healthy habits

Habits For Long-Lasting Health

Habits For Long-Lasting Health

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Are you wondering how to live a fuller, happier, healthier life? Although it might seem impossible to completely transform your life, learning how to make healthier lifestyle choices can make you look and feel brand new again. Here are four habits for long lasting health, so that you can get more out of your day-to-day routine.

Habits For Long-Lasting Health

1. Try New Things

The longer you live, the more life experience you have, which causes some people to have pretty strong opinions about what they like and don’t like–even before they try it. This “black or white” mentality regarding new adventures, foods, and even friends can cause people to get stuck in a mental rut, never trying new things.

However, research has shown that people who consciously try new things are more likely to accept new challenges, find new hobbies, and gain self-confidence. When people try new things, they have to accept the possibility that they might fail, which makes them think harder and approach challenges with a different mindset. This act helps people to stay mentally sharp and emotionally stable.

Openness to new experiences can also help you to function better in social situations, since you might have the opportunity to meet new friends and learn new skills with others around you. Over time, being willing to continue to grow and learn can help you to develop a strong self-esteem, as you gather skills and learn how to overcome new issues.

2. Spend Time With Your Friends

How long has it been since you hit the town with your friends? Sometimes as people get married and have families, they tend to focus on things like housework and raising kids and forget all about socializing with peers. However, spending time with friends is incredibly powerful.

One 2010 study that examined over 300,000 participants found that the effects of close social interaction and friendships with others were as effective at extending your lifespan as other life-changing actions such as quitting smoking. Surprisingly, the research showed that having friends was twice as effective at extending lifespans as exercising, because friends tend to discourage friends from self-destructive behaviors, such as participating in dangerous activities or using illegal drugs.

If it’s been a while since you hung out with your friends, or you find that you need to make some new friends, start small. Focus on quality over quantity, and try to establish close, meaningful relationships. To improve your chances of making and keeping friends, learn to accept yourself and others. Be positive, be willing to listen, and respect other people’s boundaries. Learning to make friends and to keep them can take a lot of practice, but your efforts are well worth the time and energy you will spend.

3. Meet With Your Periodontist

Everyone knows that you should dedicate a part of your day to exercise, but few people realize how much impact other factors such as tooth decay can have on your overall health. Gum disease starts when plaque and tartar accumulates on the teeth, harboring bacteria that inflames and damages the gums. Over time, this inflammation becomes so severe that the gum tissue starts to pull away from the gums, paving the way for bacteria and infection to infiltrate the jaw and enter the bloodstream.

If periodontitis is left unchecked, infections can worsen and cause life-threatening problems such as organ failure. As bacteria enters the bloodstream through the mouth, it can also cause inflammation throughout the entire body, which is one of the reasons periodontal disease has been tied to other systemic problems, such as heart attacks, strokes, and respiratory failure. Periodontal disease has even been found to increase your chances of certain cancers, including kidney, pancreatic, and blood cancers like leukemia.

To ward off these serious systemic problems, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends meeting with your periodontist at least once annually to have a comprehensive periodontal exam, or CPE. Periodontists receive an extra three years of specialized training regarding the anatomy of the mouth, facial nerves, gum tissue, and teeth, as well as learning specialized treatments for gum disease and the placement of dental implants. During a CPE, periodontists will carefully evaluate your bite, your teeth, the condition of your gums, and your medical history. Using the information they collect during your exam, they will talk with you about your risks for periodontal disease or create a treatment plan to address your current condition.

A trained periodontist, such as Sergio A. Guzman DMD MSD of Dental Partners of Boston, will help you to approach your oral health proactively so that you can keep your entire body healthy and happy.

4. Take Time To Relax

Stress can be hard on your body, causing problems such as a decreased immune response, higher blood pressure, muscle tension, low fertility, skin issues, and even an abnormal heartbeat. To ward off stress and to improve your lifelong health, take the time to relax.

Set aside a period of time every single day to dedicate to rest, meditation, or prayer. Relax with your friends, enjoy some time outside, or hit that yoga class. Taking a time out can help you to regain control of your body.

