Amelia Grant

I am Amelia Grant, journalist, and blogger. I think that information is a great force that is able to change people’s lives for the better. That is why I feel a strong intention to share useful and important things about health self-care, wellness and other advice that may be helpful for people. Being an enthusiast of a healthy lifestyle that keeps improving my life, I wish the same for everyone.

Why Upper Back Pain Is So Common in Runners?

Running is a physical activity that seems to involve mostly the lower part of your body. However, many runners complain of pain located in the upper back after a run. It’s a very common problem in runners. Especially in those who aren’t supervised by a professional coach. Why does it occur and what to do?

 

This problem may have several causes. The most common is bad running technique, but the level of muscular strength of the runner’s back also matters. However, many people who start running, do so with existing back problems caused by sedentary work and lifestyle.  When you start running, you will feel even the smallest back problems that you may not have been aware of previously.

 

Why Does Your Upper Back Hurt After Running?

If your upper back hurts during and after your running activity, read the list below and think if any of it relates to you. Depending on the problem, it may be solved with simply correcting your running technique and strengthening the spinal muscles. However, if the problem is deeper, you may need physical therapy or even chronic back pain treatment.

 

Weak spinal muscles

Although we think our upper spine isn’t involved in running, it’s a mistake. When we run, the entire body is involved. Therefore, the entire body gets tired. This reflects in our posture which becomes slouchier, with the head leaned forward. It gives additional strain over the upper spine, and it doesn’t take long for the pain to appear. 

 

Wrong hand position while running

When we feel tired, this not only affects our back but our hands as well. We change their position and place them either too high or too close to the body. To cope with tired hands and get to the finish line anyway, people may weave their hands or hold them tense. This only seems to make it easier but in fact, it actually increases the strain.

 

Radiated pain from the lower back

The fascia (connective tissue) gets stretched and radiates into the upper spine. So the source of the pain can be located much lower than you actually feel it. Or it can be a nerve that is located close to the skin that gets irritated while you run.

 

Change in pH level

The well-known DOMS syndrome is often linked to a change in the body’s acidity. The more you run, the more lactic acid is produced by your body and it influences your sensations of pain. There are special gels that help balance the pH in your muscles.

Sedentary behavior

Most runners are simple people who work in an office or at home in front of the computer all day long. Such way of life leads to various spinal problems including pain when running. While we walk, we can control it, but while running it’s difficult. Therefore, the balance of strain over the spine is irregular.

 

As you can see, proper running technique and muscle strength are very important. One is impossible without the other so you should work on both. Strong muscles will help you keep the proper position as you run and not overwhelm your spine.

 

Not a Duty, but a Choice: 5 Reasons Not to Have Children

To have children or not is a difficult decision. Unfortunately, in our society, it is often taken under pressure from others, the influence of stereotypes, or simply by inertia. We support motherhood, but we want the birth of children to be a free choice, not a duty. Here are just a few reasons why becoming a mother is not necessary.

 

5 Reasons Not to Have Children

 

1. The planet does not need one more child

Look at the world population. When I started writing this sentence, there were 7,690,999,676 people on Earth. While I was completing this phrase, it increased by another 180 people. For the population of the planet to reach 1 billion, it took people more than 200 years. Over the next 200 years, it has risen to 7 billion. Now every year more than 90 million people appear on Earth.

 

While the number of people on the planet is growing at a frantic pace, its natural resources are being depleted. Earth is not able to feed so many living beings, and each new child monstrously increases our carbon print on the planet. To some, such reasoning may seem to be too global, but look around - the problems of debris accumulation, lack of clean water, pollution of the atmosphere are no longer a scientific horror story, but a reality that is hard to ignore.

 

2. Your career may suffer

To fall out of professional life for 1.5-3 years at the most productive age is a psychologically difficult test. With maternity leave, you can not predict how your career will develop, how long a child will take. Of course, motherhood does not necessarily mean the end to your career, many succeed in career developing after the birth of babies. But, if you don’t want to risk self-realization, this is quite a good reason not to hurry with children.

 

3. Raising a child is expensive

In addition to physical and emotional cost, the child requires a lot of financial resources. Considering the level of salaries, you should be prepared that in the next 18 years, most of the earnings will have to be spent on raising a child. If you consciously take this step, you should come up with more serious arguments than “all give birth, and I should too.”

 

4. The child will not make you a more valuable woman

Unfortunately, in our society, childbearing is still considered almost the only purpose of a woman. But you do not need to put yourself at risk, go through physical and moral difficulties and radically change your life to prove to the world that you are full. Moreover, as practice shows, the world is never satisfied: after the birth of the first child, the questions follow: “When is the next one?”. And every passer-by tries to assess what kind of mother you are.

