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Category: Editor’s Picks

Top 10 Tips To Improve Posture

Your mom was right when she kept telling you to straighten your back! Posture is fundamentally important to health, and just as important as eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. Here at HFR, we believe good body language such as posture can improve physical and mental performance. Good posture can make you feel more discipline and in control of your own lifestyle by making healthy and fit choices. Here are the Top 10 tips to improve posture:

  • Do Yoga and Pilates – Poor posture can lead to spinal complications such as a permanent hunchback or loss of bone strength.  Yoga and Pilates can improve your posture with positions like the tree pose , downward facing dog, even a simple plank pose can do wonders.’
  • Shoulder and chest exercises – One tip to improve your posture is to practice round shoulder and chest exercises. Sitting too long in one position can cause tightness in the chest region which can lead to poor posture.  By practicing shoulder and chest exercises, it can loosen stiff muscles. A great and simple shoulder and chest exercise is to hold both arms out horizontally and swing them in a circular motion ten times for two rounds.
  • Uncross your legs – Crossing your legs can lead to spider veins.  A correlations has also been shown between back and neck pain and crossing one’s legs. As most people know when your neck or back hurts the natural reaction is to slouch away the pain and put one in bad posture habits.
  • Pull back your shoulder blades – Your shoulders are the building blocks of your posture. By pulling them back, it allows free movement for shoulders to aid in straightening your posture.
  • Get up and move every so often – One way to improve your posture is to be active, it’s also a good idea to avoid bending forward too much or lifting heavy objects. This kind of stress on the back can stunt one’s posture. Great posture helps you prevent fatigue, as well as future back pain.
  • Be aware of your posture – Notice whenever you are slouching or sitting for a long period of time, it’s easy to forget to sit up. One must be aware of how they are sitting or standing. Take action and straighten your posture right away.
  • Do not slump when sitting or standing  – Try not to slump over when having a conversation with someone, we tend to lean over when we are talking. This aligns the body poorly can lead to headaches, as well as shoulder, jaw and back pain, along with gastrointestinal and heart issues. This not only bad for one’s back but it also makes you look less professional.
  • Keep your phone in your hand when calling someone – When you talk on phone, do not tilt your head or use your shoulder to elevate the device. This can mess up your shoulder blade and posture.
  • Try not be over stressed – Stress can contribute to poor posture.  Stress sends a negative receptor to the body, Cortisol actually weakens bones and over works muscle tissue which can make keeping good posture even more difficult. Try to minimize the amount of stress in your  daily life and your posture will thank you.
  • Swim – Swimming is an all around great way to help you strengthen your muscles because it’s such an intense activity. Swimming works all the glutes including the back region/core. By swimming, you are creating/stretching the core which is a great way to either correct your posture or keep your good posture

Top 10 Ways To Boost Your Immune System

A strong immune system makes a strong person. Then you won’t ever have to worry about catching the common cold because your body fights off germs and diseases like mortal combat. Being sick leaves you feeling drained and tired but there are steps you can take to prevent illness. There are many tips and tricks to strengthen your immune system, your diet, daily activity, and sleep pattern all affect your immune system. We previously wrote about the things that are lowering our immune systems, here are the top 10 to boost your immune system:

