Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch! SIX group classes a week!

    Nia: Tues and Thurs at 9 am, Fri at 10:15 am

    Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:15 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

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Posts Tagged ‘Mayo Clinic’

A Pain In The . . .

Posted by terrepruitt on June 20, 2018

I was recently reading an article that stated 31 million Americans suffer from some form of lower back pain at any given time. It is the leading cause of people missing work and the second leading reason for people going to the doctor. It also stated that 80% of Americans will experience back pain at one time in their life. Since I didn’t know the age of the article I wanted to see if there were other statistics that might be more current . . . .or different, but my Google search revealed the American Chiropractic Association website with the same information on it as was in the article I read. I know that a lot of my students claim to have lower back pain. Some of them have gone to various professionals to get a diagnosis, some have not. The thing about back pain is that it can be the result of many different things. Some of my students that have lower back pain also say they experience sciatica. Sciatica, like lower back pain can be from different things.

Sciatica is a pain that travels down the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve goes from the lower back through the hips and buttocks and runs down each leg. Sciatic pain can be felt anywhere along this path all the way to the foot. Usually the pain is only felt on one side of the body.

I was doing a quick search regarding piriformis syndrome when I came upon an interesting, very informative website. It explains that sciatica can be caused by several different things. It lists six most common causes of Sciatica.

-Lumbar herniated disc.
-Degenerative disc disease, where the degeneration is so severe that inflammatory proteins irritate the nerve in that area.
-Isthmic spondylolisthesis, when a vertebrae has slipped out of position due to a small fracture in the spine.
-Lumbar spinal stenosis, where the spinal canal narrows and compresses nerves.
-Piriformis syndrome, when the piriformis disturbs the sciatic nerve by irritating it or pinching it.
-Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, when this joint gets irritated it might affect the L5 nerve which might cause sciatica-type pain.

This is just a very brief summary of the information. I am hoping you will check out the website yourself to get more details. Each cause has a very short video explaining the issue. I find it very interesting because it is saying the last two causes of sciatica, piriformis syndrome and sacroiliac joint dysfunction are not truly sciatica, but they can cause the same type of pain.

The Mayo Clinic’s website has a few suggestions as to how to help prevent sciatica:

Exercise regularly.
Maintain proper posture when you sit.
Use good body mechanics.

Of course this post isn’t meant to diagnose anyone or anything, but it might help you when you go to your doctor.  Sometimes it is nice to have information so that you can take part in your diagnosis and treatment.

Have you ever had lower back pain?  Have you ever experienced sciatica type pain?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Seven Possibly Memory Helpers

Posted by terrepruitt on June 23, 2015

I think that with our busy life styles and the fact that there are multiple ways to communicate and multiple devices that which can draw our attention we might feel very forgetful at times.  But really how can we forget what we never really (REALLY) paid attention to?  Sometimes I am on autopilot . . . my muscles can do things while I am not even paying much attention to the task.  While I am brushing my teeth I might be thinking about what I am going to wear.  While I am gathering my clothes, I could be thinking about the next task.  While I am getting dressed I could be thinking about the Nia routine I am going to teach.  I grab my phone and put it in my purse while I am thinking about something else.  Then I step outside and wonder, “Do I have my phone?”  Then I blame it on my memory.  I FORGOT I grabbed it and stuck it in my purse.  But I don’t always believe it is memory, I think it is more that I wasn’t paying attention to the fact that I put my phone in my purse.  I really believe that so much multi-tasking makes us believe we have bad memories.  Or the fact that we have so much on our minds already, makes us think we have bad memories.  But whatever the case, I know that I don’t mind doing things thought to help our brains remember.  There is advice out there on ways to improve your memory or prevent memory loss.

The  Mayo Clinic has a list of seven things to help the memory.  I bet you have heard them before, but . . . I also bet it doesn’t hurt to be reminded:

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose,  Nia at the San Jose Community Centers, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex City of San Jose, San Jose Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo1-Stimulate your brain and memory by staying mentally active.

Reading, doing brain puzzles, driving a different route to a familiar place, or learning how to play a musical instrument are ways to keep that brain active.  The idea would not necessarily be for you to play a concert or a recital, but the act of learning keeps that brain stimulated.

