbone. Falls resulting in fracture, dislocation or bruising; pregnancy and childbirth; pelvic or back surgery; and extensive sitting on hard or narrow surfaces contribute to tailbone pain. In some cases, an unstable, overly mobile tailbone (a genetic condition) creates pain. Many times the source of tailbone pain is unknown. The pain can appear suddenly and then disappear without treatment. Some conditions-infections, sciatica, fractures in the back-can mimic coccydynia.

Symptoms

Since coccydynia describes coccyx pain, the most common symptom of this disorder is, naturally enough, pain. But coccyx pain has various characteristics and appears at different times and in multiple sites. Coccyx pain can come on suddenly or gradually, be short-lived or chronic and strike the sufferer as mild or excruciating. The pain can appear when a person sits for a long period or when a person moves from sitting to standing. Sitting usually makes coccyx pain worse. It can be felt as a dull ache all around the coccyx or shooting pains down the legs. Sufferers have described coccyx pain as like sitting on a knife or a marble that is rolling around. Coccydynia can also lead to painful bowel movements and painful intercourse.

Coccyx pain can also develop into to secondary symptoms. If the pain is persistent, many patients also suffer from depression, sore feet from too much standing, a sore back from sitting in awkward positions and lack of sleep leading to exhaustion.

Diagnosis

A correct diagnosis of tailbone pain is essential for doctors to determine the best treatment. As mentioned earlier, some other conditions mimic tailbone pain. To arrive at a diagnosis, doctors ask for an in-depth medical history to learn of any past trauma to the tailbone. They also conduct a thorough physical exam that includes palpation, that is, feeling the affected area to detect any abnormalities or soreness. In some cases, X-rays or CT scans or even bone scans may be ordered.

Treatment

Home treatment for tailbone pain includes avoiding prolonged sitting, sitting on cushions and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines such as Advil, Excedrin IB and Motrin. Doctors sometimes prescribe even stronger medications. Clinical treatment includes physical therapy. A small number of physical therapy specialists have developed techniques for working on tight muscles and other structures and for breaking down painful scar tissue in the area of the coccyx. Most doctors recommend surgery for tailbone pain only as a last resort.

Weight Training After Knee Replacement Surgery

After knee replacement surgery and once you have been cleared by your orthopedic surgeon to resume your physical activities, there will be some changes that will have to be added. Theses adjustments will involve more of the high impact activities such as running, and jumping for instance.

When it comes to resistance or weight training, you should be able to continue as you had previously with some adjustments made to exercises such as heavy squats, or heavy deadlifts. These exercises however can be safely duplicated by using the leg press with lighter weights along with reducing the weight used on the deadlift and using higher repetitions to protect your knee replacement.

Having a knee replaced however does not mean your weight training days are over in fact, there should be a concerted effort on your part to be sure you continue to exercises to keep up not only your strength but, also to increase your muscle mass which in turns helps to burn more calories.

By weight training, you are increasing your bodies metabolism which helps you control your body weight which is important to reduce the amount of force through your knee prosthesis.

Knee replacement surgery will not affect your upper body exercises. The modifications come only with the affected leg or legs. For instance, you should be sure to include exercises for both lower extremities like hamstring curls, seated leg curls and the leg press. Exercises for your hips are important as well such as the abduction and adduction machines that many fitness centers have along with low back exercises.

Hyperextensions are a great exercise for your low back, hamstrings and gluteal muscles all wrapped up in one exercise without adding any stress at all to your knee prosthesis.

Calve raises are also another exercise you want to add to both lower extremities to add size and strength to your lower legs. By strengthening your affected leg or legs, you allow your muscles surrounding the knees to absorb the force of your body weight when walking and not your knees absorbing the full force.

This is done by continuing to weight train after your surgery and building strength throughout your body.

