Advice

fitness

How To Tell If You Can Trust Advice From Fitness Influencers

Fitness influencers are often motivational, aspirational, and—let’s be honest—pretty darn attractive. But it’s not always the best idea to follow their advice without first engaging in some little healthy scrutiny. “There’s too much information out there that nobody’s fact checking,” says Katrina Pilkington, a personal trainer certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). “You have to be your own fact checker.” 

Doing background research to vet the content shared by fitness influencers might suck the fun out of following them, but it’s important for your health if you plan to follow their advice. After all, people aren’t qualified trainers just because they’ve got your dream body. “Looks aren’t everything,” says Pilkington. “Someone could  have a six-pack and a heart problem.” They also might not be 100 percent transparent around what they’ve done to get their physique. Think of it this way: Jennifer Aniston has done commercials for Aveeno and Smartwater, but you don’t assume that her entire beauty routine consists of drinking water and applying lotion, right? Apply that same critical thinking to fitfluencers, and take a few beats before copycatting their moves.

How to vet advice shared by the fitness influencers you follow

1. Check their credentials

The easiest thing you can do is check the influencer’s credentials. Pilkington says to see if someone has a master’s degree relevant to the advice they’re sharing. “I’m not saying it completely validates them, but it can be a little more of a credential because it means they’ve had continuing education in their field,” she says. NASM-certified trainer Tony Ambler-Wright—who has a master’s degree in exercise science—refers to this as “foundational knowledge” and also advises keeping an eye out for it. 

You might also want to take a look at trainers’ professional certifications. Ambler-Wright says he’s biased towards his own (NASM) type of certification, but he also recommends trainers who are certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, American Council on Exercise, or the American College for Sports Medicine.

If someone you follow fails to possess any of the above credentials, says Ambler-Wright, that could be a red flag.

2. Make sure their advice from fitness influencers matches their training

Both Pilkington and Ambler-Wright also note that just because someone is credentialed in one area doesn’t mean you should follow their advice in other disciplines. “The person’s training should align with the advice that they’re providing,” says Ambler-Wright. “One of the things that I think consumers should be wary of is individuals operating outside the scope of their expertise.”

For example, don’t look to a fitness influencer or certified trainer for credible diet advice unless they have additional credentials as a nutritionist or registered dietician. “The nutrition piece is not something that a [non-credentialed] trainer should be touching,” says Pilkington. “They shouldn’t be recommending what you eat or how much you eat, because that’s just completely out of their scope and authority.” And while she admits she may have been guilty of doling out

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dentist

How to Find a Good Dentist | Patient Advice

Karen Vasso, a 43-year old farmer from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, takes good care of her health. In addition to the copious amounts of physical exercise she gets while working, she’s an avid swimmer and triathlete, who’s completed a few solo 12.5-mile swims around Key West in Florida. She also has a background in nutrition and knows that good dental health is an important aspect of overall wellness. She’s long sought to make visiting a dentist regularly a priority. However, a couple of bad experiences over the years have caused her to think carefully about what makes a good dentist and how to find the right one for her.

The first incident occurred several years ago. At the time, Vasso was a single mother and her health insurance wasn’t terribly robust, so her options of which dentist she could see were limited. “I went to this quiet, dark office in the basement of a building” in a nearby town. The office was mostly empty, save for the dentist himself, and Vasso recalls thinking, “this is scary.” Undeterred by her gut intuition, she went through with the appointment. “He cleaned my teeth and at the end he said, ‘you have a cavity. I’m going to need you to come back for a filling.’ I know my teeth. I have extensive knowledge about nutrition and how that affects dental health,” and she says she suspected she didn’t actually have a cavity.

She asked the dentist to show her on the X-ray where the cavity was. “He kind of backed out of it. He had nothing, so I left and never went back. Because he was the only dentist my insurance covered, I didn’t go to the dentist for several years,” she says.

Fast forward a few years to a new town and new health insurance, and Vasso decided it was time to do something about the lack of routine dental care she’d had for the past couple of years and scheduled an appointment with a local dentist. She opted for “a very big chain dental practice” that was in her insurance plan and made an appointment for a cleaning. “They did a cleaning and a cursory exam and told me I had six cavities. It blew my mind – there’s no way I have six cavities,” she says, feeling outraged.

