Protect Your Pets from Heat Stroke

golden retriever puppy dog hugging british cat. isolated on whitYour pets are just as vulnerable to heat exhaustion and heat stroke as their humans. You sweat to keep yourself from overheating.  But how do your four-legged friends keep their cool?

How Your Pets Sweat

Dogs and other pets don’t sweat through their skin and fur. Their sweat glands are located in their foot pads. They cool themselves through their paws and by panting through their noses and mouths. (Be sure you don’t muzzle your dog! They need to freely pant.)

It’s especially important to protect their paws, so avoid walking your dog on dangerously hot surfaces like sand (at the beach), concrete, or asphalt as they can severely burn their foot pads. Before taking your dog for a walk, place your hand or bare foot on the walking surface for 10 seconds. If it’s too hot for you, then it’s too hot for your pet! Opt for cool grass or shady areas.

Signs of Heat Stroke

Per veterinarians Drs. Foster and Smith, signs of heat stroke in dogs include:    Continue reading “Protect Your Pets from Heat Stroke”

How “Old” Do You Sound?

Woman talking with alphabet letters coming out of her mouthSigns of aging include more than receding hairlines and gums, wrinkles, painful joints, and clogged arteries. As with everything else, your voice ages too, and most people don’t think about taking care of their “voice muscles” like they do their biceps. Have you ever talked to someone on the phone and determined the person is old just by the sound of his/her voice? You’ve likely heard an older person speak with that classic gravely, weak. raspy, wavering, hoarse, and/or breathless voice. With that said, how old do YOU sound?

Why Your Voice Makes You Sound Old

Over 30% of people over age 65 have voice problems. As you age, your larynx (a.k.a. voice box) changes. The following 12 reasons may be causing your voice to become hoarse and weak and thus, sound old:

  1. Your vocal cords are less elastic (just like aging skin and muscles) and are unable to work in the same way as when you were young. Your vocal cords move and vibrate to make sounds. When the surrounding muscles move, your vocal cords either tighten or loosen. To make higher sounds, your cords tighten.
  2. Your vocal cords and muscles in the larynx wear out and become more thin. As a result, your voice may sound higher.
  3. Thickened mucous increases the amount of mass that needs to vibrate and results in a lower pitched voice. This increase is thought to be due to a decrease in hormones that affect the mucous membranes of your vocal cords.
  4. Acid reflux can cause harshness, sore throat, cough.
  5. Weak abdominals – In order to form a sound, your abs and rib cage squeeze your lungs which make you exhale air.
  6. Decreased lung capacity – By the time you’re 80, you may have 50% less volume compared to when you were 20.Dr and Pt_Dollarphotoclub_59591195
  7. Rheumatoid arthritis – This condition can lead to hoarseness because your vocal cords cannot move well. The inflammation limits the ability of the joint near your windpipe (cricoarytenoid joint) to move.
  8. Messages from your brain to the voice box become inefficient and nerve endings die.
  9. Decrease in blood supply and number of lubricating glands which cause the vocal cords to dry out.
  10. Change in your tongue, lips and teeth making it more difficult to form words. As a result, your voice becomes thinner and wavers.
  11. Parkinson’s disease
  12. Diabetes

How to Keep Your Voice Younger Longer   

Here are some quick fixes to slow and minimize the aging of your voice.    Continue reading “How “Old” Do You Sound?”

Why You Should Check the Color of Your Pee

Color of Pee_cropped

See the complete list of 11 colors here:  https://www.pinterest.com/karenowoc/fit-tips-quick-health-bites/

Urine comes in a variety of colors (and smells) which can say a lot about you. Check out this infographic from the Cleveland Clinic. Your pee color is a good barometer for your level of hydration. Be sure to drink enough water — especially if you exercise, the weather is warm or you’re sweating a lot from dreadful hot flashes!

Dehydration is a risk factor for painful kidney stones and low blood pressure (your blood loses volume) whereby your brain and muscles can’t get enough oxygen. A good rule of thumb is to drink half your weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, try to drink 75 ounces of water per day which is a little more than 9 cups. Add exercise and you’ll need to drink even more.

Apple c heart symbol_40x54Fit Tip: If you’re not a water drinker,  “eat” your fluids by consuming a lot of ‘water-rich’ foods like fruits and vegetables.  Lettuce is 95% water, watermelon 92%, oranges 88%, and apples are 84% water. Also, soups made with lots of broth and veggies are an excellent way to get hydrated.

Pre-Exercise Hydration

water glassWhen you’re working out, sweaty and thirsty, you’re likely to think about drinking some water. But it’s just as important to think about it BEFORE you work out and here’s why.

Exercise and Water Basics

When exercising, your muscles contract and generate internal heat. To prevent overheating, the heat must be promptly dissipated via your body’s cooling mechanism (sweating). Sweat cools the surface of the skin and decreases your body temperature.

Maintaining good hydration levels during exercise is critical to regulating body temperature (thermoregulation) and regulating blood pressure. When you’re dehydrated, your body’s mechanism to get rid of heat shuts down which can result in heat exhaustion or worse yet, heat stroke.

Neuromuscular Activity

By keeping your body adequately hydrated, you can perform at your optimal level. Without adequate water, your neuromuscular activity slows down which affects how fast and how hard your muscles can contract. As a result, you can experience a loss of strength, reduced endurance and/or slower reaction and response times.   Continue reading “Pre-Exercise Hydration”

Lifestyle and Hearing Loss – Part 2 | The Men’s Health Minute

Men far outnumber women when it comes to hearing loss. Find out why and how to prevent it. Karen Owoc, The Health Reporter, hosts this compact segment of men’s health and fitness news in The Men’s Health Minute.Writer/Producer: Karen Owoc. [Segment #0009M