Many knee replacement recipients may keep up their current body weight or add additional weight through lack of physical exercise. The ideal solution after surgery is to start an exercises program that encompasses not only weight training but also a cardiovascular component that will allow you to live your life without physical restrictions.

How to Create a Competitors Analysis Scorecard

With the rise of many manufacturers in several industries, such as clothing, computers, cars, etc., one needs to look at where he stands as far as competition is concerned. This gives rise, too, to the importance of a competitors analysis scorecard. What needs to be done here is to see the strengths and weaknesses of industry opponents and then make wise decisions from the results of this analysis. One will then be able to see if the current processes of his business are in line with the standards of the industry. This does not only include technological advances and applications, but also other business aspects, such as marketing, advertising, employee motivation, product quality, finance management, and many more.

In conducting this analysis, one does not have to measure everything. What is important is only to analyze key success indicators in the industry. Moreover, the goal here is to compare how the competitors stand against your business so you can get a clearer picture of what is going on and what actions to undertake. Remember that the action plans you will carry out should carry out the SMART objective. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. The action plans should have all these characteristics to rise above competition or otherwise, it is bound to fail.

First, there has to be a competitors array. This is a data table that compares your company to your competitors. As mentioned earlier, this should only contain key success indicators in your industry. For example, take a look at the quality of your product and the competitors’. Measure the quality of the competitors’ products and yours, too. Once the raw data is there, convert the score to a corresponding weight value depending on the metric’s impact on the business. Do this for the other metrics and then get the weighted average. You will then see the areas that your competitors are good at where you are not. Your goal is to improve these areas and maintain the others where you rise above them. Always remember that when you are measuring, always be objective. Keep the measurement based on facts, and not on assumptions and speculations.

Next, you have to conduct competitor profiling. This is where you gather as much information about your competitors and use these data to your advantage. You can formulate strategies to find out how you can advance on sales and other key success indicators. First, you can check on your competitors’ background. Check their location, marketing presence, online strategies, if any, and other activities that keep their business going. You may also want to check the top personalities in their firm and find out their financial stability. Check out the company’s history, important dates, and important activities. If you know that they will have a celebration, like an anniversary on this date, you may want to come up with your own special promotions on the same day, too.

These are the things that a competitors analysis scorecard should have. The information or data need not be too extensive. In fact, they should be precise, concise, and readily understood. Remember, you do not want to get stuck with analysis paralysis.

New Carpet Smell – 4 Things That Will Help You Survive the Smell of New Carpet

New carpet can make any space look luxurious, and feel soft and beautiful under your feet. But the chemicals that sometimes off gas from new carpet (often referred to as new carpet smell) can be literally nauseating and cause symptoms such as burning eyes, dizziness, headaches, sore throat, and in severe case vomiting and worse. 

Here are 4 things you can do to minimize the effects of these airborne chemicals once your carpet has been installed.

Ventilate the space- Place a box fan in several of the windows so that they draw air from the room to the outside. This means positioning the fan so that it blows air away from you. Let the fans run for as long as possible as it takes a while for the fumes to get to a level where they are tolerable.

Isolate the space- Shut the doors to isolate the room where the carpet has been installed. Try to shut off forced air heating and air conditioning systems to prevent the fumes from being circulated to all parts of your space.

Vacate the Space- If the fumes are really impossible for you or a family member to live with, use it as an excuse to go on a vacation. This can be as simple staying with a friend for a while or actually taking time off from work and a getting away for several weeks.

Remove the Airborne Chemicals- Using a chemicals air purifier to remove the fumes is a cost effective way to minimize the odors right from the start particularly if you are unable to ventilate because the weather is extremely cold or hot.

Not only will an air cleaner remove airborne chemicals generated by the carpet, but from other sources as well. Add a high efficiency particle arresting (or HEPA) filter to this air purifier and you’ve got a cleaner that can take care of household dust, dust mites, mold and mildew spores, pet dander, and a host of other airborne particulates that aggravate chronic respiratory conditions.

