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Healthy tips
aHot or cold?
In summer, who doesn't want to increase their physical activity or resume exercise with an impromptu jog to help get rid of those extra kilograms accumulated during the winter?  Even though this impulse is commendable, be careful of minor injuries that can happen even to the fittest athletes.

Especially for those who have been been lazy during the winter, but also for those excited about summer who abandon the treadmill at the gym to run outdoors in city parks, it is not unusual to suffer from minor aliments after the first run of the season.  Sometimes slight pain can be overcome or can even be a source of gratification, but when pain is persistent or there is an evident trauma, it's best to stop physical activity. 
In these cases it is common to hear contrasting advice from friends and relatives such as "put ice on it immediately!" or "keep it nice and warm"...which is right?  First, the wisest thing to do is consult a doctor: he or she will advise you on the best treatment so you get back on track as soon as possible! But, just for the sake of clarity, let's see when it is helpful to use heat therapy and when it is better to use cold therapy.
The first thing to consider is the nature of the pain which can be acute, or sudden, intense and well localized in a certain point, or chronic, that is, slow to manifest, fleeting or persistent, but tolerable.
When pain is caused by "mechanical" traumas such as contusions, sprains, and muscle strains, the cold therapy is the most effective at reducing swelling and pain.   The cold causes vasoconstriction, reducing blood circulation at the point of trauma. It should be applied 3-4 times a day, for 10-20 minutes.  Cold therapy, since it reduces and prevents inflammation, is also indicated  for pain caused by overtraining as well as for chronic pain, that comes back following overexertion. Cold should never be applied to treat chronic pain before training, because it masks pain and may aggravate the sore point.
For chronic pain, and especially in the absence of symptoms of inflammation (redness, localized heat, pain) heat therapy is recommended: for example, for muscle pains that have no apparent cause, stiff and painful joints, or when we notice that certain movements cause pain or are not as fluid as they should be.   In these case, heat contributes to relax muscles and fights spasms, stimulating local blood circulation and increasing the elasticity of the tissues. Application should not exceed 15-20 minutes.
Today there are several solutions available for effectively meeting any heat and cold therapy need, in all conditions of use, either indoors or outdoors.
Those seeking "emergency" solutions, for use outside the home, will find products that instantly generate heat or cold, without using water or heating and cooling devices. These devices can be properly positioned on the painful area, thanks to comfortable and multifunctional supports that allow the cold or heat to be kept on the skin for the required treatment time, while allowing freedom of movement.
Those who are seeking long-term solutions, such as for chronic muscle pain, can choose home use devices, which can be charged electrically and are equally satisfactory from an effectiveness and ergonomic standpoint.
 
aThe importance of blood glucose self-testing
Those with diabetes mellitus, both type 1 and type 2, suffer from a lack of or a reduced function of insulin, the hormone that controls blood glucose levels. Elevated blood glucose levels (hyperglycemia) over time can damage organs and tissues of the body resulting in complications of diabetes. On the other hand, hypoglycemia, or the excessive lowering of blood glucose values as a result of the excessive administration of insulin, prolonged physical activity, or a late or inadequate meal, is the other dangerous risk facing diabetics.

Controlling blood glucose levels, in order to keep them in the normal range, is therefore the main objective of those suffering from diabetes. To do this, diabetics must learn to manage the disease, together with the help of a medical team, in order to understand the specific nature of their particular illness and assume a leading role in their overall care.

Knowing that the opportunity to lead a normal life depends on those values can be a strong motivation and an incentive to seek out the devices that have been designed to meet needs that are very specific and, at the same time, so crucial, in terms of quality of life.

In fact, even if all of the devices created to support those with diabetes are useful in therapy (lancet, test strips, gauges, etc..), and today various models for each of these devices are available, this does not mean that all are suited for everyone: each diabetic must find the system most suited to their lifestyle and their choices with respect to the disease (e.g.. communicating it to others or not). Fortunately, today there is ample choice and research has provided us with solutions that tend to concentrate multiple functions, sampling, reading, data download, etc., in a single device, reducing waste disposal operations, and increasing discretion and freedom of use.
In light of the clear correlation between self-testing and glucose compensation, making daily blood glucose testing easier and more discreet, and faster and simpler through the integration of multiple devices, is certainly an important factor supporting and motivating those who are learning the basic principles of self-management of a chronic illness as well as those who have been managing these operations for years as best they can.  This is true for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, treated with insulin, oral antidiabetics or diet, as well as - according to the suggestions of the American medical and scientific community - those who have not yet developed real diabetes, but who suffer from postprandial hyperglycemic peaks.
 
aBreathing freely
Even though it is regularly required for children, adults often underestimate the importance of effective daily nasal cleansing.  Many experts agree that we should encourage nasal cleansing just as we encourage the use of toothbrushes for oral hygiene.  As the ancient holistic disciplines, and especially yoga, remind us, breathing is life.

