The 206 bones in the adult body that make up the skeleton provide the basic frame upon which the body is built giving us our structure and shape, but your skeleton has a number of other essential functions too. Your bones provide attachment points for your muscles allowing you to move, they form protective structures around your organs and nerves, they’re involved in maintaining mineral and pH balance in the body and the bone marrow is where your red and white (immune) blood cells are produced.
It’s a topic that comes up in the media a lot; it’s something we here at About Health mention frequently too – but just what exactly are we referring to when we talk about heart health?
Did you leap out of bed this morning, refreshed and eager to start your day? No, not so much? Well you’re not alone. Statistics around quality sleep are tricky to find, simply because they are not straight forward to define. But after doing a poll around the office, friends and family, it is pretty clear that too many of us aren’t getting either enough, or good enough quality sleep.
Stress. Who hasn’t been affected at some point in life!! And while I don’t want to add to your stress levels we’re nearly mid-way into October already – Christmas is just around the corner and to-do lists only seem to be growing longer.
But don’t fret – I actually have some tips to help you manage end of year (or any time of the year) stress and have you sailing through the silly season feeling great.
In almost every country, the proportion of people aged over 60 years is growing faster than any other age group, as a result of both longer life expectancy and declining fertility rates. There are currently nearly 900 million people aged over 60 years living worldwide, by 2025, this number is expected to reach more than 1.2 billion.
We all know that exercise is good for our health; in fact, it is well know that exercise can:
- Decrease stress hormones
- Increase ‘feel good’ chemicals
- Reduce fatigue
- Offer social benefits
- Support normal insulin and blood sugar responses
- Maintain healthy weight
- Improve general physical health, decreases risk of chronic diseases
- Promote normal heart function
It’s cold, dark and wet outside. For many of us the motivation to exercise during winter wanes much like the warmth of the sun.
But we are not bears, we don’t need to nap for the duration of winter – nor do we need to build up stores to endure winter – but that’s another topic! So while your activities may alter, you really do need to maintain your fitness over winter….here’s some ideas to get you motivated:
Ageing, it gives you experience, knowledge, wisdom and perspective. Unfortunately it can also bring some health challenges such as changes to the function and health of your eyes.
As one of our primary senses maintaining the health and function of your eyes for as long as possible can make a big difference to your quality of life. Now while you weren’t built to last forever there are a number of things that you can do to hang on to your health as you age. To understand the impact of certain diet and lifestyle interventions, let’s first look at some of the basic physiology of the eyes.
We have 206 bones in the adult human skeleton; the point where 2 bones connect is called a joint, we have a total of 360 joints in the body – some of these connect the tiny bones in our inner ear – others are more obvious, such as our knee or elbow joints. Our skeleton provides us with structure, but without our joints it would be a rigid, very difficult to move structure. While different joints have slightly different functions, most of them are there to provide us with movement – from fine motor movement in the hands, to turning the head, bending our knees to walk, pivoting at the hips, moving our spine and nearly every range of motion you can think of (including some in the inner ear you probably haven’t thought of at all!).
How is your breathing right now? Obviously functional, you’re still alive – but is it rapid, shallow or perhaps you even notice you’re holding it every now and then? Where are your shoulders? Slumped forward or perhaps elevated so high it looks like they’re attached to your ears? Another giveaway sign is muscular tension – perhaps it’s in your brow, your jaw or your hands – clenching, gripping, cramping or clicking away periodically.
In case you haven’t guessed it, these are just some of the common physical presentations of stress, there are many more such as low mood, irritability, changes in appetite and poor sleeping patterns. The list goes on and if left unchecked, can lead to some serious negative effects on your health.