By definition a HEPA air purifier must be able to remove particulates as small as .3 microns with 99.97% efficiency. This means that for every 10,000 airborne pollutants, it will remove 99,997 of them, which qualifies it as efficient.

 And whereas the purifier may initially be used to remove the airborne chemicals that come from your new carpet, this cleaner will serve as your partner in good health for many years to come.

The Natural Antibacterial You Can Eat

We are all increasingly looking at ways we can use more natural products to consume, products that do not include added sugars, preservatives or any other unknown ingredients hidden inside. In a world of focus on healthy living it can be difficult to know which products we can trust and which products will have the highest benefit for us.

There are many products that hold themselves high in the claims of being good for us, but only the select few have the most benefits that can not only be used in everyday life but used to treat a range of diseases and ailments.

We are celebrating the wonder food known as Manuka Honey, since its incredible launch into the mainstream and the minds of consumers it has become the ‘must have’ product of the last 5 years. Consumers now flock to buy it in its many available forms, widely known for its purity and numerous health benefits.

Manuka Honey is produced by European honey bees who collect the all important pollen from the Manuka or tea tree. The European bees were introduced to keep up with demand and to ensure an ample supply of the amber nectar could be foraged.

Although predominantly grown in New Zealand and Australia, New Zealand hold the title of the biggest exporter. Growth of the product for export has been considerable over the last few years, with exports expecting to reach $1.2 billion by 2028. The UK are the second largest importer from New Zealand, accountable for over $46 million of the business.

The honey is typically dark brown in colour and is often characterized by its strong flavour; many describing it as earthy, herbaceous, rich and complex. The winning combination certainly make it stand out against other products in both colour and taste.

All honey varieties usually consist of 80% sugars and 17% water with the remaining component made up of enzymes, organic acid and minerals. All are regulated under these components but levels of enzymes and minerals can vary by product. To be classified as ‘Manuka honey’ at least 70% of the pollen it is made from has to derive from the Manuka Tree.

It is measured by a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF), a global standard in identifying and measuring the antibacterial strength. The higher the strength the more nutrients it contains. The UMF logo should be clearly marked on the produce label, along with the rating it has been given.

Ratings range from 4-9 (Contains general health benefits), 10-14 (Contains a higher quantity of anti-bacterial) and 15+ with 15+ holding the most superior amount of nutrients. As the antibacterial properties are so potent at this level, we are advised to take only 1 tbsp at a time.

What makes Manuka so important for health? It has a considerably higher level of enzymes and phenols than regular products. The specific collection of enzymes create a natural form of hydrogen peroxide that work as an antibacterial both when taken internally and externally. It is easy to see why we want to buy this nutrient dense food.

It is currently used to treat a diverse range of diseases; from stomach ulcers, tonsillitis, sinusitis, common coughs and colds and more importantly it has been used to treat scalds and burns. Recovery from burn injuries have been greatly improved, showing how potent the anti-bacterial properties of this product are.

It has become increasingly easier to buy, although ensuring you buy a UMF measured product ensures you buy the real thing. Looking out for the UMF logos and choosing the ideal strength for you will mean you are putting the authentic product in your shopping basket. We are no doubt convinced the health food sector will continue to support this wonder food.

Diabetes Blood Sugar Levels Chart – What is a Normal Blood Sugar Range?

When you find out about being pre-diabetic or diabetic, one of the first things you need to learn is about normal blood sugar levels, abnormal blood sugar levels, and how to monitor your blood sugar. The following blood sugar levels chart will make it easy for you.

Glucose, the main source of energy for human cells, is a type of sugar that enters your body whenever you consume carbohydrate foods. Glucose levels are regulated by insulin, a hormone produced in the pancreas and released into the bloodstream whenever glucose levels rise.