 

5. The child will not be a guarantee of loneliness

Children should not become an attempt to diversify the marriage, to avoid a lonely old age or to gain some meaning in life. Any of these reasons are too unreliable: the child violates sex life and alienates partners; it will not necessarily be close after he grows up, and certainly, it should not be the only reason for your existence.

 

Birth Control Options

While condoms help prevent both STIs (sexually transmitted infections) and pregnancy, other forms of birth control (also called contraception) only help prevent pregnancy. While you may choose different forms of birth control, remember that condoms are the best form of protection against STIs as well.

 

Plan B

If you’ve had sex and didn’t use any type of birth control, or if the birth control you used failed, you have the option of emergency contraception up to three days afterward. Plan B-One Step prevents pregnancy for up to 72 hours (3 days) after having unprotected sex. It is not intended for regular use and does not protect you from STIs or HIV.  You can’t use it if you are already pregnant. In this case, only the option of abortion clinics may help.

6 Signs That You Drink Too Much Coffee

Caffeine affects each of us differently. Here, as with alcohol, someone is carried away from a glass of beer, and someone will drain a couple of liters and not notice. Behind office coffee breaks, coffee shops at every turn and a sure morning habit it is easy not to notice that you have an addiction. Here are some signs that you have too much caffeine in your body.

6 Signs of Coffee Overdose

1. You have a headache

Despite the fact that caffeine is part of many drugs for headaches, its use must be controlled. An overdose of caffeine can cause the type of pain that similar to the overuse of drugs. If you suffer from chronic migraines or simply feel that your head suddenly hurts, you should be especially careful with caffeine.

2. Stomach problems

Coffee irritates the stomach and provokes heartburn. In addition, it stimulates the central nervous system, which causes the body to produce too much stomach acid. Even for those who do not have problems with the digestive tract, doctors do not recommend drinking coffee on an empty stomach. A strong love for caffeine can lead to gastritis and other digestive problems.

3. Feeling anxious

Caffeine makes our body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. When you are calm, it invigorates, but if you are tired or already excited, it can cause anxiety. Excess caffeine over time overloads your nervous system and will lead to chronic stress. If you feel that in the last few days you have been feeling anxious, try to replace coffee with other drinks.

4. Poor sleep

Do not underestimate the effect of caffeine on your sleep. Specialist of the American Council of Somnology and a member of the American Academy of Somnology, Dr. Michael Breus notes that with age, our body begins to process caffeine more slowly. 

 

Even 5-10 years ago, a cup of latte for the night had no effect on your sleep, but now your nervous system can be much more sensitive. If you noticed that it became harder to fall asleep, pay attention to what time you usually drink coffee and its quantity.

5. Your heart rate rises

Another effect of caffeine on the central nervous system is a rapid heartbeat. In a moderate amount, coffee is safe, but if you feel that the heart is pounding for no reason, it is possible that the cause is coffee. This sensation arises when you are calm and can last all day.

6. You go to the toilet more often than usual

Caffeine acts as a mild diuretic. But some people may be especially sensitive to it. If you start going to the bathroom more often than usual, try to limit yourself from coffee and other caffeine drinks.

 

What to Do When Coffee Overdose Happens?

First of all, you need to drink plenty of water, as coffee dehydrates the body. After that, it is worth eating foods rich in potassium like bananas. The drink flushes these elements out of the body, which is why a hand tremor and a feeling of tension may appear. 

 

If you are a coffee lover, we advise you to consume adequate calcium per day, because of its invigorating effect, it leeches this important element from our body. Lack of calcium in our body leads to shoulder, hip, pelvic and back pain.

 

Products with potassium have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system. With an overdose of coffee, a good solution would be to get some fresh air. A short walk will ensure a flow of oxygen which your body lacks after consuming coffee.

 

An hour later, the state will improve, but on this day it is better to refrain from coffee and quickly lie down to rest. You need about 9.5 hours to reduce the caffeine level in your body by half. 

5 Myths About Electric Toothbrushes

You're still deciding if you should buy an electric toothbrush or not, but a friend tries to talk you out of it. Saying that the promised wow effect is just an advertising ploy. Let’s take a look if there any benefits from them or not? According to experts, an electric toothbrush can greatly facilitate dental care and even reduce the risk of oral disease. 

 

Most people do not follow the recommendations of doctors to brush their teeth with sweeping movements for two minutes and often pay little attention to oral hygiene. Meanwhile, the electric brush itself controls the cleaning time, removing several times more plaque, including in hard-to-reach places, as compared with a manual brush.