  • Exercise regularly – Daily exercise does the body plenty of good. Exercise doesn’t have to be extremely strenuous – or even strenuous at all to qualify as exercise and allow your body to reap its benefits. Even walking for thirty minutes a day will make a difference in your immune system. Someone who doesn’t workout is more susceptible to getting sick rather than someone who does.
  • Get enough sleep – Every night you should get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Not sleeping enough can throw your body off and lead to increased inflammation and the spread of germs. When looking to fight off illness sleep will be your best friend. Read our list of best foods to eat to promote sleep.
  • Drink less alcohol and avoid tobacco smoke – Excessive consumption of alcohol weakens the immune system and increases risk of lung infection. Smoking also increases your vulnerability to lung infection, as well as the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia for yourself and those affected by second-hand smoking.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables – When eating fruits and vegetables, always look for variety; you want to have brightly colored food. Citrus fruits are a number one when it comes to strengthening your immune system as they pack a ton of vitamin C in them. Some leafy green vegetables contain a strong amount of vitamin C, such as kale and spinach.
  • Get fresh air and sunlight – Sunlight triggers the skin’s production of vitamin D. Low levels of vitamin D correlate with an increased risk of respiratory problems, so it’s extremely important to get your daily dose of sunlight. Make sure to put on some sunscreen!
  • Manage stress – Stress drains the mind and body and can change your mood. Opening yourself to stress also opens your body up to getting sick. Once sick then you’ll be even more tired and stressed so it’s important to take steps to prevent yourself from getting sick. You can manage your stress by simply slowing down. If you have a high-demand, high-paced lifestyle, carve out some time to relax, even if that means substituting your workout for yoga, blaring music to the inconvenience of your neighbors, or going for a mindless drive around town.
  • Keep surfaces clean – Touching contaminated objects is one of the leading causes in contracting an illness. Throughout the day you touch so many things other people may have touched – doorknobs, stair railings, appliances, your phone – and then you do the unthinkable without even realizing it: touch your face (or even worse, your mouth!). This kind of contact makes your body vulnerable to potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. In your home make sure to keep surfaces clean with cleaner, particularly one containing tea tree oil because it is a natural antiseptic.
  • Use garlic – Adding garlic in its raw form is known to boost your immune system. You want to keep it raw to receive as many health benefits as you can because heat can cook off some of the vitamins you’re wanting to get. Its cloves were shown in a study to help fight off the common cold.
  • Drink green tea – Green tea does a lot for the mind and body. The antioxidants in green tea are beneficial in generally strengthening the immune system. It protects against damage from free radicals and keeps the immune system running normally. For more on the restorative effects of green tea, check out our top 10 health benefits of drinking green tea.
  • Avoid processed foods – You should avoid added sugar, gluten and processed foods because all of these will greatly decrease your immune functions. Many processed food can provide energy and nutrients, but ultimately lead to negative implications overall.

Top 10 Ways To Prevent Sunburn

Sunburns are coming. They happen to the best of us. The sun shines and the pool beckons and we are filled with the burning desire to get some color. But after a long winter, it is easy for that burning desire to turn in to another kind of burn, the painful red kind that turns your skin flaky after a few days. Sunburn will keep you away from the pool for a few weeks, but it also leaves a more permanent mark.

The sun’s UV light damages fibers in skin called elastin, causing your skin to break down and sag. So trying to look better with some color in the short term can sabotage your future looks. It also has more nefarious damage, such as causing pre-cancerous skin lesions, tumors, and melanoma.

But your body also craves the sun and the mood-balancing properties of Vitamin D, and life is too short to hide from the light forever. Luckily you can take these steps to prevent sunburns:

Help written with sun cream on a woman's shoulder, horizontalApply SPF 15-50 Sunscreen Every 2 Hours

The sun can be a blessing and a curse. When trying to get your tan on, sometimes things don’t go as planned and you end up with a 2nd degree burn (thanks, sun!) Sunscreen that contains SPF 15, 30, or 50 is going to protect your skin best if you’re spending time outdoors, but the higher the SPF the better. For optimal protection, apply sunscreen about 30 minutes before going outside to let it set. Reapplying every two hours is the average recommendation, but it should be done more frequently after sweating or swimming. When reapplying, don’t forget about the lips and ears, two locations where skin cancer can also form.

Wear The Correct Type Of Loose Clothing

Obviously, if you’re at the beach sportin’ a swimsuit, clothing isn’t in the picture. But for everyday activities like going to work, traveling, or during any other form of outdoor bustle, you’re going to want to wear the right attire. If you’re one to burn easily, plan on wearing tightly woven/loose fitting clothing. This tactic really helps as a protective barrier against the sun’s rays. Specifically, try to dress in dark colored clothing because they absorb the most UV rays. Wanna wear something fun for summer? Bright colors like red have been shown to help as well!

