It’s hard enough sometimes to get into a regular workout schedule, but then to add an extra 5-10 minutes to each session for stretching can make it even more difficult. Fortunately, the benefits of stretching both before and after a workout can make this
extra time worth it.
April Williams, MS, RCEP Exercise Physiologist at NorthShore, discusses the benefits of stretching pre and post workout:
Be sure that you are gently stretching all major muscle groups, especially after working out. It will be easier for you to get a better stretch once your muscles are already warm from your activity. The following stretches are good starting points for any
workout, and can be customized depending on your needs and activity:
Do you stretch before and after you exercise? How long to you usually stretch for?
Whether you’re training for a big race or involved in minimal daily physical activity, drinking water is essential
to keeping your body hydrated and healthy. For most people the recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water. However, if you are an endurance athlete training for a marathon or triathlon, this amount of water may not be sufficient to refuel your body.
Brian Shortal, MD,
Cardiologist at NorthShore, marathoner and triathlete, gives his advice on what endurance athletes can do to stay properly hydrated:
To view tips on how to train for a race in the summer heat—including avoiding certain times, monitoring your weight and urine—view our previous post.
What do you drink to stay hydrated after a strenuous workout?
Has watching the London games made you eager to start a new exercise routine? While your training schedule probably
won’t be as grueling, diving right into a new routine can be difficult. Beginning slow and identifying your workout goals is a great starting point.
Carrie Jaworski, MD, Sports Medicine physician at NorthShore, gives the following tips for starting a new exercise routine:
What weekly workout activities do you enjoy most? How do you stick with your routine?
A day of fun in the sun can lead serious ailments if
you’re not careful. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated and seek shade when you’re enjoying outdoor activities. Learn how to beat the heat this summer by learning the signs and symptoms of heat stroke.
Rick Gimbel, MD, an emergency medicine physician, shares some of the facts and warning signs for identifying heat stroke:
Have you ever experienced heat cramps, exhaustion or stroke? When do you usually know you’ve had too much sun?
Talking to your physician about sexual health issues may not always be an easy, comfortable conversation – even if conditions
are common in men and women of all ages.
Sexual disorders can be a result of cancer treatments and other health concerns, menopause, medication and environmental/lifestyle factors. With the right treatment, these disorders can often be minimized and resolved.
Jeffrey Albaugh, PhD, Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist at the John and Carol Walter Center for Urological Health, identifies sexual disorders found in
both men and women:
What other sexual health topics would you like to learn more about?
Dim lighting, soothing music and invigorating scents can all be recipes for relaxation. And, in our busy lives, it’s
often nice to have some downtime to focus on relaxation and rejuvenation of both the mind and body.
Massage therapy has been around for centuries and can be used for various wellness purposes. Massage therapy comes in many forms – including shiatsu, contemporary western massage, Swedish massage and tissue release.
Charlotte Walker, a massage therapist in NorthShore’s Integrative Medicine program, identifies some of the potential health benefits of massage therapy:
As is the case with any alternative treatment option you may be undergoing, it is important to inform your physician about this treatment, especially if you are being treated for any specific health conditions.
Have you ever gotten a massage? How often do you go?
Digestive problems—such as cramps, bloating, diarrhea and gas—are common ailments to many Americans. These symptoms
can be influenced by the food we eat, the lifestyle we live and our family history of gastrointestinal issues.
Inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are both related to symptoms of the bowel. That is why they are commonly confused with one another.
Eugene Yen, MD, Gastroenterologist at NorthShore and director of the Crohn’s and colitis program, offers his advice on the differences associated with inflammatory bowel disease
(IBD) and IBS:
Have you ever experienced any of the symptoms of IBS? What other information do you want to know about the topic?
With warm weather comes bugs that bother – whether they bite, sting or carry disease and illness. Although the cases of people
with West Nile virus and Lyme disease have been relatively small, it is better to exercise proper prevention than to suffer the consequences these conditions may bring.
Ernest Wang, MD, Emergency Medicine physician, provides the following tips for avoiding insects and treating bites:
What do you do to avoid bug bites in the summer? Have you ever found a tick on your body?
Dubbed ‘suicide headaches,’ cluster headaches strike without warning. Symptoms include pain on one side of the head
(usually behind the eye or temple) that occur seasonally, in the spring and late fall.
Dr. B.T. Horton, the researcher who first identified these headaches in 1939, said his patients had to be constantly watched for fear of suicide because the pain is so excruciating.
Steven Meyers, MD, Neurologist with NorthShore, offers the following known facts about cluster headaches:
While there is no cure for cluster headaches, there are treatments that can decrease the severity of pain, shorten the duration and even prevent them. The key is correct diagnosis. Relatively rare, they affect less than 1% of the population and are frequently
mistaken for migraines. Be sure to see your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and relief.z
Do you suffer from cyclical, painful headaches? What do you do to relieve headaches?
Conception difficulties and infertility aren't as uncommon as one might think; the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention estimate that approximately 10 percent of women between the ages of 15-44 in the United States have difficulty getting or staying pregnant.
There are many fertility treatment options available, including conventional biomedical treatments, such as
fertility medications, artificial insemination and
in vitro fertilization, and traditional methods, like Chinese herbal medicine and
acupuncture. Many couples have found great results with a combination of treatments.
Ultimately, the right choice is the one that works. While there is no preferred method for everyone, in many cases, the age-old treatment of acupuncture has been shown to help enhance fertility and increase a woman’s chances of conceiving.
Nicole Hohmann, Acupuncturist with NorthShore's Integrative Medicine Program, shares some of the health benefits of fertility
Has acupuncture worked for you or someone you know?