 

So, if there are so many benefits, why so many people choose not to buy an electric toothbrush? Because there are many baseless myths in our society. That’s why today we want to destroy them and help you to understand where the truth is.

 

Common Myths About Electric Toothbrushes

Myth 1: A regular toothbrush cleans as good as an electric one

Brushing your teeth seems to be simple, but in fact, in order for it to bring results, several factors must be taken into account. Of course, if you can control the force of pressing the brush on the teeth and carefully clean each one, continue to use the hand brush. 

 

Instead of brushing their teeth with sweeping movements, many do it from side to side. Electric toothbrushes provide a more uniform pressure on the surface of the teeth and gums, which reduces the risk of abrasion of enamel, and the built-in timer helps to keep the required two minutes.

 

Myth 2: Electric toothbrushes are not suitable for those who have sensitive teeth

You will be surprised, but often such problems are associated with an improper cleaning technique. Making movements from side to side, you can easily injure the gums, while most of the plaque along the gum line is not cleaned properly. 

 

To prevent bleeding of the gums and unpleasant sensations, many modern brushes have special modes for delicate cleansing and nozzles with ultra-soft bristles arranged in a special way for the most gentle care. At the same time, nozzles can be easily changed depending on individual preferences.

 

Myth 3: All electric brushes clean the same

You will be surprised, but there are several types of electric brushes: simple, sonic and ultrasonic. The first type brushes the teeth with fast rotational movements of the nozzle. Sonic - work not only due to mechanical effects but also due to additional sound vibrations, which weaken the adhesion of plaque to the surface of the teeth. Brushes with this technology can restore the natural whiteness of teeth in a week. 

 

Ultrasonic brushes are very effective (frequency of bristle oscillations - more than 20,000 Hz) but they will have to be rejected by those who have fillings and crowns.

 

Myth 4: Electric brushes do not suit children

Children require a special approach to everything. Knowing this, manufacturers create attachments with special ultra-soft bristles that do not injure delicate children's enamel and gums. By the way, the sound of a working brush can reduce the fear of a drill and even promote a child's interest in oral hygiene.

 

In the latter, manufacturers have particularly succeeded: they created brushes that synchronize with learning interactive applications for smartphones and tablets. And although the safety of children's brushes is clinically confirmed, kids orthodontists recommend to use them starting from the age of 3 years.

 

Myth 5: Only one person can use one electric toothbrush

Of course, it is not so! One body is suitable for different nozzles that can be changed depending on the individual preferences of all "users". For example, the Philips Sonicare can use seven different nozzles, which differ in rigidity: from ultra soft to medium. You can buy one body for the whole family with different nozzles.

Important Things to Know About Non-Standard Window Shapes

Your home should look exactly like you want it to look. These days, everything is possible to create if you have enough imagination, money and time. Or, if you don’t have time, you can trust it to a designer. You deserve to have a home of your dream where every item can be as you want.

 

However, these items should not only be stylish but functional as well. Sometimes, the construction is very difficult and should be thought over very well to not only be a decoration but a useable thing too. Amon such things are windows.

 

The Challenges of Non-Standard Windows

Triangular, arched, round or whatever-else-shaped windows are very popular among creative house owners. They are visible not only from the inside but from the outside as well and give the entire building a certain style. But their creation and installation can become a challenge.

 

First, they often have many details that need to be crafted by hand. This requires high skill, more efforts and, logically, will be more expensive and will take more time. Second, a non-standard shape may create an unbalanced strain over the attachment which creates risks in the exploitation of such windows.

 

Of course, everything is possible. There are systems that can be adjusted to the unusual shape of the window without a loss of its full functionality. Moreover, such windows can be a part of a smart system that allows distant operations of the windows. But all of this can be possible only if you choose a trusted company for window installation

 

How to Reduce the Risks of Malfunction

Unfortunately, very often it happens that a custom window isn’t properly installed and can lose its functionality. To avoid such problems, follow the tips below before you install your non-standard windows.

 

Consult a window specialist

When the very image of your dream windows has shaped in your mind, get in touch with a window specialist for a consultation. The windows of your dreams can have certain restrictions in installment, and you should be aware of them.

 

You should have all the drawings and guarantee

As you sign the contract with the company, save a right to have the drawings for your windows for yourself. Also, they should give you a guarantee for the windows. This will be an argument if a company fails to create the windows that meet your demands.

 

Don’t believe if they promise to manufacture them quickly

Non-standard functional windows cannot be created fast. Above we have already explained why. If they tell you they can do it - look for somebody else. This can be done only with a violation of technology, and you don’t need that. 