Limit Exposure Between The Hours Of 12pm-4pm

The sun’s UVB rays are the main reason for sun burning and causing serious consequences like cancer and premature aging. Between the hours of 12pm and 4pm, the sun’s rays are especially dangerous as your skin is most vulnerable to sunburn. If you can help it, it’s best to not be out for an extended period during this time. But if you have no choice, remember to load up on sunscreen and take cover in the shade! It’s essential to nourish your skin, so every time you plan on going outside remember to be smart and prepared!

Protect Your Eyes And Head

Don’t be fooled, hair will protect your head only so much. If you have a kid, it’s especially important for them to stay covered too. The scalp can get burnt pretty fast without us realizing it. Defend your head with a protective hat that covers the shoulders from sun exposure (one that won’t fly off in the wind). The sun can negatively impact the eyes because of how thin and fragile our eyelid skin is. Investing in a good pair of sunglasses that block those harmful UV rays is always a good idea.

Avoid Sun Tanning Oil

      • Sorry tanning lovers, but tanning oil does more harm than good. If you’re looking for that “healthy” glow, tanning oil can be risky. The levels of sunscreen in tanning oil are pretty low, so sunburns are best avoided with sunscreen. But don’t worry, you can still get tan! The more you’re looking to get dark, then the more you’re probably loading up on the oil. So applying oil throughout your tanning session instead of sunscreen can promote lots of health problems, like skin cancer. But if you can’t go without it, look for tanning oil that contains a good amount of SPF.

prevent sunburn

Consume Omega-3

          • The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that taking omega-3 fish oils can help protect against sun damage and bolster immunity against the sun. In their study, a 4g dose of omega-3 daily has been shown to reduce sunlight-induced suppression of the immune system. There are plenty of ways to make sure you are getting enough in your diet. In addition to supplements like fish oils, it is found naturally in olive oil and salmon. The health benefits of Omega-3 are more than just skin deep: they also protect the brain.

Decrease Consumption of Processed Foods

Processed foods are bad for you on so many levels, but they also compromise skin quality. Just as you should be loading up on omega-3 fats, you need to avoid diets full of processed foods including vegetable, soy oil, corn oil, and sugars. Avoiding those fatty and fried foods can protect your skin from sun burns, and will make you look even better while you are out at the beach. So the next time you are tempted by a processed food, ask yourself whether you want to be chubby and burned or have a healthy weight and skin. Plus, many processed foods can increase the risk of getting other cancers as well.

Add Antioxidant-Rich Foods To Your Diet

          • Antioxidant-rich foods are also a surefire way to increase immunity against harmful sun rays. Cherries, blackberries, kale, and spinach are all foods that are rich in the cancer-fighting antioxidants that protect the cells against the sun. Many of the fruits are also rich in vitamins C and E that will reverse the aging effects of sun damage. So eating healthy will not only lengthen your lifespan, but can supplement your skin care routine.

Invest In A Smart Bracelet

If you wanna go all out to protect that beautiful skin of yours, you might want to get a smart bracelet. The device JUNE by Netatmo syncs right to your iPhone and will notify you about the sun’s UV index (You go, technology!) You’ll even be alerted about when to reapply sunscreen and ways prevent sunburn. So if you want to be health conscious in your everyday life, this might just be a great way to remind you about protecting yourself.

Top 10 Unhealthy Fashion Trends

There are many trends in fashion that may leave you much worse off than if you didn’t include them in your life at all. Is your lipstick trying to take your life? Here are the top ten outrageous rages that are terrible for your health:

