Choose Airplane Seats Wisely: It Could Increase Blood Clot Risk

Next time someone tries to fight you for the window seat on a long flight, let them have it – even if that means you’re stuck in the middle!

Sure, the middle seat sucks, but at least you only have one person to climb over to get out of that row! We’ve all been there: You’re sitting in the window seat and haven’t gotten up in a few hours. Realizing you have to use the bathroom, you look over, only to see the people in your row are asleep. What do you do? Try and climb over them and hope they don’t wake up with your booty in their face? Or stay put and hold it in until you land?

Most people stay put, but that’s not the smartest choice. In fact, not climbing over people and waking them up can be detrimental to your health!

When you sit still for a long period of time,  blood clots can form in the veins of your legs because without moving the muscles of your legs, blood can have trouble circulating back to the heart. It’s a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and can be extremely dangerous, and in rare cases, fatal. A clot that gets dislodged once you start moving again can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs and block the supply of vital oxygen to your blood. In rare cases, the clot can make it to the brain and actually cut off all circulation.

And you’re at a higher risk if you’re in the window seat.

So it’s not about whether you sit in first class, business class, or economy, after all! “Traveling in economy class does not increase your risk for developing a blood clot, even during long-distance travel; however, remaining immobile for long periods of time will,” said guideline co-author Mark Crowther, MD, Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. “Long-distance travelers sitting in a window seat tend to have limited mobility, which increases their risk for DVT. This risk increases as other factors are present.”

The following are factors that may increase your risk of developing a DVT/PE and related complications:

  • Previous DVT/PE or known thrombophilic disorder
  • Malignancy
  • Recent surgery or trauma
  • Immobility
  • Advanced age
  • Estrogen use, including oral contraceptives
  • Pregnancy
  • Sitting in a window seat
  • Obesity

DVT is a rare condition, and most people have nothing to worry about. Regardless, always get up and walk around the cabin when you can, and next time someone’s fighting you for the window seat, by all means let them have it.

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Getting Those 10,000 Steps a Day: Every Step Counts

Recent health guidelines from the Surgeon General recommend walking 10,000 steps a day.  10,000 steps may seem like a lot – and that’s because it is! It takes approximately 2,000 steps to walk one mile, so 10,000 steps is close to 5 miles!

The average sedentary person walks only about 1,000 to 3,000 a day, but adding any amount will have many health benefits – even if it’s just an extra 2,000 a day! In addition to the benefits of weight loss, leading studies have shown that walking  just 30 minutes a day can dramatically reduce risks of heart attacks, stroke and diabetes.

The first step is to purchase a pedometer; it can be as basic as a simple step recorder, or you can go high-tech and get the Striiv – a fun little device that rewards you for your steps with fun games and even charitable donations! Whatever route you take, you’re on your way to a longer, healthier life, the closer you get to those 10,000 steps!

Here are a few ways to add 2,000 steps to your day from America on the Move:

Circle around the block when you go outside to get your mail
Walk the outside aisles of the grocery store before shopping
Walk the track at a nearby high school — four laps is roughly 2,000 steps
Make several trips up and down the stairs doing laundry or other household chores
Pass by the drive-thru window and walk into the bank or restaurant
Stroll the halls while waiting for your doctor appointment
Listen to music or books on tape while walking
Invite friends or family members to join you for a walk
Accompany your kids on their walk to school
Take your dog for a walk
Start a walking club in your community
Walk to a nearby store, post office, or dry cleaner to accomplish errands

Every step counts! Don’t give in to a night on the couch just because you couldn’t go for a long walk or head to the gym. Stand up and walk around when you’re on the phone, clean up around the house, march in place while doing dishes – it all adds up!

But remember, it’s best to increase your steps gradually, especially if you are out of shape or have medical conditions. Always talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program!

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Hey Fellas, Boost Testosterone the All-Natural Way – With Food!

Some men notice a dip in testosterone levels as early as the age of thirty (thanks to aging), and that poses a problem in more ways than one. Not only does testosterone increase energy and sex drive, it also helps men focus and increase muscle size and strength. You can’t completely fight the aging process, but you can try and put it off as long as you can! Aside from strength training and an overall good diet, there are certain foods men can eat to potentially increase testosterone levels.

So skip those temper-enhancing testosterone drugs, and add these foods to increase testosterone levels the all-natural way!

1. Celery

Believe it or not, this low-calorie vegetable is full of the hormones androstenone and androstenol. Just one piece of celery a day can stimulate senses to start producing and releasing testosterone.

2. Avacados

Avocados are full of folic acid, which are said to raise energy levels by metabolizing certain proteins in the body. They are also high in vitamin B6, which has been shown to increase the production of testosterone.

3. Bananas

Also rich in B vitamins, bananas are a libido-boosting superfruit. They also contain bromelain enzyme, which is said to also raise your libido. Double libido boosting power!

4. Almonds

It’s the essential fatty acids in this nut that make it a must for testosterone enhancing powers. Studies show that essential fatty acids are not only vital for testosterone production, they can reduce inflammation, improve cognitive function, and alter cholesterol levels.