2-Being social not only helps your brain, but it can help stave off depression and stress.  If you are lucky enough to be social with close friends then it is a huge benefit to your well-being.

3-Being organized is a great way to help keep the “I forget everything” feeling at bay.  If you have a calendar to keep track of appointments and social events that helps you stay on track.  Also if yourliving space is organized you won’t find yourself misplacing things.  Certain things you use often or need on your way out should have a place; keys and wallet, for example.  If you always put them in one spot you won’t wonder where they are when you are about to walk out the door.

Being organized can also help you focus as you will not be wondering around looking for your keys you will know exactly where they are and be able to be aware.

4-Getting enough good quality sleep.  I believe sleep is good for so many things.  This is the time that our body gets to rest from the go-go-go of the day.  It is also a time where our mind, emotions, and self get to rest.  We are bombarded all day long with so many things . . . it is nice to let our bodies rest.

5-Eating healthy food.  Our bodies need nutrients to run properly so a healthy diet will help our brain function.

6-Exercising is also thought to help keep memory loss at bay.  This is due to the fact that exercise helps so many systems.  If your body is healthy this could contribute to a healthy brain/memory.  If the physical activity you do is something that requires skill, then you are putting your brain to work and that could be a double whammy.  If the exercise you do is something that you really like, then that could contribute to your mental well-being and that could be one way that exercise helps.

7-“Manage chronic conditions

Follow your doctor’s treatment recommendations for any chronic conditions, such as depression or kidney or thyroid problems. The better you take care of yourself, the better your memory is likely to be. In addition, review your medications with your doctor regularly. Various medications can impact memory.”

As you probably know, the brain is still a large mystery.  Science learns more everyday, but the cause of memory loss and diseases like Alzheimer’s are still unknown.  So they come up with a list of things we can do that they think might help.

And Yup, heard them before, right?  But . . . how many of them do you do?  Do you think that these things can perhaps help your memory?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Drink Smart and in Moderation

Posted by terrepruitt on February 20, 2014

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Zumba, PiYo, Gentle YogaThe various surprising health benefits of wine

For centuries, people have derived pleasure from drinking many different varieties of wine. Whether it’s a sensuously versatile Pinot Noir or a divine Chardonnay, drinking wine in moderate amounts has proven to be one of the more effective ways to unwind, relax and allow the stresses of the day to just slowly fade away into the ether. Various studies have emerged throughout the years espousing the health benefits of drinking a glass or two of high-quality wine.

Experts from the world-renowned Mayo Clinic have stated that there are certain substances in red wine called phytochemicals (specifically, flavonoids and resveratrol) that may help prevent heart disease and failure by performing two critical functions: increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (also known as the “good” cholesterol) and protecting against artery damage. It is worth noting that both resveratrol and flavonoids are also recognized as antioxidants (not all phytochemicals are antioxidants, though).

Resveratrol, in particular, is markedly more prevalent in red wine than in white wine; after all, red wine is fermented with grape skins for a longer period of time compared to white wine. Additionally, resveratrol has gotten a lot of attention due to possibly playing an important part in maintaining healthy cardiovascular function. Some of the existing research has linked resveratrol to reduced blood vessel damage, prevention of blood clots, and a decreased amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol). Dr. Eric Crampton, a highly respected University of Canterbury academic, has also opined that based on his interpretation of the current studies available, moderate drinking reduces mortality risk. Furthermore, according to Paul Jaminet of the Perfect Health Diet, animal studies have shown that the harmful effects of alcohol on the liver – fatty liver disease that inevitably leads to a scarred and damaged liver (cirrhosis) – occur only when it is combined with excessive intake of polyunsaturated fats.

Clearly, judicious consumption of red wine not only calms the senses; it’s also a healthful habit in moderation.

