Keto Diet and Intermittent Fasting

dietAt one point you may have heard the terms “keto” diet and “intermittent” fasting. Ketogenic Diet is a low-carb diet wherein an individual cuts back on food high in carbohydrates like rice, bread, pasta, soda, pastries. Individuals who are on a keto diet get their calories from proteins and fats. On the other hand, an Intermittent Fasting is an eating routine wherein an individual switches from fasting, normally for sixteen hours, and eats only for the remaining eight hours of the day.

During a fridge repair a couple of months ago when I became aware of intermittent fasting. I was already contemplating that time about losing unwanted pounds and my sister mentioned it to me. I dismissed it at first, thinking it was another fad in a long line of diet plans that came and went. Then, I saw a friend doing exactly that. In her case, she was even doing OMAD or one meal a day, while doing intermittent fasting. Whew! I asked her about it and she told me that it was, in fact, very effective in losing unwanted pounds and keeping it from coming back. She started with the basic intermittent fasting, 8:16. Eight hours of window for eating, sixteen hours of fasting. It was easy for her so she started stretching her fasting hours from sixteen to eighteen up to twenty six hours that time I found out about her diet. I was sure I could not do it no matter how much encouragement she was sending my way.

Is Intermittent Fasting effective? In my personal opinion, yes, it does. Imagine starving your body for sixteen hours (basic fasting period). Hours without food, our bodies burn fat and exhaust sugar stored in it. That translates to weight loss especially for longer periods of time that you are fasting.

How about Ketogenic Diet? Similar to intermittent fasting, when the body exhausts the sugar stored in it, you will lose weight. Eating less than 50 grams a day, burning sugar fast, after a few days you start losing unwanted pounds in your body and, for me, that’s an effective way of dieting. It is hard, yes, but many individuals have been doing it nowadays.

What is my choice between the two? I am all for intermittent fasting! I have tried it once and I was able to do it for a month. I lost weight that, thankfully, I have not gained back again even when I stopped fasting. I plan to do it again. A doctor-friend of mine told me that fasting is also good since our bodies regenerate good cells when under fast. Those with diabetes are great candidates, too, but with the supervision of their doctors and nutritionists.

All in all, my take on dieting is this: whatever works for you. As long as the diet is good for the body and truly promotes weight loss in the most natural way, then, go for it!

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Meal Planning

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Do you go to the supermarket or grocery store with or without a list of items to buy? Do you plan the meals you will cook for the next couple of days?

Meal planning is one way to help save time and money when it comes to grocery shopping. Gather the family to discuss the food they want to eat for the week. (A weekly plan is easier to compared to a monthly one.) Make a list. Discuss the costs and time it will take to cook it. Then, make a meal plan for the next five or seven days. From which you can extract a list of grocery items you need to buy.

Make sure you are done with your freezer repair before going to the supermarket or grocery store. You need your freezer space for the items you are going to purchase and stock up for the next couple of days. Also, make sure you have those fridge bags where you can store your meat, veggies, and other ingredients to keep it fresh.

Here’s how to do meal planning properly.

List all the meals you plan to cook for the week, or next couple of days, depending on your goal. Think of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Also, snacks in between meals, just to be sure.

List down all the ingredients you will need. Garlic, onions, tomatoes, bellpeppers, herbs. Pork, chicken, beef. Flour, cornstarch, pasta. Everything you will need to complete all the meals in your plan for the week.

Bring the list with you to the grocery store or supermarket. Bring a pen or pencil and tick off all the items you already have in your cart or basket.

When you get home, start cooking those meals that you can store in the fridge and can be reheat when about to be eaten. Normally, meals can be pre-cooked so that it won’t take you as long to cook it as when you need it that day.

Working moms attest to the fact that meal planning is a huge cost and time saver for them. My sisters and I, though not yet mothers, can also attest to the efficacy of meal planning in our daily working lives. Meals that are cheap can easily be budgeted. The time in the kitchen can be decreased and limited. Also, if you are on a diet, meal planning is a great way to control your food intake!

Just make sure the pantry is well-stocked. Make a list and check it twice. Don’t waste ingredients by buying what is already available in your pantry. Check your refrigerator for leftovers. There are meals that you can cook out of it. Buy only what you need. Cook and eat those you know will easily spoil or rot. Don’t let food go to waste by buying and stocking mindlessly.