5. Red Meat

There’s a reason men love their meat. Lowering red meat intake has been shown to reduce testosterone levels and production, so it’s definitely a must. However, factory farm beef is full of antibiotics and hormones, which can raise the estrogen levels in the body – opposite of what you want if you’re looking to increase testosterone levels. Stick to organic, grass-fed beef which is free of added hormones and antibiotics.

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Turn Those Valentine's Day Blues Into Reds!

Long-stems on roses and batting eyelashes
Heart-shaped velvet boxes with chocolate stashes
Kisses from loved ones and jewelry that blings
These are a few of my favorite things…

On Valentine’s Day!

Sorry, had to get that out. I just can’t help it. I am still in the spirit of Valentine’s day even though it has passed. And, we all know the holiday is over when heart-themed candy gets marked down 75%.

Today, I got bombarded with all of my girlfriends’ news feeds that included photos of either flowers they received yesterday at their office or where they went with their “beaus,” and it really got me thinking about Valentine’s Day in general.

I think about the days that led up to V-Day with all the negative comments I heard that included “Ugh, I hate Valentine’s Day.” I realized that February 14th is the Average Joe’s Gym of the holiday world. It is so unappreciated by some women (all the ones that didn’t post pictures) and doesn’t deserve the scoffs and middle fingers that it so often gets from them.

This statement, of course, doesn’t apply to those in happy relationships who look forward to the day, because it gives them a chance to spoil their significant other. The day encourages lots of kissing, romantic texting, and reminding each other every second how much they “love” and “can’t wait to have dinner together.”

No, this statement is for all of those girls who are s-i-n-g-l-e! “All of the single ladies… now put your hands up,” because I am talking about you. Instead of focusing so much energy on posting messages about how much you loathe Valentine’s Day, why don’t you just embrace it? Grab the day by the face, kiss it on the cheek, and say let’s find me a Valentine.

Why does a Valentine have to be a guy? Every time I have been single during this time, I have thoroughly enjoyed my independent woman adventures. These usually include buying Princess-themed cards reading “Be My Prince,” or “Wishing you a royal Valentine’s Day,” and giving them out to all of my closest friends. When I was younger, $4 for a box of these cards seemed like a whole week’s worth of cafeteria lunch milk; but now it’s totally do-able. Spend that $4 and give your friends some good laughs and bright smiles.

Or, going out to dinner with girlfriends is always so “Sex and the City” of you. Grab some Cosmos and get to boy bashing. Your Valentine can be another best friend who shares your current situation, and in that you can take comfort with one another.

I have to admit, I do have a Valentine every year, and I call him “Daddy.” Yes, my dad has been my Valentine since 1988 (the year I was born.) I wake up in the morning to a kiss on the forehead and a Russell Stover heart-shaped box; you know, the shiny red box that houses the BEST chocolate. Of course, I disgustingly poke my finger in each of them to see what’s inside. This also keeps people from eating them. (But this is only because they have stopped giving out those helpful little maps to which chocolate contains which filling – if you are reading this Mr. Stover, please bring that back.)

Besides my dad, last Valentine’s Day I spent it on the couch with my mom, a box of chocolate-covered strawberries, and the Vicky Cristina Barcelona DVD. This is when Charlie Sheen would say… WINNING! Did I kill the joke yet?

Family or friends also make great Valentine partners. Basically girls, you are NEVER alone on Valentine’s Day so start enjoying those reds and pinks that flood the stores at the end of January.

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Preschooler's Lunch Not Healthy Enough, Ordered to Eat School Lunch of Nuggets Instead!

A four-year-old preschooler from Hoke County, North Carolina was allegedly forced to eat a school lunch because the state inspector determined her bagged lunch wasn’t healthy enough. The girl’s mother packed her a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips, and apple juice.

That’s an unhealthy lunch? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s guidelines, yes Healthy meals must include one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables. The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs to satisfy those requirements.

The lunch inspector checked all the children’s lunches, and those that didn’t meet the requirements had to accept the school lunch in order to “supplement” what was missing from their own. The little girl’s homemade lunch was missing a vegetable, so she was ordered a full school lunch try of chicken nuggets, milk, a fruit and a vegetable.

The mother says her daughter was so intimidated by the whole process that she was too scared to eat all of her homemade lunch, eating only a few nuggets and throwing the rest away. She says her daughter doesn’t like vegetables, and will only eat them under close supervision at home:

“I can’t put vegetables in her lunchbox. I’m not a millionaire and I’m not going to put something in there that my daughter doesn’t eat and I’ve done gone round and round with the teacher about that and I’ve told her that. I put fruit in there every day because she is a fruit eater. Vegetables, let me take care of my business at home and at night and that’s when I see she’s eating vegetables. I either have to smash it or tell her if you don’t eat your vegetables you’re going to go to bed.”

The mother added, “It’s just a headache to keep arguing and fighting. I’ve even wrote a note to her teachers and said do not give my daughter anything else unless it comes out of her lunchbox and they are still going against me and putting a milk in front of her every day.”

While the mother hasn’t been charged yet for the supplemented school lunches, “students who do not bring a healthy lunch will be offered the missing portions which may results in a fee from the cafeteria.” Sounds like a waste of money – and food! The 4-year-old was so traumatized she threw out most of the lunch, including the vegetables.

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