Image courtesy of M&S
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This post is a guest post.  The conclusion reached is that of the guest author.  My approach would be more from a “COULD be” healthful.  Many things we eat, drink, and do have the appearance of being healthful, but it always boils down to moderation AND the individual, so to me it is not so clear.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sometimes It Takes More Than a Smile Not to be SAD

Posted by terrepruitt on February 21, 2012

Dance Exercise, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Campbell Nia, Nia CampbellSeasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) per the U.S. National Library of Medicine is “episodes of depression that occur at a certain time of the year, usually during winter.”  Interestingly, “Like other forms of depression, it occurs more often in women than in men.”  According to Wiki “Although experts were initially skeptical, this condition is now recognized as a common disorder”.   I remember when it was declared a “real” disorder.  It really sounds as if this type of disorder can become very serious.  There are general symptoms that are common when someone is depressed; difficulty sleeping, difficulty waking, sleeping too much, not sleeping, over eating, not eating, gaining weight, losing weight, not socializing, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating, and so on.  It seems as if any depression, if left untreated and it continues, could become serious.  This type of depression is no different. 

I was surprised to see that it is treated somewhat the same way as other depression with both drugs and therapy.  Since it is caused by lack of sunlight I hadn’t thought of using medication or talking about it to help it.  But I guess that if you are depressed and antidepressants make you not depressed they would work no matter what the cause.  And talk therapy helps with all types of depression too.  The Mayo Clinic states the causes for SAD to be possibly your body’s rhythm being “off” due to the lack of light, so your body doesn’t know when to sleep and when to be awake, the serotonin levels being low, this is the chemical in the brain that affects your mood, so low levels could be a cause of depression, then there is melatonin levels which regulates sleep so this hormone can be off balance and affect one’s mood.

With that said, I would think that doing things to help make certain your clock stays regular would help.  Make certain you keep to a strict bedtime and rising time in the morning.  Also eating foods that can increase levels of serotonin might help.  Good foods to eat include bananas, papayas, walnuts, and dates.  (Mmmm, sounds like a recipe for a smoothie!)

ance Exercies, Nia, Nia Campbell, Campbell Nia, Nia classes in Campbell, evening Nia, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, I found the following list on: Muscle-Health-Fitness.com

 1) Free Range Turkey
 2) Flaxseed/ Flaxseed oil
 3) Buckwheat
 4) Wild Fish and Sea food
 5) Whey protein
 6) Bananas
 7) High quality Eggs
 8) Sour Cherries
 9) Free Range Beef
 10) Dark Chocolate

According to Livestrong foods that boost your melatonin are rice, barley, bananas and tomatoes.  Melatonin is also found in tart cherries, sunflower seeds, almonds, and red radishes.  Which again, if low levels of this hormone are thought to play a role in SAD, then increasing the levels would seem to be a logical step.

The thing I see most is light therapy.  But it doesn’t work for everyone.  It needs to be a bright light, one that is like the sun.  I found a variety of lights on Amazon ranging from $60.00 to $600.00.   With this type of therapy you sit in front of the light for a prescribed amount of time per day. 

Another way to fight depression is to exercise.  Exercise is always going to help because it increases your endorphins.  The endorphins create a positive feeling in the body.  Feeling positive helps with depression.  For me dancing is both a great exercise and a great way to get happy.  That is one reason why I love Nia because it really does make me happy.  But, of course there is all types of exercise to help get those endorphins up.  So anything that you will actually do . . . is GREAT!

I think SAD is much more widely accepted as an actual disorder than it once was.  There are so many things and ways that we are educated and allowed to see how people live and feel.  We probably all know at least one person living in an area where they might be susceptible to SAD.  Even if you don’t feel you have felt depression because of the weather, maybe you have things you do that make you happy and get you out of a funk.  What are they?  What do you do that help make you happy?  Share with us here and maybe they can help someone who is SAD.

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Lower Salt Intake

Posted by terrepruitt on September 2, 2010

The recommended daily maximum sodium intake for Americans is 2300 to 2400 milligrams for healthy people, for people with high blood pressure and elderly people it is even less at 1500 milligrams.  Do you know how much the average American consumes per day?   A lot, more than twice the amount for a healthy person, at 5000 milligrams.  The body  needs 500 milligrams a day and we are getting about 10 times as much.