For more information about ways to improve your health, make an appointment with your family doctor and Boston dentists. By taking the time to have your overall health, gums, and teeth carefully examined, you might be able to uncover hidden dangers that could disrupt your health. Dental practices, such as the Dental Partners of Boston, have a wide range of appointment times to cater to even the busiest patients.

mattress

Soft, Firm, or In Between: Choosing A Mattress That’s Just Right

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If you are like most people, you might feel a little like Goldilocks as you shop for a new mattress, aimlessly trying out different varieties only to discover that some are too hard or soft for your preferences. Mattress stores can be intimidating, especially if you aren’t sure whether you want a soft mattress, a firm variety, or something in between. To make your next mattress selection as simple as possible, read through the benefits of different varieties and consider these tips for choosing the best type for you.

mattress

Benefits of Firm Mattresses

Firm mattresses might not seem like the most luxurious option, but there is a reason that doctors and chiropractors suggest firm mattresses for people who suffer from back pain or mobility issues. In fact, according to the Spinal Health Institute, firm mattresses can help people with degenerative disc disease because they can make it easier for people to sleep on their stomachs. Here are a few other benefits of firm mattresses:

  • Spinal Alignment

Your mattress has a very important role each night while you sleep – cradling your body and supporting your spine. In order to get the best sleep possible, your spine should be supported and aligned. Firm mattresses offer more support than soft mattresses, helping to keep your spine in a comfortable, neutral position.

  • Weight Distribution

Because firmer mattresses offer more support, they distribute your weight more evenly. In addition to making the bed more stable for your sleeping partner, proper weight distribution will also fend off divots in your mattress and has been shown to decrease muscle tension and cramping.

  • Deeper Sleep

Proper spinal alignment and weight distribution can do more than just help you to climb out of bed without aches and pains. The benefits of firm mattresses can also make take pressure off of your muscles and help your arteries and veins to relax, which improves your circulation and contributes to better sleep. The sleep experts at BeWellBuzz.com also report that firm mattresses keep your upper airway unrestricted, making it easier to breathe freely as you sleep.

Benefits of Soft Mattresses:

Although firm mattresses are often touted for their health benefits, modern soft mattresses also have a wide range of perks that sleepers can enjoy. Here are just a few:

  • Plush, Soothing Feel

One of the things people love about soft mattresses is the plush, soothing feel of the mattress. Instead of feeling like you are lying on a cushion riddled with springs, you might feel as if you are resting on a cloud.

  • Easier to Drift Off To Sleep

Because soft mattresses tend to be more appealing and comfortable for people, some sleep studies have found that soft mattresses make it easier for people to drift off to sleep and stay asleep.

  • Alleviate Pressure Points

Soft mattresses are also a superior solution for people who have arthritis or who don’t have a lot of body fat. Because these people can have naturally occurring joint pain or an insufficient amount of internal cushioning, soft mattresses can help by alleviating pressure points.

Things To Consider When Trying Mattresses

Before you decide between a soft and a firm mattress, take the time to visit a mattress store, such as Best Mattress, to try different varieties out in person. Here are some things to consider as you test mattresses:

  • Time Will Tell

That mattress might seem comfortable at first, but how will it feel when you sleep on it all night long? Although it might seem awkward to try out mattresses in the store, the Huffington Post suggests laying on a potential mattress for at least 20 minutes before deciding whether or not you like it. This extended time-frame will help you to decide what you like and don’t like about the mattress, and give you the chance to try out different sleeping positions.

  • Sleeping Position

Think carefully about what sleeping positions you prefer. If you tend to mix up your sleeping positions, think about what position you are normally in when you wake up in the morning. Research has shown that soft beds are typically better for side sleepers, and firmer mattresses are more comfortable for back sleepers.

  • Mobility Issues

If you have mobility issues, keep in mind that softer mattresses might be more difficult to move around on or get off of in the morning. Extra cushioning alleviates pressure, but sometimes that pressure is needed to help you to regain your balance or move your body the way that you need to. If you have mobility issues but your sleeping partner doesn’t, consider choosing a firmer mattress and then buying a sheet of memory foam for your partner’s side. That way, you can each remain comfortable.

  • Preferred Nighttime Temperature

Some mattresses are more breathable than others, and some even have special mattress coverings designed to reduce surface temperature. Before you choose a mattress, think about your preferred nighttime temperature. Do you like to feel warm and cozy as you sleep, or do you like to stay cool and dry? Talk with your mattress store representative to learn which versions offer the breath-ability and fabrics that you prefer.

While we hope these tips are helpful, the true test will always be to try a mattress in person. Good luck!