 

Be prepared to get disappointed

Sometimes, a window of your dreams just can’t be the one that opens. There are so many details in the functioning of the windows and some ideas can be implemented in a window only as a purely decorative element. But sometimes it’s not a problem unless it is important for you that the window should open.

 

Don’t be afraid to dream big - it may cost much and be challenging but the result will be totally worth it!

How Often Should You Remove Your Dental Tartar?

Dental tartar is a very common problem relating to oral hygiene. There are so many people suffering from it that it looks like humanity is doomed to have it and no one will escape it. However, dental tartar deposits are preventable, with proper hygiene and a responsible attitude to oral health.

 

Why Do We Develop Dental Tartar

What is tartar and where does it come from? It’s the waste from the vital activity of bacteria that live in our mouth and the food leftovers left there. If we don’t remove them properly, feed the bacteria with foods they like and create a chemical balance that is friendly to them - their population will grow, and so will the amount of waste they produce. 

 

The problem of dental tartar, or calculus, can also be conditioned by abnormalities of occlusion and poor dental health. Every problem in your mouth that doesn’t let every tooth play its role in the process of chewing or deprives you of cleaning it properly (crooked teeth with hard-to-reach places or missing teeth that make you chew on only one side of your mouth), increases the possibility for the dental tartar to accumulate.

 

There are also internal factors that play their role in this process. Metabolic disorders related to increased production of phosphates increase the amount of dental tartar deposits. Food habits matter as well - the more hard food you eat, the less tartar you have because hard food works as a natural cleanser for our teeth. This is how our predecessors maintained their oral hygiene when there were no dentists and toothbrushes.

 

If you have a sweet tooth and can’t imagine your life without sweets and gallons of soda, your oral bacteria will thank you for this - sugar is their favorite food. But your teeth and gums won’t because cavities and severe gum disease as the result of massive tartar deposits is what they get because of your poor oral habits.

 

When to Remove Dental Tartar?

Unfortunately, you often can’t remove dental tartar at home. When it’s too hard and massive, it needs special equipment and the work of qualified specialist to remove it. But you can remove the soft white plaque that forms in our mouth every day. It can be easily removed with a toothbrush. But if it stays there, one night is enough for it to be turned into a hard film that can’t be brushed off. There are home remedies to remove slight deposits of tartar but if the problem went out of control, visit a specialist.

 

It all depends on your individual dynamics of collecting it. In general, in-office removal of dental tartar is required 1-2 times a year. However, due to the factors described above, some people may need it more often - every several months. You can see it visually and estimate yourself whether you need the cleaning procedure badly or it can wait for a few months.

 

How to Slow Down the Development of Tartar?

It’s not difficult at all although many people fail it. All you should do is:

 

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes with the proper toothbrush and technique
  • Eat raw fruits and vegetables
  • Don’t be too fond of sweets and fatty food that participates in the metabolism
  • Treat your oral diseases and crooked teeth
  • Visit your dentist regularly to avoid problems with teeth that can cause increased tartar development

 

As you see, it’s not difficult at all. Keep your teeth clean and healthy, and you will avoid many problems.

5 Ways to Cope With Bloating During Your Period

 

A period is a really rough time for every woman. Each woman’s body is unique, and PMS can be manifested in a number of symptoms, from slight pelvic pain to heavy, almost debilitating conditions. Lucky are those few whose menstruation symptoms is just a couple of pimples and a pair of extra pounds of weight gain. Many others suffer mentally and physically at this time.

 

Bloating related to menstruation is not the worst thing that can happen to you but is definitely among the most irritating ones. It happens each month due to hormonal fluctuation - progesterone drastically reduces and estrogen is unstable. As the period passes, everything comes back to its normal state.

 

However, if you suffer from gastrointestinal conditions, regardless of the day of the month, you can feel the aggravation of their symptoms during menstruation. In such cases, you should consult with your doctor about the options of IBS treatment

 

How to Relieve Bloating During Menstruation

This specific bloating usually doesn’t last for more than 2-3 days. The hormonal levels start normalizing, and you feel much better. However, even these couple of days can be quite unpleasant. But it’s possible to make them better.

 

Eat proper food

You should consume food rich in potassium and proteins. Potassium helps support the proper water balance. Proteins help lower the level of prostaglandins that give you that pain. Products with diuretic effects can also help, but be sure you drink enough water. And, of course, avoiding products that may cause bloating will be obviously a good idea.