One teaspoon of salt contains 2325 milligrams of sodium.  So one teaspoon is about all we should be having per day.  It would be a lot easier if we were in complete control of the sodium we consumed and it was not added to our food.  A lot of food might not even taste salty to contain a high amount of sodium.  Most of the salt in the American diet comes from restaurant foods and processed, about 80 percent.  Foods high in sodium are the highly processed foods, canned foods, pickled foods, condiments, dressings, and sauces.

There is research predicting that more than 100,000 Ameican deaths a year could be prevented if Americans reduced their sodium intake.

It could be a matter of understanding the labeling terms, according to an article on the Mayo Clinic’s website, here is some help:

  • Sodium-free or salt-free. Each serving in this product contains less than 5 mg of sodium.
  • Very low sodium. Each serving contains 35 mg of sodium or less.
  • Low sodium. Each serving contains 140 mg of sodium or less.
  • Reduced or less sodium. The product contains at least 25 percent less sodium than the regular version.
  • Lite or light in sodium. The sodium content has been reduced by at least 50 percent from the regular version.
  • Unsalted or no salt added. No salt is added during processing of a food that normally contains salt. However, some foods with these labels may still be high in sodium.

I really love salt.  Even though I don’t eat a lot of processed foods, I do salt my food.  I am probably one of the “average Americans” that consumes sodium on the high end.  The information that I am seeing states that liking foods salty is an acquired taste so one can learn to like food less salty by just reducing the salt slowly.  I think I am going to do that.    What about you, do you eat the “average American” amount?  Is there a way you can reduce your sodium intake?

 

Posted in Food | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

War With Cancer

Posted by terrepruitt on May 18, 2010

One of my best friends’ sister has been battling cancer for a year.  When people say “battling” cancer, it is an accurate statement.  When one “battles” cancer, it is for one’s life.  The fight is messy, painful, tiring, expensive, costly, and heart breaking, just like all battles.

I questioned myself regarding posting about it, because I didn’t ask my friend.  But I received a sense of knowing that if I wrote this and one person read it and it affected their life in a positive way then even though my friend’s sister lost the battle yesterday (May 17, 2010) she would be happy. SHE would have wanted me to write this, because she fought with all of her might and all of her faith until the very end. So she would want me to remind you of some of the signs you might want to pay attention to.  She would want us to continue with the war with cancer.

—A change in bowel habits
—Diarrhea
—Constipation
—Feeling that the bowel does not empty completely
—Stools that are narrower or have a different shape than usual
—Blood (either bright red or very dark) in the stool
—General abdominal discomfort (frequent gas pains, bloating, fullness, or cramps)
—Change in appetite
—Weight loss for no known reason
—Feeling very tired

You might want to talk to a medical professional if you have any of the previously mentioned signs.  These symptoms may be signs of rectal cancer. (1)

I would like to remind you that you need to listen to your body, you need to take time out from your schedule and you need to question things when things don’t feel right.  We all suffer from, “Well, its nothing.”  “Its this.”  “Its that.”  It is scaring and frustrating that as we age our bodies change so we never know if what is going on is part of the natural aging or if something is wrong.  Then we rely on the medical professionals to tell us because that is their job, but they don’t know either.  The last time I went to the doctor I felt as if I greatly annoyed her and was wasting her time because I was healthy.  So, I understand hesitation in going to the doctor.

But we all need to be better about it, myself included.  I learned some other things today that I didn’t know in regards to colon cancer*.

-According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States.

-Nearly all colon cancers begin as noncancerous (benign) polyps, which slowly develop into cancer.

-You have a higher risk for colon cancer if you: Have a personal history of breast cancer

-There is no single cause for colon cancer.  What you eat may play a role in your risk of colon cancer. (2)

The Mayo Clinic’s definition:

*Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), the lower part of your digestive system. Rectal cancer is cancer of the last several inches of the colon. Together, they’re often referred to as colorectal cancers.

You were brave and fought well, you will be forever missed and loved. When I think of the situation and your family I am sad, but when I think of you and your attitude during your battle, I smile.  Thank you for positive energy.

(1) Information from the National Cancer Institute
(2) Information from Medline Plus

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »