Save Yourself Some Pain; Warm Up Before Your Workout

Warm-up wisdom from Faisal Al-AlimIn our rush-rush world, it’s not easy to find time to exercise every day. So it’s no surprise that you want to start exercising without warming up. Besides, you might figure, is a warm-up really that important?

The answer: yes. A proper warm-up may make the difference between getting hurt and not getting hurt. “Nearly 90 percent of all sports injuries don’t require surgery, and a great many of those injuries are preventable,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network sports medicine physician Faisal Al-Alim, MD, with LVPG Sports Medicine—One City Center. “Warming up before physical activity is your first line of defense against injury.” Read More »

What Is a Stress Test?

Healthy You Tip William CombsStress test – on the surface, it doesn’t sound real pleasant, does it? If you have to take a test for something related to your heart health, you’d probably prefer it not involving much stress. But if your doctor wants you to undergo a stress test, it’s time to learn more about it.

First and foremost, what is it?

“A stress test is designed to increase your heart rate and blood pressure at regulated increments,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network cardiologist William Combs, MD, with LVPG Cardiology–1250 Cedar Crest. “The purpose most commonly would be to see if you have any cardiovascular issues that may not be readily noticeable.”

The test can be used to detect existing or potential heart and cardiovascular diseases, or can be used simply to determine your overall physical condition if you’re starting an exercise regimen. Essentially, the test measures your heart’s reaction to the need for more oxygen. The test may help your cardiologist conclude if your chest pain is related to the heart, if a blockage exists in a coronary artery, or if an irregular heart rhythm exists. Read More »

No More Hushing: Speak Up About Female Urinary Incontinence

You don't need to live with UIConsidering millions of women deal with urinary incontinence (UI), the silence about it is deafening.  According to the National Institutes of Health, women experience UI twice as often as men, yet misconceptions about UI prevent women from speaking up. “Many women think this is normal and they just have to live with it,” says urogynecologist Sarah Friedman, MD, with Lehigh Valley Urogynecology and Reconstructive Pelvic Surgery.

Living with UI can be isolating. “Worry about embarrassing accidents causes women to avoid certain activities or stay home most of the time,” she says. “Sometimes women don’t know why this is happening, or that in many cases it can be treated.” Read More »

3 Tips to Cut Calories

Cutting CaloriesIt’s simple math. If you eat more calories than your body burns, you gain weight. If you eat fewer calories than your body burns, you lose weight. That’s why, whether you’re trying to lose weight, maintain a healthy weight or gain weight if you’re too thin, it’s important to know how many calories you consume.

Lehigh Valley Health Network cardiologist Ronald Freudenberger, MD, with LVPG Cardiology-1250 Cedar Crest, wants more people to budget their calories. “Obesity in America is an epidemic,” he says. A recent study found the United States to be the most obese country in the world. About one-third of our adult population is obese.

Obesity leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea and many more serious conditions,” Freudenberger says. “Treating obesity and the conditions it causes costs our nation’s health care system billions of dollars each year.”

If you want to lose weight, the amount of calories you should eat every day depends on your age, height, gender and daily activity level. Generally speaking, if you cut 500 calories from your typical diet each day, you’ll lose one pound a week.

Use these tips to reduce the amount of calories in your diet. Read More »

To Lower Your Cancer Risk, Lose Weight

Reduce your cancer riskYou’ve heard it a thousand times: Being overweight or obese increases your risk for chronic conditions like heart disease and diabetes. But did you know being obese can increase your risk for cancer?

The link between obesity and cancer is stronger in certain types of cancer. “Obesity has been shown to be a risk factor for developing postmenopausal breast cancer, colon and rectal cancer, esophageal cancer, pancreatic cancer, endometrial cancer (lining of the uterus) and possibly other cancers,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network hematologist oncologist Nicholas Lamparella, DO, with Hematology-Oncology Associates. The exact biological mechanism of obesity and the various types of cancer is not completely understood, however.

Research studies show obesity also may causes problems for cancer survivors. For example, body mass index (BMI) has been shown to have an effect on survival in early stage breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.

Prevention is key, but for patients with cancer a healthy weight and lifestyle is likely beneficial. That is why Lamparella encourages patients to stay active (if possible) while they’re going through cancer treatment. “Exercise is good for your physical and mental health especially during a difficult time.”

Here are things you can do to achieve or maintain a healthy weight and in turn reduce your cancer risk: Read More »