Measuring your blood glucose has never been easier. There are literally dozens of types of meters that you can use at home or while travelling that allow you to easily and conveniently measure your sugar levels. Your doctor may also recommend a more sophisticated monitoring device that is also easy to use should you need more detailed data than a meter can supply.

The following is a simple blood sugar chart that will give you an idea what values you should be aiming for to maintain good health and avoid dangerous complications due to diabetes:

– Normal glucose range is between 70 and 150mg; these levels are typically lower in the morning, and rise after meals.

– Regardless of when you last ate, a random result of 200 mg/dL or higher means you have diabetes.

– A fasting blood sugar level taken, for example, when you wake up in the morning, should be between 70 and 99 mg/dL If it’s 126 mg/dL or higher, you have diabetes.

When monitoring your blood glucose levels, it is crucial that you observe any patterns in your readings, and pay attention to what types of foods, medications or activities trigger undesirable increase or decrease in your readings.

Diabetes is a serious condition can have a devastating effect on the entire body, including eyes, kidneys, hear, nerve, ultimately leading to blindness, kindey failure, amputations, heart disease and stroke. Everyone who has diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2 is at risk, and even people who have pre-diabetes can be affected – so it’s never too early to take aggressive preventive measures by changing your lifestyle choices.

Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating) – Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment

Hyperhidrosis refers to a condition where the sympathetic nervous system is overactive and produces sweat in excess of that needed to keep a constant temperature. This condition may be either primary or secondary. While there is no known cause for the primary condition, the secondary condition is usually caused due to endocrine problems, hormonal treatment, psychiatric disorders, obesity and menopause. Excessive sweating can be socially embarrassing and may interfere in professional activities. It is aggravated by emotional stress and high temperatures.

The Ayurvedic treatment of hyperhidrosis is aimed at controlling the sweating, regulating the sympathetic nervous system, reducing stress and treating the known cause of the condition. Medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Kachnaar-Guggulu, Panch-Tikta-Ghrut-Guggulu, Punarnavadi-Guggulu, Maha-Vat-Vidhwans-Ras, Vat-Gajankush-Ras and Ekang-Veer-Ras are used to treat the overactive sympathetic nervous system. Medicines which act on the ‘Ras’ and ‘Meda’ dhatus (tissues) of the body are useful in this condition. These medicines include Kutaj (Holarrhina antidysentrica), Patol (Tricosanthe dioica), Kutki (Picrorrhiza kurroa), Chirayta (Swertia chirata), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Rakta-Chandan (Pterocarpus santalinus) and Vishwa (Zinziber officinalis). Other medicines which can be used in this condition are: Saarivadi-Churna, Chandanasav, Usheerasav, Musta (Cyperus rotundus), Pittapapda (Fumaria vaillantii), Triphala (Three fruits) and Usheer (Vetiveria zizanioidis). Fine powders of Triphala, Chandan (Santalum album) and Usheer can also be used locally.

Stress can be treated using Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Mandukparni (Centella asiatica), Jatamansi (Nardostachys jatamansi), Shankhpushpi (Convolvulus pluricaulis) and Sarpagandha (Rauwolfia serpentina). Endocrine disorders like hyperthyroidism can be treated using medicines like Arogya-Vardhini, Chandrakala-Ras, Praval-Bhasma and Saariva (Hemidesmus indicus). Obesity can be treated using medicines like Medohar-Guggulu, Triphala-Guggulu, Chandraprabha-Vati, Triphala and Trikatu (Three pungent herbs). The hot flushes of menopause can be treated using medicines like Brahmi-Vati, Saraswatarishta, Ashokarishta and Usheerasav.

Once the acute symptoms have been controlled, the recurrence of the condition can be prevented by using medicines like Kutaj-Parpati, Panchamrut-Parpati, Usheerasav, Saarivasav and Parpatadi-Qadha on a long term basis. Medicines need to be tailor-made for each individual in order to get the maximum therapeutic response.

