Doing well by doing good: The “medicine of social interaction” increases longevity; is win/win for Black Girls Run.

By David Martin, RN, CEO and President, VeinInnovations

Brand-new life expectancy numbers for U.S. citizens are now at 78.8 years, according to the latest report just released by the Centers for Disease Control.

While it is good to look at what helps us live longer, it is also good to look at what helps us live better, too. Continue reading

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Sticky Beauty

By David Martin, RN, CEO and President, VeinInnovations

Good looking people have always had an advantage: doors seem to open more readily for them. Research shows that attractive people, in addition to usually making more money over their lifetime, also live longer, perhaps several years longer.

For forward-thinking plastic surgeons and medical aestheticians, patients’ longevity may represent opportunities to keep their “best customers as their best customers” for more years and more treatments. Continue reading

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Pain and Photo-shopped Beach Bodies

By David Martin, RN, CEO, VeinInnovations

“The Ultimate Beach Body Workout” headlines are screaming at us from the slick magazines at coffee shop newsstands and grocery store checkout lanes. What’s inside those pages?

Increasing media pressure to get thin is almost as good an indicator of warm weather as the scent of barbecue wafting through the pines.  Winter holidays centered on family and feasting helped us pile on an extra pound or two or more. Now, with sweater weather waning, our cover is blown. Spring and summer heat forces us to reveal reality. Fear of the beach forces many of us to jump into a crash diet or a masochistic exercise regimen, leading to pulled muscles, binge eating, and a shopping trip for a better bathing suit cover up. To make exercise and healthy eating work, moderation is key. Always.

A troubling tendency of those in a hurry to get fit is to push through the pain, heeding that outdated adage, “No pain, no gain.” There’s a distinct difference in using your last ounce of resolve to sprint at the end of your race and ignoring an aching joint in your knee so you don’t miss a morning run. You know your body. It’s there with you through everything from the winter nights spent on the couch to boot camp on a summer morning. Know the difference between good pain (the kind you can safely push through) and bad pain (your body’s way of saying “STOP or you’ll pay later” when it needs attention and a break.)

After a workout, good pain is indicated when there’s a general feeling of mild soreness throughout your body. That’s the best kind of tired. After a cool down and a shower, you’ll be ready for a good night’s sleep. The kind of pain that is not healthy? If you feel pain in a specific place after a workout (be it your knees, shoulder, or back) care for yourself now and don’t push it next workout. You’ve overdone it. And overdoing it is just the excuse many people use to stop working out altogether.

To avoid the debilitating injury that can sabotage your entire exercise program, think this way: Did your arm muscles start to burn while you did pushups? That heat is good pain and should dissipate soon after you finish your set. You might even be ready for another ten after your break! If, however, your shoulder feels pinched during your pushups? Hurts after you’ve stopped? Then don’t try that next set.

Have you started taking runs around Chastain Park in the morning? You should feel tired and ready for a drink of water when you’ve finished the loop. Pushing past your fatigue to finish that last mile helps you get faster and stronger. If your knees are aching or your leg muscles feel as tight as rubber bands, you went past the point of healthy and veered into foolhardy.

I mention running in this list of good pain/bad pain because runners are trained to keep going. Mental tenacity is vital for a marathon runner. They’re aren’t many people who see mile 18 come and go and can still keep the pace until the end of mile 26. The same mental tenacity that keeps runners going until the finish line is the same mindset that sometimes keeps them from acknowledging their body’s needs.

Remember that a small problem — like symptoms indicating the beginning of shin splints — can be treated easily when caught early on. Little problems won’t force you onto the sidelines, but ignoring them sure can!

When magazine and television stories send messages that we’re not good enough, it’s hard not to feel pressured. Maybe it is a good goal for you to get in shape. But remember, the women and men on the magazine covers have been photo shopped. Be realistic about the goals for your body. By all means, use the warm summer weather to get outside and get exercising. Just listen to what your body tells you so you can enjoy the whole season and not just the first three weeks!

Tune into the Dana Barrett Show’s Vital Edge segment on Biz1190 a.m. on Wednesday, April 13, at 9 a.m. to hear Seth Yellin, MD, of Marietta Facial Plastic Surgery, Laser & Aesthetics Center, talk about innovative procedures to help men and women alike achieve a younger look, and feel more confident as today’s forty, fifty, and sixty year olds will be in the workplace longer, and want to look younger longer!