 

Stay physically active

Maybe a workout in the first days of menstruation is not the best idea but even a walk can really make everything better. Physical activity relieves all the unpleasant menstrual symptoms including bloating.

 

Sleep well

You can’t feel good if you didn’t sleep enough. Your stomach won’t like it either. At least 8 hours of sleep is an absolute must during your menstruation and PMS. Don’t make things worse by a lack of sleep. 

 

Be careful with drinks

Caffeine and alcohol aren’t the best drinks for this period. Same goes for soda water. Caffeine irritates the gastrointestinal tract and causes bloating and diarrhea. So does alcohol. Soda water causes bloating because it’s packed with air bubbles. Drink green or herbal tea instead - it will calm down your stomach.

 

Hormonal birth control

If your menstruation always brings you a lot of unpleasant symptoms, it may make sense to consider hormonal birth control pills. They help bring your hormones to a balance and relieve most of the hard menstrual symptoms. But you should only choose them with your GYN doctor and never prescribe them to yourself - only your doctor knows your hormonal issues and what concentration of hormones you need.

 

If you suffer from bloating not only during your menstruation and PMS, you should make an appointment with a gastroenterologist and check your stomach. Sometimes it is enough to correct your diet and daily schedule to forget about the problem. In many cases. gastrointestinal problems are the consequences of stress and emotional breakdown. If that applies to you, you may need psychotherapy and relaxation techniques.

Life Without Salt - Benefit or Harm?

A real gift for patients with kidney problems is a salt-free diet. It allows you to remove excess fluid from the body in a few days without loading the kidneys. The lack of salt in the diet also helps those who want to lose weight. However, any coin has two sides: for someone, a salt-free diet will be useful, but for others, it can be harmful.

Essential Component

Sodium chloride is one of the most important chemical components in various fluids of the human body. It is part of the blood, lymph, extracellular space, and all cells. But in everything, the measure is good. An excess of salt, like any chemical, can cause a number of deviations and diseases: high blood pressure, kidney disease, calcium metabolism, osteoporosis, and diseases of the joints. Moreover, table salt can be a real poison: a dose that exceeds the daily rate by 100 times is fatal to a human.

What Is Normal Intake?

A person needs about 5-8 grams of salt per day. In the hot season, this dose may increase to 30-40 grams. Alas, people consume far more salt than is necessary. We salt the dish while cooking and when we sit down to eat. But often the amount of salt contained in the original products is already enough! With the most usual diet, a person gets about 10 grams of salt per day.

 

Doctors insist that everyone needs to control the use of salt. For this, it is worth seriously limiting smoked foods, ready-to-cook foods, and canned foods in your diet. There is a lot of salt in them, and besides its quantity is impossible to calculate.

Features of the "Unsalted" Diet

The idea of a salt-free diet is quite robust. Especially for people suffering from hypertension and heart failure - it normalizes the pressure, relieves swelling and improves the quality of life.

 

The salt-free diet will bring undoubted benefits for those who want to lose weight - unsalted food seems less tasty, so such diets will psychologically help to limit eating. If you combine a salt-free diet with a low-calorie diet, you can slowly lose the "extra" weight.

 

With a salt-free diet, you lose weight not because of fat loss, but due to the fact that non-salty food entails the loss of fluid from the body. Following a salt-free diet, you can lose a few pounds in the first four days.

 

But it is better not to use a salt-free diet in the summer. In the heat, a person sweats a lot, and then a large amount of useful trace elements is lost. As a result - weakness, and fatigue. It is necessary to be attentive and those who lead an active lifestyle and play sports. In this case, the body needs more minerals than usual.

Obvious advantages

The benefits of a salt-free diet have been proven by medical research. Due to the normalization of salt in the body, metabolism and the work of internal organs improves. When excess salt leaves, it helps to get rid of edemas. That is why this diet can be used for pregnant women. 

 

During a salt-free diet, a person at least temporarily refuses high-calorie, heavy foods and consumes healthy food. It is necessary to eat often and gradually, which prevents overeating. Since a salt-free diet is especially useful for people suffering from cardiovascular and kidney diseases, after an examination and consultation with a doctor you can even use it throughout life.

Obvious disadvantages

If you decide on a salt-free diet, remember that it still belongs to the category of hard. And not everyone is helpful! That is why it is recommended to consult a doctor before starting the course. In addition, it is necessary to provide alternative sources of iodine and fluoride in the body.

 

For some people, it will be better to use a lighter salt-free diet. It does not imply the complete absence of salt, but its limitation in quantity. You can start your weight loss with that. Since a low-salt diet is less effective, your results will be lower. But even a small change in the diet will be very good.