Meal planning is easy especially when it becomes a part of your weekly, or monthly, routine.

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Turning to a healthy lifestyle.

Social media has given us glimpses of what it is like to be healthy and active. Numerous workout videos, nutritious and healthy recipes that we can easily replicate and cook, real results after religiously following a simple routine to lose weight. We see it every single day on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social media platforms.

Here are some lifestyle changes that I got online and will be trying out in the next couple of weeks.

Easy to Follow Home-Cooked Meals

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Get those appliance repair services as soon as possible! There are so many easy-to-cook meals out in the social media world that we can pick up and try at home. We need our oven and stove in good condition. We need our refrigerators cleaned and cleared of clutter. We need to do grocery shopping at least once a week. Meal planning is strongly advised.

Being able to choose the ingredients and being able to plan properly especially the cost of each meal are just two of the advantages of cooking at home.

A Five-Minute Simple Daily Workout

I have been picking up some five-minute workouts here and there, mostly from Instagram. The idea that five minutes of your day will become a habit once you commit to doing it every single day. No rest days for those who are deeply committed to losing weight and becoming healthy.

A woman I was following in Facebook has been documenting her journey to a healthier version of herself. It was not an easy journey. I have been how she struggled, and she was honest enough to tell everyone about it. It was from her that I got the idea of five minutes daily can become a habit.

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Ten seconds per type of workout. Planking will take getting used to but this has the best effect on our body, according to one fitness expert.

Minimizing the Carbon Footprint

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Just like with working out, minimizing our carbon footprint will need a stronghold commitment. We are used to single-use plastics when we are out. Admit it or not. If we reduce our use of materials that are harmful to the environment, if we reuse and recycle, then we are contributing to the health of the land around us.

Clean air. Clean water. Abundance in nature.

We can use bicycles to work or to go to places nearby. Bike more, drive less. If driving a car cannot be avoided, carpooling is a great way to encourage others to minimize their carbon footprints, too. Of course, walking is still the best option. Ten thousand footsteps a day can help drive away any kind of illness.

There are a lot of ways that we can turn to healthy living. The three I mentioned are just some of the ways that I picked up while browsing through my social media accounts. One thing that we need to keep in mind is that every way needs total commitment. It is committing to a better life every single day.

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Leading A More Environmentally Friendly Lifestyle

With global warming and climate change causing devastation around the natural world, leading a more environmentally friendly lifestyle is something that many people are trying to achieve. There are a wealth of changes that you can make each and every day which will reduce your carbon footprint and the impact that you have on the natural world, and it truly couldn’t be easier to start your journey today. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on to uncover some of the best top tips and tricks that you can make the most of now!

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Rethink Your Diet

One of the most harmful aspects of your lifestyle that you may not have even considered is your diet. The foods that you eat can either help the planet or hurt it, so it’s important that you can address your diet in an attempt to make a few positive changes. Eating meat is one of the worst things that you can do for the planet, as dramatic mass deforestation takes place in order to create enough space for livestock to meet ever increasing demand. To add to this, the methane gas that is created by livestock and used in feed fertilisation processes contributes more greenhouse gases that all modes of transport combined. The practice of rearing livestock can also increase the risk of mass extinctions in other species, as well as polluting natural waterways at the same time. Making the decision to cut down the amount of meat that you consume will have a huge impact on your carbon footprint (and your health), and the rise in plant based foods is making this step easier and easier. You can start off slow by taking part in a weekly meat free Monday, or throw yourself in at the deep end and go vegan to experience the full range of benefits.

Go Plastic Free

In recent years plastic pollution has risen to the top of many people’s agenda, as the effects of the near indestructible material have slowly but surely left an irreparable mark on the planet. Oceans are filled to the brim with food packaging, discarded fishing nets, micro plastics and so much more, all of which is likely to be eaten by the sea creatures who encounter it. Coral reefs are littered with plastics, and many endangered sea animals wash up on beaches suffocated by needless plastic dumped into the water. The only way to stop this from continuing on is to find alternative natural materials that do not have a half life of a hundred years; which can biodegrade in a safe and healthy way with as little effect on the environment as possible. One idea that mind just put an end to the problem of plastic is hemp, as hemp products can easily form a suitable replacement. Glass is another reliable alternative, especially when considering replacing plastics used in food storage.

