This post will be the first in a monthly series focusing on the health of both the female and male reproductive organs. My goal is to provide insight regarding the steps we can take to promote and maintain cellular health and organ reserve, as well as to prevent the illnesses and diseases of these organs that can arise through the aging process.
In her recent book, Reclaiming Conversation, Dr. Sherry Turkle, the Abby Rockefeller Mauze Professor of Social Studies of Science and Technology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), argues convincingly that technology is replacing our natural ability to connect with one another through everyday face-to-face conversation. Rather than looking someone in the eyes and asking about his or her day, we turn to our phones, and in the process, we are losing out on conversation, which is, as Turkle calls it, “the most human—and humanizing—thing we do.” The arguments for putting away your smart phone and turning off your other screens to improve the quality of your interpersonal relationships are very strong.
The Social Patterning of Sleep is a Matter of Social Justice
As described in a prior post, insufficient and disordered sleep are very common across the population, with serious consequences for health and well-being. Approximately one-third of adults are not getting sufficient sleep at 7 hours per night and up to 70 million Americans suffer from a sleep disorder (1). Yet, not all people are equally likely to have trouble with their sleep. In this post, I highlight some of the dimensions in which sleep varies across various sociodemographic subpopulations.
If you are one of the millions of people suffering from the dry skin dilemma, then you are not alone. Dry skin is a common, yet highly bothersome malady that can occur as a result of many different internal or external causes and often presents in a variety of forms where the common element is of course, dry skin. The commonest cause of dry skin is temperature extremes, more specifically harsh wintry climates with low humidity levels. Perhaps that is why it is popularly known as ‘winter’s itch’. As I’ve mentioned in my previous articles, as we age, our skin tends to become dry (an alteration or reduction of natural oils) and sensitive, add a blast of winter air to the equation and we are left with severely dry and cracked skin that is very difficult to manage- a term known as the 7th age itch. It might or might not be accompanied by a non-itchy or itchy rash that might progress into a painful dry fissuring eczema if not properly managed.
The holiday season can be a challenging time. Between awkward family gatherings, after-hours office parties, last-minute visits to the mall, and traffic-ridden road trips to your in-laws’, there are a lot of reasons to be anxious, keep weird hours, or eat the wrong thing over the holidays. To make matters worse, all of these holiday distractions might interfere with your sleep. As I’ve mentioned in prior posts, you need high-quality restorative sleep to function well, feel good, and look beautiful. That’s why I’m asking you to prioritize your sleep, and kick off the New Year as your healthiest self! Here’s my guide to maintaining your sleep health over the winter festivities:
Celebrities swear by it. Scientists are in awe of it. Berber tribes of Morocco will bet their life on it.
Most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. A good night’s sleep often makes the difference between awaking renewed and refreshed or tired and hung over. Quality sleep sharpens the mind, boosts the immune system, and helps protect against stress and anxiety.
Yoga is on fire in the West, with 40% of health and fitness clubs offering classes to meet the growing demand; however, yoga is so much more than just a physical fitness practice. It is a complete system of health maintenance for the mind, body, and spirit. According to yoga, the highest level of healing is to prevent disease before it gets started.
Until your family members and friends experience knee problems themselves, they may not understand why your knees hurt and swell, or how they limit your movement. Our knees are something we take for granted!
Kick the Habit
It’s never too late to stop nicotine usage. It’s not easy, but once you’re determined, you can do it. Studies indicate the smoking can rapidly age your skin and is one of the prime factors in accelerated skin aging. In fact, the skin of a 40-year-old smoker resembles that of a 60-year-old non-smoker. Various complex physiological pathways are affected by nicotine, but the most widely accepted theory is that chronic nicotine usage will compromise the micro-vessels of the skin, leading to poor oxygenation of cells. This results in detrimental outcomes, including impaired collagen synthesis (the skin-plumping factor), which visibly translates into sagging, wrinkled, dull, and hyper-aged skin. Another key study indicates that those who kicked the habit very early on in the game saw a significant improvements in their overall skin health, especially freshness, vibrancy, and resiliency; therefore, cessation of smoking is certainly a scientifically proven way to bring back beautiful, healthy skin non-invasively.