Dry Penis Skin – 4 Care Steps

Dry skin on any part of the body is a real pain; it itches, cracks and sometimes even bleeds. On top of all that, it feels unpleasant to the touch. While unwanted anywhere, dry penis skin is of particular concern for men. Cracked, flaky skin on the member inhibits the pleasure of solo stroking and partner play, along with leaving the prize tool susceptible to odors and infections as cracks provide lodging zones for bacteria and odor-causing fluids. There are steps men can take to protect their penile skin; proper penis care can help men keep their intimate skin soft, smooth and pleasant to the touch.

This type of care is especially crucial during the colder months when skin faces a double assault. The first enemy is cold, dry air, which robs the skin of its moisture. Foe #2 is the artificial heat that pumps through vehicle and home vents. While this heat is necessary for health, safety and daily functioning, it also has a drying effect on skin. There is no more important time for a man to mind his penis skin than the winter. The following tips will help men keep their most sensitive skin healthy.

1) Short, warm showers: Who doesn’t love a long, hot shower in the depths of winter? Sadly, this indulgence takes a toll on the skin as hot water strips natural protective oils from its surface. These oils serve to hold moisture in the skin; therefore, prolonged exposure to hot water primes the skin to lose its hydration. Keep showers short and warm to avoid this.

2) Chill out on the soaps: As with hot water, soap has a tendency to dry the skin out. This is particularly true of harsh soaps, which can actually damage sensitive penile skin. Generally, warm water is sufficient to keep the member clean and odor-free.

If a man insists on using soap in the groin area, he should choose a fragrance-free and very mild product, preferably comprised of all-natural ingredients. Men should note that “all-natural” doesn’t always mean safe for the penis, however; some natural ingredients can cause stinging and irritation when used on sensitive skin. Such ingredients include peppermint and tea tree oil.

3) Use a humidifier: Keeping the air inside one’s home moist can spare the skin from drying out, at least after work and when sleeping. Humidifiers can also help with sinus problems and cracked lips in the winter. People who use a humidifier should monitor humidity levels in their homes and keep their machines clean; otherwise, mold and bacteria problems can occur. Those with asthma and/or allergies should consult a doctor before using a humidifier.

4) Use a high-end moisturizer: Applying a quality lotion or body cream to the whole body after toweling off from the shower is a great idea. This additional layer both provides moisture itself and works with the skin’s natural protective oils to seal in hydration.

Not all lotions and creams, however, should be used on the penile skin. It’s best to go with a product that is specifically designed for the penis. These products often come with additional penis health benefits. Ingredients that the best penis creams should contain include:

– Shea butter – a plant-based moisturizer

– Vitamin E – another natural hydrator

– Vitamin A – its antibacterial properties keep odors at bay

– L-arginine – promotes the production of nitric oxide, which in turn aids in vasodilation. Dilation of the blood vessels is needed to allow the in-rush of blood that facilitates erections.

– Vitamin C – promotes youthful-looking skin and aids in healthy blood flow

– Acetyl L-carnitine – a neuroprotective nutrient that helps maintain penile sensitivity and, therefore, pleasure

Along with the care steps above, use of a penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) will help men maintain supple, soft skin this winter.

Herbal Skin Care Products

With more and more reports of dangerous chemicals making their way into mainstream skin care products, many people are now opting to go a more natural route in taking care of their skin. This has promoted them to seek out herbal skin care products more than ever before in the industry’s history.

Anything but new, herbal skin care products have been used for centuries to treat everything from rashes and burns to psoriasis and wrinkles. While medicinal herbs for skin may seem safer (and they usually are), there are a few things to watch out for when choosing the right natural skin care solutions.

Tip # 1: Stay away from plant fragrances (even natural ones). They can cause allergic reactions in some people.

Tip # 2: Look for products containing Wakame kelp extracts . Maybe one of the best herbal skin care ingredients on the market, Wakame kelp helps prevent amino-acid breakdown in the skin by keeping hyaluronic acids level. Since Wakame kelp can be hard to find, at the very least look for products containing seaweed extract in its place.