Those with children understand the importance of nasal cleasning, which gets rid of nasal mucus and prevents the development of complications caused by bacteria, such as sinusitis and colds. Nasal irrigation, especially before sleeping,  is very important for infants, who for up to 6 months of age, breath using their nose, and for infants who are not able to breathe through their mouth while being breastfed. Many people don't know that nasal cleansing is useful at all ages, and in fact it has been used for thousands of years in holistic disciplines and yoga, for which the nose and upper airways are the main channels through which  “prana”, or the life energy that nourishes and provides health benefits to the entire body, passes.
Nasal cleansing, through nasal douches, or irrigation, should be a daily habit just  as oral hygiene and it would be correct to educate children from an early age.
Especially for those who live in cities, where the air is polluted by elements which excessively dry up nasal mucosa, and is full of bacteria and allergenic factors, nasal cleansing allows for better breathing, prevents the accumulation of mucus and helps keep clean the part that directs the air we breath to the lungs deeper airways. Those who regularly practice nasal cleansing, just as those who practice yoga, claim to have a greater ability to perceive and recognize flavors and tastes, as well as smells and perfumes.
As a matter of fact, there are a growing number of doctors  who claim that air pollution, which weighs down with the air we inhale with harmful dust, and the fact that people spend more time in air-conditioned environments where it  is difficult to know the real hygiene conditions of the filters used, are among the main causes of respiratory allergies.
The main function of our nose is to filter and "trap" the harmful particles in the air to prevent them from reaching the lungs. Once they are trapped, the body needs to expel these particles, so as not to contaminate the airways and it does this through mucus, which must be removed.
There are many products on the market for proper nasal cleansing.  What is needed is a sterile saline solution and an apparatus to administer it: there are devices specifically designed for this purpose or devices for aerosol therapy can be used.  The ideal device is one that allows for micronized nasal irrigation, because the microscopic droplets generated have an extraordinary ability to reach the deepest parts of the respiratory tract. The flow should be regular and continuous: this allows for a reduction in the time of application and maximises effectiveness. The best option, of course, is to have a regulator which allows you to adjust the flow as needed. There are other elements that may influence selection, from the device's ergonomics to its design: today these devices are designed to minimize the need to remain still in front them during therapy, thanks to the ability of some devices to rotate allowing them to "follow" the movements of the user.  At the same time, due to the storage containers and hooks, the need to move away from the device to get accessories is reduced to a minimum.  Even size can be an important factor to consider in small city apartments (there are portable micro-piston devices that can fit in the palm of your hand). There are also devices with playful and fun designs, ideal for distracting and entertaining children during each session.  Everyone will surely find a solution best suited to them. It is true, though,  that if you intend to follow medical recommendations and make nasal cleansing  a daily habit for both children and adults, it is worth investing in a device designed for this purpose, which permits the use of accessories designed for the noses of adults and children: the diameter of the cone for inhalation, for example, is correct including at least two sizes, suitable for both the nostrils of a child, much smaller  in diameter, as well as those of an adult.
 
aBlood pressure and high temperatures
Hypertension is one of the most common diseases in industrialized countries. It is estimated that about 12 million people in Italy suffer from hypertension, but that of these only 70% has been diagnosed and is following treatment. 

As a general rule, we are said to have "high blood pressure" or to suffer from hypertension when our "systolic" pressure values (or "maximum" that corresponds to the moment when the heart contracts and pumps blood into the vessels) are equal to or greater than 140 mmHg and when our so-called "diastolic" pressure values (or minimum, which corresponds to the time when the heart expands to fill up) are equal to or greater than 90 mmHg.       
These are general values (measured by your doctor or pharmacist) which, of course, must be accessed depending the individual and evaluated in conjunction with other elements. As a matter of fact, there are risk factors such as old age, diabetes or obesity, and risky behaviors, such as smoking or alcohol consumption that can alter blood pressure control mechanisms causing blood pressure to increase.
External factors may also affect blood pressure, often lowering it, for example, during heat waves especially when combined with air pollution conditions, as often happens during summer in big cities.  In this regard, it can be helpful to visit the website of the Ministry of Health, which lists ways in which to tackle the summer wisely and prevent health risks. In particular, it highlights that people who regularly take certain medications for high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease are at risk of disorders caused by excessive heat. Therefore, it is recommended that these people measure their blood pressure regularly and consult their family doctor to make any necessary changes in treatment or if they experience any discomfort, however slight.
(link to  http://www.salute.gov.it/dettaglio/phPrimoPianoNew.jsp?id=321)
Another good habit, to acquire through a change of mindset that considers prevention and health as daily habits and not just reactions to perceived malaise, is to check the blood pressure regularly and independently using a blood pressure monitor.
Research has led to the extreme accuracy of these devices, certified by the presence of the label attesting their ESH Clinical Validation and by the ability to verify calibration in pharmacies that offer this service.  A high level of customization is added to this, which ranges - for example - from very simple devices designed with the elderly in mind, to extra-large displays for those with vision problems (elderly people but also diabetics), to wrist models designed for obese people, etc..as well as devices with more sophisticated features such as exceeded threshold value alerts and - when the unit is equipped with a memory - the ability of the blood pressure monitor to communicate your computer and send results to your doctor via e-mail.
 
Events and Fairs
World Cancer Day 2014 - Debunk the Myths
United Nations International Day of Happiness
World Hypertension Day
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