Leading a more environmentally friendly lifestyle has never been so simple when you are able to make the most of the top tips and tricks detailed above!

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How Lockdown Is Affecting People’s Mental Health

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The Covid-19 pandemic has kept at least 2.6 billion people in some form of social isolation. But how does that affect people mentally? Well, according to experts, the Covid-19 lockdown has caused some of the most major psychological challenges the world has seen in recent years. And now there are deep fears that towards late 2020, an outbreak of burnouts could hit the globe as a result of lockdown.

Covid-19 mental challenges are real

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the world’s health facilities have been overwhelmed as a result of the upsurge in new infections. Nations scrambled to erect tents and temporary healthcare centers to treat infected patients. For example, in the United States, field hospitals were put up in Central Park when the COVID case counts and death toll shot to the roof. Unfortunately, what’s conspicuously missing in the world is the lack of psychological help centers for people grappling with the effects of social distancing protocols and quarantine. If the world is to come back stronger post-COVID-19, then nations shouldn’t be ignoring the mental health dangers posed by people being torn away from their loved ones as a result of unprecedented lockdown. There is a good reason why experts are tagging the Covid-19 pandemic as the “biggest psychological test” the world has seen in a long time. With a third of the global population living in isolation, that cannot go on without sparking psychological effects.

Effects of lockdown on mental health

Around February 2020, The Lancet reviewed 24 studies on the impact of lockdown on mental health. Insights from that study revealed what may be going on in the millions of households that have been hit hard by the pandemic. As expected, the results showed that quarantined people have a high likelihood of developing a broad spectrum of symptoms characteristic of psychological disorders. These include anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, stress, and anger, among other traumatic experiences.

But in particular, it was observed that low mood and temper irritability stood out among the psychological effects of Covid-19 lockdown. Moving to China, the origin of the virus, researchers also confirmed mental health challenges springing from the coronavirus pandemic.
In cases involving the quarantine of parents and their kids, the toll on mental health was much more pronounced.

Some studies found out that close to 28% of parents in quarantine showed trauma-like symptoms relating to mental health abnormalities. Meanwhile, healthcare workers can’t be left out. Nearly 10% of hospital workers experienced severe symptoms of depression. In the face of these difficulties, healthcare workers have a high tendency to engage in risky behaviors such as alcohol abuse and self-medication. In some cases, health practitioners avoid making contact with patients due to the fear of being infected.

The lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) also explains why doctors shirk their basic responsibilities of catering for the sick. The big question is — if doctors are closing their offices for fear of their lives, what happens to Covid-19 patients and those with non-communicable cases such as hearing losses? Well, that means Covid-19 patients may lose their lives needlessly, and the hearing-impaired won’t have access to an audiogram to diagnose their conditions.

How to overcome coronavirus-related mental health challenges

  • Call for help
  • This is not the best time to hide your poor mental health situation. Speak it out, and you will get help. For example, make a consultation with a psychologist and seek help before it’s too late. As trained mental health professionals, doctors and psychologists can offer you advice and even medications to improve your condition. Explain your feelings to them, and follow their recommendations to restore your positive mind.

  • Socialize with friends online
  • The internet is serving the world perfectly in the course of the pandemic. Even though lockdown can tie you to your home, don’t allow it to cut off your communication with family and friends. Of course, in quarantine, you may not be able to attend parties with friends, but you can connect with them online through platforms like FaceTime, Facebook, and other platforms.

  • Find a flexible job
  • The Covid-19 crisis has affected people’s sources of income because the pandemic has dealt with businesses a big blow. To lessen your financial worries, you need to find a flexible job during the pandemic. Think about how you can work from home to make some money and meet your household needs.

    The pandemic has affected the psychological state of people. But if you take the above measures, you can mitigate the negative impact of lockdown, and have your full mental health back.

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Health Appointments You Should Definitely Check Into

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We all want to be in the best health we can possibly be. We want to live our lives free of discomfort and pain. We also want to live as long as possible. But to achieve this, you’re going to have to put some work in. This goes beyond the usual health routines of eating balanced meals and going to the gym regularly. You’re going to have to book in for regular health checkups with professionals too. Here are some that you need to fit into your schedule!

Dentist Appointments

If you’re having any form of dental problems, your first point of call should be your dentist. They’ll be able to carry out a full examination and any emergency procedures that may need to be carried out to put a stop to pain or other issues. But this isn’t the only time you should see a dentist. You should also check in regularly even if you haven’t noticed any problems. A six month dental checkup will give your dentist the chance to take a look around your mouth and examine its overall health. They may be able to spot warning signs of issues that you haven’t noticed yet, such as small cavities or signs of gum disease. They can then carry out procedures to stop these issues in their tracks. They can also carry out an X-ray to ensure the health of the inside of your teeth, which you can’t take a look at yourself. This could unveil wisdom teeth or other potential future inconveniences or problems. Your dentist will also likely offer aesthetic services, such as straightening, whitening or veneers if you’re interested!

Hygienist Appointments

While we all know we need to see a dentist, it’s surprising how few people book in an appointment with a hygienist. A hygienist will ensure that your mouth is as clean as possible, tackling areas you might not reach yourself and carrying out a scale to remove any build up of plaque or tartare. They may also be able to point out areas you’re missing, helping you to take better care of your teeth in your own cleaning routines.

Eye Tests

You should visit an optometrist for an eye test once every two years. This isn’t high commitment, so there’s no reason to miss your appointments. Everyone can spare half an hour once every two years. During your eye test, a professional will survey the health of your eye. This will give them the opportunity to identify symptoms of any conditions that will need to be put right. Generally, for most people, nothing shows up and they can simply progress to their sight test. In the sight test, you’ll carry out a number of tasks to determine whether you need prescription lenses or not. If you do, your optometrist will write out your prescription and you’ll be good to go!

Hearing Tests

Hearing tests are even less regular than eye tests. You just need to check in if you notice any changes to your hearing or if you’re worried about your hearing at all. If you are recognizing hearing loss, an audiologist will be able to carry out proper tests to determine whether you need hearing aids or other hearing devices to help you get by more easily on a day to day basis. If you do need any hearing aids, your audiologist will be able to recommend different makes and models, will be able to order them on your behalf and will be able to fit them for you when they arrive. This can make all the difference to your day to day life!

General Health Check Ups

If you feel that any other aspect of your health may be deteriorating, check in with your doctor. They’ll be able to conduct tests to determine the cause of your problems and set you on the right path to treatment. Whether that’s medication, surgery, therapy or anything else! These routine checks will ensure that any problems that are establishing themselves are tackled quickly and effectively.

Sure, there are a fair few checkups that you need to fit into your calendar. But the good news is that they are generally far between, so you won’t find your schedule absolutely packed with them. Plus, they can really help you out, making a profoundly positive experience to your day to day life!

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Take Care Of Your Ears For A Clearer Tomorrow!

The WHO estimates that there are 360 ​​million people in the world who have hearing problems or are deaf (5.3% of the world’s population). At least half of all hearing loss cases can be prevented, including good ear care practices. Being in control of your health is vital. Hearing loss can impair your quality of life, limit your ability to make contact with others, cause misunderstandings and fatigue, increase stress and “filter” the thousands of sounds that give pleasure and meaning to life. Also, hearing loss can create a safety issue or even depression. But perhaps the biggest problem is how we view hearing loss both as a culture and as individuals. Hearing loss has always been something of a stigma compared to vision problems. For example as a society, we prioritize our hair loss over our hearing loss and whilst all issues are important to us one way or another, it’s important to be on top of your hearing health and act quickly.

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There are many types of hearing loss and these may be caused by a number of reasons. The most common causes of hearing loss are:

1. The constant exposure to noise at work

Prolonged exposure to constant and loud noise can cause permanent hearing loss. Items such as motorcycles and power tools can also damage your hearing over time. If you can, avoid noisy activities or take a break.

2. Injuries or changes in pressure

A serious head injury can dislocate part of the ear or cause nerve damage, causing permanent hearing loss. Sudden changes in pressure – such as flying or diving – can damage the eardrum and the inside of the ear.

3. Medication

Some drugs are known to cause hearing loss as a side effect. These drugs include certain antibiotics and anti-cancer drugs. Regular use of aspirin can also increase the risk of hearing loss, but usually the side effects subside with discontinuation of the medication.

4. Chronic diseases

Some chronic diseases that are not directly related to hearing can cause its loss. For example, it may be a damage due to the interruption of blood flow to the inside of the ear or to the brain. Heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, and diabetes are some of the causes of hearing loss, as well as autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

5. Childhood diseases

Many childhood diseases can cause hearing loss. Infections, for example, fill the ears with fluid and cause hearing loss that usually goes away when the infection heals. There are also diseases known to affect hearing in children, including chickenpox, encephalitis, influenza, measles, meningitis and mumps.

Looking to the future

If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, then life can change dramatically and you may need to look at new ways around things. With hearing loss recovery, you can certainly get more in control. It is also important to be positive and ensure that you follow some of the most important tips to keep your ears safe. These may include:

  • The production of “wax” in our ear serves its defense against infections and other harmful factors (eg insect entry). Normally, with the chewing movements, the “candle” is pushed and comes out to the external auditory canal.
  • Our ears have the function of “self-determination” from the cell (“wax”) produced in the skin of the external auditory canal.
  • Cotton swabs or anything similar used to clean the ear are not medically permitted. Their introduction into the external auditory canal can lead to accumulation of “wax” but also to various accidents (skin injury and otitis, cotton retention in the pore, drum perforation, etc.).
  • Never put anything in the ear (such as a finger or a cotton swab).

  • Use the hair dryer on the lower scale to completely dry your ears.

  • Do not attempt to remove a cell yourself. The intervention of the otolaryngologist is necessary in cases where there is sufficient accumulation of alveoli.

Check your hearing often and be in control. Unlike most medical examinations, the tests that measure hearing are relatively quick and painless. An otolaryngologist will probably perform 3 or 4 simple tests that may include:

  • Otoscopy, or examination of the ears with a special lens
  • Audiogram, a sound control that produces a mapping or graph of hearing ability
  • Tympanogram, which measures the pressure of the inner ear and evaluates the mobility of the eardrum.

These tests are performed at the doctor’s office and usually take less than an hour to complete. With the information from these tests, your doctor will be able to make an accurate assessment of your hearing skills and advise you on all of the options for treating it. Be sure to take control today.

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Health And Well Being Has An Affect On Our Confidence

When we get dressed to go to work or perhaps to the bar, we always check our appearance in the mirror. Some of us, more than others. But we can all agree that our appearance is important to our well being. Our mental health is directly linked to our physical health. If we don’t work out and keep in shape, we tend to gain a soggy stomach and fat where we don’t want it to be. But what do we do about it? We tend to see fixing something that has taken a long time to come to fruition to be too hard and time-consuming. But at the end of the day, we’re not happy. We can make big changes to our lives if we accept that we can only regain our confidence if we take a holistic approach to our health and well being. It’s not just aesthetic, far from it actually. Let’s take a look at the types of things you can do right now.

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Why do you have blotchy skin?

Our skin is the largest organ in our body. It’s also the most sensitive to the elements, so the sun, rain, wind and cold, all play a pivotal role in the well being of our collagen bonds and general aesthetics. But what happens when you have blotchy skin is very misunderstood.

  • It does have something to do with a lack of good circulation. However, it isn’t directly linked to being unfit.
  • It doesn’t have anything to do with any makeup that you put on your face.
  • Blotchy skin is more so about your lifestyle and how you are treating your skin.
  • Don’t over-exfoliate your skin. Exfoliating does hydrate and clean your skin but it also damages the top layer. Wiping away the natural oils is like taking away the protection that your skin puts on, to shield you from the rain and sunshine.
  • You need to improve your circulation by doing exercise and getting massages if you can.
  • Stop eating foods that damage your skin, such as alcohol, fatty foods, and carbs.

Don’t buy skincare products that have a lot of chemicals in them. Stick to natural ingredients and go for products that have an organic label. Chemicals in products are nothing new, but it’s not good for your skin to be bombarded with liquids or creams that have been concocted in a lab somewhere. The less blotchiness you have the more confidence you’ll feel. You won’t have uneven toned skin which is something many women loathe. Men too should follow this advice if they have blotchy skin, although it’s not as prevalent in men as it is in women.

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Defining The Best Version of You – Step by Step

Defining the best version of yourself is a difficult exercise, which is why we’re going to break it down for you, step by step. Once you know exactly who the best version of you is and what they are about, you can begin working towards becoming that version of yourself. Read on to get started:

Step 1: What Do Your Daily Habits Look Like?
First, think about what your habits would look like if you were the best version of yourself. Would you drink water, take vitamins, eat vegetables, and exercise? More than likely! Write down the habits you would adopt if you were the best you that you could be, and then figure out how you could begin incorporating them into your lifestyle right now.

Step 2: What Are Your Hobbies And Do You Have Time For Them?
When it comes to your hobbies, having time for them is crucial. We shouldn’t just spend all of our time in a job and no time on our own personal projects. What would you do if you were the best version of yourself? Maybe you’d spend time roller skating, painting, or doing something else. Where could you fit this into your routine now?

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Step 3: What Do You Do For A Living?
If you hate the job you’re in now, it’s fairly safe to assume that you wouldn’t do it for a living as the best version of yourself. Maybe you could hunt for jobs, or even work on ways you could train to land the job of your dreams. It might be unrealistic to absolutely love your job, but finding satisfaction in it and enjoying it in some ways is often important. Do you want to feel valued? Do you want to see the results of the work you put in? Write out what you truly want from your job role.

Step 4: Who Do You Spend Time With?
Do you want a partner, or a closer circle of friends? When you start being true to yourself, you tend to attract your people. Be who you really are, do things you enjoy, and aim to show up as your best self. Pretty soon, people should show up out of the blue.

Step 5: What Does Your Health Look Like?
Being a healthy person is often equated to being the best version of yourself. Now, if you have chronic illness or something else to consider, then simply knowing how to manage that in a way that is best for you could be the best version of yourself. Managing hearing aid issues and things like that can help you to live a better quality of life.

Step 6: Where Do You Want To Be?
Can you define where the best version of yourself is? Where do they live? Where do they spend time? If you don’t want to stay where you are right now, it might be time to put money aside and come up with a plan for a move.

What does the best version of you look like?

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Pay Attention! These Are The Most Commonly Overlooked Health Issues

The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has shown us that good health is one of the most important things in our lives. We all must sit up and start listening and paying more attention to what our bodies are telling us. We are all guilty of overlooking our health and letting health issues that could be stopped in their tracks get progressively worse until sometimes, it is too late to do anything about them. As a consequence, the quality and length of our lives are often impacted. We all need to take responsibility for our bodies, so here, we look at some of the most commonly overlooked health issues.

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Hearing loss

It is thought that as many as fifty million Americans have hearing loss to some degree, whether mild enough that turning the TV up and speaking a little louder is enough, to profound, where there is no sound at all. As for many people, hearing loss is something that gets gradually worse, it quite often goes unnoticed until it is at a point where the damage cannot be reversed. Of course, prevention is always better than cure, so taking steps not to damage hearing is key. However, regular hearing tests can also pick up any issues.

Sight loss

This is generally a lot easier to pick up than hearing loss, but many people still live a long time with poor eyesight or the wrong glasses or prescription. Just like hearing loss, this can have a significant effect on the quality of life, as well as being a safety concern when driving or operating machinery. As above, regular sight tests can not only pick up worsening eyesight but a range of other conditions too. However, if you notice you have to peer a little more closely at your cell phone or computer screen, or the license plate of the car in front seems a little unclear, it is time to go and have it looked at.

Cognitive decline

As we get older, we all expect our memory to fade a little and to be a little absent-minded at one point or another. It is a natural part of ageing. However, there is normal absent-mindedness and cognitive decline, and it is important to know and recognise the difference. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are increasing, most likely because people are living longer, but it needs monitoring. While once it has set in, there is little you can do to stop it, there are things that you can do to help slow down the decline. Keeping physically and mentally active, quitting smoking and excess alcohol consumption and eating a healthy, balanced diet all go a long way to keeping your cognitive ability sharp.

Over the course of a lifetime, most people will experience one or more of these common but often overlooked health issues. While they may not always be treatable, there are steps you can take to help reduce the chances and slow them down if they have already made their presence known.

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