Tip # 3: Use Jojoba Oil to fade stretch marks and scars. Of course, you’ll need a fairly high concentration, which isn’t usually found in most creams and lotions due to the high price. However, there are some products on the market which do sport decent levels of the oil in their products. To determine if a cream or lotion has a sufficient amount of Jojoba oil in it, look to see how far up the ingredient list it is. The higher, the better.

Tip # 4: Look for products containing Avocado oil, passion fruit, olive oil, palm oil, Shea butter, grape seed oil and manuka honey. These are all wonderful effective herbal skin care treatments and any products containing them will likely work well.

Tip # 5: Check the label for artificial preservatives. Just because a product says its all-natural doesn’t mean that it truly is ALL natural. The law does allow manufacturer’s to include small amounts of filler without changing the label.

Tip # 6: Check to see if the manufacturer checks their ingredients for safety. Just because an ingredient is natural, doesn’t necessarily mean it is safe – especially if it’s been contaminated in some way. Always look for products featuring the European Union Seal of Approval to ensure that it contains no carcinogenic chemicals. While FDA approval is helpful in checking for contamination safety, it does not forbid many dangerous chemicals from being used in skin care products like its European counterpart agency.

Turning to herbal skin care products is a wonderful way to use only the purest ingredients on your skin. To learn more about the wonderful selection of herbal skin care products now available to consumers, check out http://www.MyNaturalSkincareMD.com for the most effective products now being used worldwide.

What Are the Causes of Vaginal Infection?

Vaginal infections in women can lead to several complications, apart from destroying her sexual life, and need immediate medical attention. There are many causes of vaginal infection. Let us try to brief on the more common causes.

Bacterial Vaginosis accounts for about 50% of all Vaginitis cases. When the commonly present bacteria, Gardnerella Vaginalis, overgrow, a woman will start feeling the symptoms of Bacterial Vaginosis.

Candida Albicans, a fungus, causes vaginal yeast infections, which is also called Vulvovaginal Candidiasis, Candidiasis, and Genital Candidiasis. This kind of infection can become life threatening and mostly affects women with weak immune defenses, such as diabetes, being on steroids, pregnancy, or to HIV positive cases. The infection can spread to skin, esophagus, mucus membranes, heart valves, etc. Among the other causes of vaginal infections, such potential causes require our serious attention.

The overgrowth of fungi in the vagina can cause vaginal yeast infections. This disease is not transmitted through sexual contacts. The bacteria that present in vagina naturally, can become one of the causes of vaginal infection when their balance is disturbed.

The vaginal conditions in pregnancy and diabetes offer favorable ground for fungal growth, and also lower the glycogen store in certain vaginal cells. Vaginal pH and sugar content also increase. Such factors increase the risk of yeast infection in women.

Since using antibiotics destroys the ‘good’ bacteria in vagina that stand guard against Candidal organisms, the risk of yeast infection increases. Moreover, birth control pills cause some changes in vaginal environment that give rise to conditions favoring fungus growth.

Another cause of vaginal infection in women is Trich or Trichomoniasis, which is the infection of genital and urinary tract, and it is a sexually transmitted disease.

Some infections are caused due to a woman’s being allergic to some vaginal hygiene products like spermicides, fabric softeners or detergents. Moreover, vaginitis or thinning of the vaginal walls during menopause can affect women in their older age.

As some other causes of vaginal infections, we find unhygienic vaginal conditions and lack of immunity become responsible for an infection. Some women also get infections through sexual contact with an infected person, and also if the vagina is kept constantly moist. Wearing tight and non-cotton underwear, using douches, and such other factors also favor the infection.

In any case, it is always highly advisable to consult a doctor once any of the symptoms appear. Medical attention can prevent many complications if addressed on time.