Tune in the following Wednesday (April 20) at 9 a.m. to hear more about accepting ourselves and making the healthy changes that make a difference. Paul Cox, MD, will talk about how the myriad life changes that come about each May — graduations and the resulting “empty nest syndrome”, upcoming weddings, long-awaited family vacations — add stress that can really tax menopausal women, men with low testosterone, and marriages.

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Tree sex and the ozone

Climate change leads to urban areas with higher ozone and tree pollen counts. The result? Exacerbated allergies; exasperated sufferers.

By David Martin, RN, President and CEO, VeinInnovations

Both spring and fall allergies bring sneezing, runny noses, itchy or watery eyes, headaches, sinus pain and pressure, and, for those with asthma, a likely increase in wheezing and other asthma symptoms.

In Atlanta, for people with acute allergies to tree pollens, this has been, thus far, a challenging year. We had 11 high-level days in March for 2016, as compared to just one for the same time period last year.

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$2 antidepressant?

Springtime in Atlanta? Outdoor beauty is healthy, convenient, and inexpensive. $2 can buy you a new state of mind.

By David Martin, RN, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

If you’re in Georgia, and join me in believing a day outside – whether it’s hiking, gardening, golfing, or just being – is good for the body, mind, and the soul, we’re both especially fortunate right now.

Thanks to the foresight of Georgia’s leaders, who were among the first in the country to set aside land for state parks, you can spend every weekend in April – for the next 10 years – at different park. Many of them are less than three hours from Atlanta.

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Bust a move to live.

Stressed out women can reduce their risk of stroke by 40%, just by walking. With moves from PBS featured program, and they can also “step away the inches.”

By David Martin, RN, CEO and President, VeinInnovations

Our bodies are literally born to move. Stay still long enough, and healthy people and hospital patients alike are subject to developing blood clots, bedsores, and a host of other problems.

Movement is crucial to help the body pump blood, lymph, hormones, and other fluids. That is why, after surgeries, doctors and nurses are eager to have patients get up and moving as soon as possible.

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Deadly Southern Comfort

Comfort food substitutions you can live with can help reduce risk of premature death, especially among a most vulnerable group.

By David Martin, RN, President and CEO, VeinInnovations

When life is stressful, time is short, and you’re exhausted, sometimes there’s nothing like a spoonful of comfort in the form of mac’n’cheese, pound cake with ice cream, or a glass of sweet tea.

The problem with these go-to Southern comforts, and many more we love, is how they increase blood sugar, wreak havoc on blood vessels, and increase body fat, among other negative consequences.

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“For the love of black women.”

If you love a black woman, for health’s sake, ask her to look in the mirror and see her mom, and grandmothers, says leading cardiologist.  

By David A. Martin, RN, President and CEO, VeinInnovations

A sobering conversation with cardiologist Sheila Robinson, MD, has me wanting to take every black woman I know and love and have them listen to Dr. Robinson’s message about how much more at risk they are for all manner of health problems.

“Go look in the mirror. Know that you are your mother, your grandmothers, your great-grandmothers. Look at the risk factors that are in your life for heart attack and stroke, and learn and know your family history.

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Heartwarning News

By David Martin, RN, President and CEO, VeinInnovations

Here’s heart warning – not heart warming – news from Canada that should be taken to heart by caregivers everywhere. What you’ve heard is true: being a caregiver is dangerous to your health.

The news is that this is true whether you are a man, woman, transgender, or asexual, bisexual, lesbian or gay. According to the study, taking on the traditional female caregiver role, more than being a female, increases your risk of having a second heart attack.

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Women More Vulnerable to Heart Attack Death?

By David Martin, RN, CEO of VeinInnovations

Today, and for the next couple of weeks, we’re looking at three new reports, two from the American Heart Association and one from a research team in Canada, to see what observations, questions, and conclusions one could draw from looking at a compilation of the data about heart health, gender, and gender roles.

The first conclusion: When it comes to heart heath – and how the male and female hearts function under stress – women have a tougher go, as do men who take on the traditional “female role” in relationships. Continue reading

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