Am I Healthy?: The Ten Best Ways to Measure Your Health and Fitness

Measure Your Health and FitnessHow does one measure health? It depends on who you ask. A physician may measure health in terms of lab values – cholesterol, blood sugar and so on. A personal trainer might tell you that your body fat percentage is the best indicator of good health. You might base it on what the scale tells you or how your clothes fit.

I’m a big believer in monitoring all of these things and then some. Seems like a big job, but really it only takes a few minutes to do each one, involves inexpensive equipment or can be a regular part of a visit to your physician. I call them “The Big Ten Health and Fitness Measures.”

  1. Weight
  2. BMI (Body Mass Index)
  3. Body composition
  4. Measurements
  5. Resting and target heart rates
  6. Cardiorespiratory fitness
  7. Energy level
  8. Blood pressure
  9. Glucose & cholesterol
  10. Pain

Why keep track of all these things? First, because there isn’t one single good way to define what makes a person healthy or fit. For instance, just because you are at a healthy weight, does not mean that you don’t have high cholesterol. Also, it can be discouraging to use just one method. You may find yourself in a situation where even though you did not lose any weight in a given week, you may have lost inches. Read the rest of this entry »

The Psychology of Education

individualistic educational psychologyOn the need for an individualistic educational psychology emphasizing on the central role of the learner

Education and psychology are related in more than just one way and the psychology of education could be related to educational principles in psychology or how education as a discipline is taught within psychology as a subject and how these two disciplines merge. This is primarily the focus of educational psychology which studies how human learning occurs, what ways of teaching are most effective, what different methods should be used to teach gifted or disabled children and how principles of psychology could help in the study of schools as social systems.

Psychological education would be completely focused on learning methods as structured or imparted according to psychological and individual needs of the students. Education would differ according to culture, values, attitudes, social systems, mindset and all these factors are important in the study of education in psychology.

Educational psychology is the application of psychological objectives within educational systems and psychological education as I distinguish here is application of educational objectives in psychological processes. The first focus of using psychology in education is more general and the second approach of using education in psychology is more individualistic. Read the rest of this entry »

The Difference Between Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy

Occupational Therapy and Physical TherapyPhysical therapy and occupational therapy form an important pillar of complementary medicine that improves functional, muscular and structural stability in individuals; however, it is noteworthy that occupational therapy and physical therapy are entirely different and distinct tools of rehabilitation.

Physical therapy deals with improving the muscular and structural support of the tissues and tendons after an acute or chronic insult. The aim of physical therapy is to restore activity without affecting the normal healing process.

Occupational therapy deals with helping individuals in adapting to their injuries in order to maximize productivity and functional independence. An occupational therapist helps in optimizing the mobility with the help of equipments and devices after an injury that may lead to permanent disability. Occupational therapists also play a preventive role by guiding normal individuals to work with their bodies and not against their bodies that is a leading cause of aggravated wear and tear tissue damage and injuries.

Physical therapists utilize their vast knowledge of the human musculoskeletal system, anatomy and physiological functioning of muscles, joints and ligaments in order to restore mobility and full range of joint activity. At the same time, physical therapy exercises and maneuvers also decrease the risk of joint destruction and muscle injuries. Read the rest of this entry »

A Look at the Different Types of Depression

Types of DepressionWhen people talk about depression, they usually mean a person who is feeling down and lethargic, and who has generally lost interest in life. Most people don’t realize that there are many different types of depression a person can be suffering from, with each type often showing different symptoms.

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, here is a quick overview of the most common forms of depression.

Mild/Minor Depression is the least severe form of depression. Usually the symptoms aren’t so severe that they have a major impact in the life of the sufferer, although the depression can still cause distress and disruption. Many people who are suffering from mild depression never seek treatment – they don’t believe the symptoms are severe enough.

Dysthymic Disorder is a long-term form of mild depression (lasting two or more years). Like mild depression, most sufferers never seek help as they don’t believe their symptoms are severe enough. Also like mild depression, the symptoms of dysthymic depression don’t usually have a huge impact on the sufferers day-to-day life. But when the long-term results from the depression are considered, the impact can be huge. People who suffer from dysthymic depression often can’t remember a time when they weren’t depressed. Read the rest of this entry »

Causes Of Anxiety Attacks

Anxiety AttacksAnxiety attacks can be caused a multitude of things including stressors, financial problems, relationship problems, bereavement, medical conditions and medication. However, as with any medical condition, there is usually more than one cause, some of which can be interrelated.

When a doctor is trying to determine the causes of a patient’s anxiety attacks, he will assess environmental issues, traits in the person’s personality, the patient’s brain chemistry, any past traumas and the family medical history. Firstly, the environmental issues may include poverty, childhood/parental separation, overly strict parents, overly critical parents, excessive family conflicts, fearful parents, anxious parents and a lacking support system. Secondly, personality traits can include a feeling of lack of power, seeing the world as threatening, general low self-esteem/confidence and the inability to cope with everyday things. Thirdly, brain chemistry can include neurotransmitter imbalances (serotonin, epinephrine, GABA, etc.) and abnormal levels of cortisol (stress type hormone). Fourthly, family medical history can show a pattern of abuse (substance) and disorders (mood, anxiety, etc.) throughout generations, which shows some genetical disposition towards the anxiety attacks. Fifthly, past traumas can have a marked affect, including childhood events (the most damaging), abuse, natural disasters, crime, and war.

Once the cause has been determined for the anxiety attacks, the doctor will attempt to make a diagnosis. However, if the fifth most common causes are not triggering the anxiety attacks then the doctor will look at these other possibilities:

· Hypoglycemia – can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

· Thyroid disorders – can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

· Sleep disorders – can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

· Adrenal disorders – can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions

· Diabetes – can trigger anxiety attacks under certain medical conditions Read the rest of this entry »