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Before she was even able to get clarification on where and how severe these cavities were, she’d been herded to the front desk to settle her bill and make several more appointments for additional dental work. Vasso decided she didn’t trust that dentist and made an appointment elsewhere for a second opinion. As suspected, that subsequent dentist confirmed she had no cavities at all, let alone six of them. “Can you imagine them drilling into my teeth for no reason? It blows my mind,” she says.

While Vasso’s experience may be extreme, it illustrates how important it is to find a dentist you can trust. “The dentist has an obligation to be

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health

What’s A ‘Holiday Bubble Checklist’? Baylor College Releases COVID-19 Advice For Christmas

Doctors fear that the most wonderful time of the year may become the most dangerous amid the coronavirus pandemic. However, creating a “holiday bubble checklist” may be the answer to saving the 2020 holiday season.

Dr. James McDeavitt, the senior vice president and dean of clinical affairs at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, has created a “holiday bubble checklist” that will lower the chance of family gatherings turning into superspreader events, NBC News reports.

For families to have a safe holiday season, experts are advising them to choose a “bubble commissioner” that will responsible for making sure the family members who plan to attend the holiday gathering follow whatever guidelines are put in place.

However, the person must take the role seriously and cannot do it halfway. “There is harm in that. It gives a false sense of security,” McDeavitt explained.

The checklist recommends that each member of the family gets a flu shot as soon as possible. “This will decrease the likelihood of developing a flu-related illness around holiday time, which could disrupt your plans,” he stated.

Attendees should also self-quarantine 14 days before the holiday if possible. McDeavitt provided a solid template on what should be included in every holiday bubble checklist. He even added that travelers should wear goggles or face shields in addition to regular masks. 

He suggested that the more detailed a list is, the higher the chance families will feel comfortable “co-mingling, singing songs, laughing — all the things you like to do during the holidays.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician, recommended hosting the holiday gathering outdoors. Wen noted that logical thinking tends to go out the window when it comes to seeing loved ones as threats to another’s health. 

“We know that up to 50 percent of people who are spreading coronavirus may not have symptoms,” she said.

“There is this magical thinking that occurs with our loved ones, but we need to be aware that our family and friends are just as likely to have coronavirus as strangers.”

Christian Gaza resident Hanadi Missak adjusts the ornaments on her Christmas tree at her home in Gaza City, but she could not travel to Bethlehem this year as Israeli authorities did not grant a permit in time Christian Gaza resident Hanadi Missak adjusts the ornaments on her Christmas tree at her home in Gaza City, but she could not travel to Bethlehem this year as Israeli authorities did not grant a permit in time Photo: AFP / MAHMUD HAMS

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health

WHO Says It Will Have Advice on Remdesivir in Three-Four Weeks | Top News

GENEVA (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday it is preparing guidelines on use of the drug remdesivir for COVID-19 and should be able to release them in three to four weeks.

The United States has given full approval for remdesivir to treat infections, the first COVID-19 treatment to receive regulatory endorsement there.

However, a large WHO study earlier this year on COVID-19 patients in hospital found that the drug probably had no effect on their survival rate.

“We would anticipate that the guidelines will be available within three to four weeks,” Janet Diaz, the WHO’s top official for clinical care responses, told a news conference.

A WHO panel will convene next week to look at all evidence of the effectiveness of the drug, made by Gilead Sciences

, she added.    WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said the U.S. FDA drug regulator does not appear to have taken the results of the global health body’s study into account in giving approval.

“We believe our results are very robust,” Swaminathan said. “We hope that people who are doing treatment guidelines in other countries as well as regulators around the world will take note of our study results, in addition to the other evidence,” she said.

“Because you need to look at the global evidence for a drug, before you make decisions.”

(Reporting by John Miller, Stephanie Nebehay and Michael Shields; Writing by Peter Graff; Editing by Kevin Liffey and Andrew Cawthorne)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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health

Olivia Newton-John talks new foundation and shares advice to women fighting breast cancer

Olivia Newton-John continually uses her platform to advocate for cancer research and now she is taking it a step further with the launch of her new foundation.

The four-time Grammy Award-winning singer and actress, who is currently battling breast cancer for the third time, launched the Olivia Newton-John Foundation this month to fund research for treatments and therapies to cure cancer.

The star was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992 and again in 2013. She revealed in 2018 that the disease returned and metastasized to her spine.

In a recent interview with “Good Morning America,” the actress, 72, revealed she is “feeling really good” and spoke about what led her to launch this new charity.

“I feel really positive and very excited about bringing this foundation and a lot of knowledge to people, and funding research to find out lots of answers — to find kinder treatments for cancer,” she shared.

“The inspiration has been a long one because I’ve been on this cancer journey for 28 years,” she added. “I’m a thriver of three times going through this process.”

MORE: Olivia Newton-John gives optimistic update on breast cancer diagnosis

Having gone through surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, she said she now is interested in funding treatments that aren’t as taxing to the body. “I’ve always thought, ‘Gosh, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could create kinder therapies that help boost the body’s immune system instead of knocking us down?'” she said.

PHOTO: Olivia Newton-John is photographed at her California home. (ONJ Foundation)
PHOTO: Olivia Newton-John is photographed at her California home. (ONJ Foundation)

Newton-John is an outspoken advocate for plant medicine and says that’s largely due to the influence of her husband, John Easterling. She affectionately calls him “Amazon John” because he spent several years in the Amazon rain forest learning about this type of medicine.

“I’m very lucky that I have him in my corner, and teaching me about the plants and the herbs,” she said. “He grows cannabis for me and I take tinctures that have helped me greatly.”

Ongoing efforts are being made to research what role cannabis may play in the future. “While some like Newton-John find relief of cancer-related pain and nausea from cannabis, it has not clinically proven to be the best choice,” according to health expert Dr. Imran Ali, a contributor to the ABC News Medical Unit.

Newton-John says she believes there is a significant lack of progress in research for these treatments.

“There are lots of ideas on how we can help people with cancer and treat cancer, but there’s been no real science behind the studies,” she explained. “So the idea is to raise money to fund the research on the other kinds of things that are kinder, including a lot of plant medicine.”

Newton-John is dedicating the foundation to all forms of cancer treatments — not just breast cancer research — because she dreams of one day “realizing a world beyond cancer.”

“That’s everything that drives me forward,” she said. “To think that we could help people to

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health

When To Seek Medical Advice?

KEY POINTS

  • Pneumonia is a condition that could prove dangerous for older adults
  • Detecting the symptoms when they appear will be beneficial for the elderly
  • Some of the common symptoms are cough, fever, chest pain 

Pneumonia is a dangerous condition for older adults as it puts them at a higher risk of developing complications. Detecting the symptoms of pneumonia in older adults at the earliest will ensure that the patient is afforded treatment the soonest. 

The American Lung Association (ALA) stated that the immune system of older adults is not that strong anymore in fighting off the disease. This is why their risk of developing complications, or a serious illness related to pneumonia, also becomes higher.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that in the United States, there are more than 250,000 individuals who need to seek care in a hospital because of pneumonia every year. There are about 50,000 people who died in the U.S. due to the disease.

The Symptoms

Medical News Today reported that the usual symptoms of pneumonia include a cough, which could either be dry or one that produces phlegm. Difficulty in breathing is also indicative of pneumonia. Fever could also be a sign, as well as chest pain. These symptoms, however, may not be the same for older adults as they could exhibit milder or fewer symptoms. 

In older adults, the typical symptoms would include poor coordination, which would often cause falls. Older adults may also show that there was a sudden change in their day-to-day functions. Other symptoms of pneumonia in older adults would include confusion, delirium, incontinence and reduced appetite. 

Pneumonia in Older Adults Symptoms of pneumonia in older adults Photo: truthseeker08/Pixabay

The most common form of pneumonia is bacterial pneumonia, which tends to be more serious. The ALA stated that the symptoms of this type of pneumonia can develop gradually or suddenly. Bacterial pneumonia symptoms would include sweating, fever that can reach high temperatures up to 105 degrees Fahrenheit, increased breathing, increased pulse rate, confusion, bluish nailbeds and lips. 

On the other hand, symptoms of viral pneumonia develop over several days. With this kind of pneumonia, the initial signs that one may see or experience include fever, headache, dry cough, muscle weakness and muscle pain. Thereafter, about one or two days, the symptoms would start worsening. At this point, the patient may experience increased coughing, muscle pain, shortness of breath, blue lips and high fever.

When To Seek Medical Advice?

For older adults, pneumonia can become serious. They must also seek immediate medical advice if they notice breathing difficulties, coughing up blood, or chest pain. Other symptoms that need immediate medical attention include fainting, high fever, confusion and severe cough with mucus.

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