  • High Heels The higher the heel; the more of your weight is placed on the balls of your feet. This can lead to pain, ankle injuries, and spinal issues. There is also research that verifies that stilettos alter the structure of muscles and tendons. Try opting for shorter pumps or elegant flats! 
  • Waist Training Along with pain, there is a decrease in lung capacity, restriction of movement, and according to some medical doctors, prolonged wearing of a waist trainer could also decrease your core strength. If you want to shed some extra weight from your midsection, ditch the corset and stick to eating nutritious foods and staying active. It may not be as trendy, but it’s healthier and effective!
  • Cosmetic Surgery Going under the knife for the sake of beauty already seems extreme, however the attraction perseveres. There can be some extremely dangerous procedures that make this one of the unhealthiest trends in fashion. There have been cases where implants placed in the breasts or buttocks have burst open, and Botox injections can cause the muscles in the face to become permanently paralyzed.
  • Color Contact Lenses If you can purchase these lenses without a prescription from a doctor, they may not be safe to put in your eyes at all. These contact lenses can cause blindness, decreased vision, scratches on the cornea, and pink eye. Always seek the advice and counsel of proper sanitation and care from a specialist.
  • Indoor Tanning Salons The Center for Disease Control states that this detrimental fad can cause skin cancers such as: melanoma, basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas. The exposure to UV radiations can also cause cataracts and eye cancers like ocular melanoma. Your skin can age prematurely, wrinkle, and acquire age spots from this as well. It also changes the texture of your skin and could blind you if you do not properly protect your eyes. So skip the salon, lather on some SPF 30 sunscreen, and hit the beach for a natural sun kissed tan!
  • Toxic Makeup It’s surprising how many cosmetics contain poisonous substances such as lead, cadmium, aluminum, and chromium. Researchers at University of California – Berkeley have found large amounts of these toxins in 75% of lipstick samples tested! Every time you apply them and lick your lips, you are ingesting toxins and they’re seeping into your pores. It is known that cadmium causes cancer, and has been found in many breast cancer biopsies. Chromium, another deadly compound found in the study, has been associated with stomach cancer diagnoses as well. Exposure to lead can cause personality changes, a decrease in IQ and irreversible damage to your brain cells. Aluminum has also been proven to cause osteoporosis, anemia, and even Alzheimer’s, among other diseases. Check out the FDA’s list of the worst culprits here.
  • Skinny Jeans Wearing restrictive clothing has been proven harmful since it restricts essential blood flow. In men, skinny jeans can lead to testicular torsion, a painful condition in which the pressure cuts off circulation and can cause loss of the testicle. Your skinnies could be constricting the sensory nerve in your pelvis too. If you have persistent thigh numbness that travels down your leg, or meralgia parasthetica, it could cause permanent damage, explains Dr. Nicholas Morrissey. Many people are suffering “tight pants syndrome”, characterized by abdominal discomfort, belching, heartburn, and other digestive problems.
  • Heavy Purses Hoarding around a heavy bag can lead to head, neck, shoulder pain that could land you in the chiropractic office. You’re better off choosing a cute clutch or wallet and keeping unnecessary belongings at home. Do you really need to carry 3 different tubes of lotion?
  • Flip-Flops Some shoe wear such as flip-flops and flats may not be providing an adequate amount support for the soles of your feet. You may need to purchase arch-supporting insoles to insert into flats, sandals, or tennis shoes that are lacking, or toss them all together!
  • Piercings Studies show that 20% of body piercings have resulted in bacterial infections. Ensuring that a professional performs a body piercing and proper aftercare is so crucial. Infections can spread to the blood and to the entire body and become fatal if untreated, and if piercings do not heal properly, scar tissue can form and skin may never return to its original state. Scar tissue that develops from nipple piercings can also limit the ability to breast feed later on.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Cupping

Cupping is one of those techniques you don’t hear about every day. It’s an ancient form of alternative medicine, using cups as suction on select parts of your body to reduce pain, inflammation in muscles, and to relax. The thought of cups attached to your body can sound scary, but don’t worry, because it’s only for a few minutes with minimal pain! Here are the top 10 reasons why you need cupping therapy in your life.

 

  • It’s a trusted form of therapy: Ancient Egyptians would use it as therapy dating clear back to 1,550 B.C., as well as Chinese and Middle Eastern cultures. There’s endless research on the practice, so being able to trust it is a big plus!
  • There are different methods: There are different ways to do cupping, called either wet or dry (like that cappuccino from Starbucks). If you decide to do wet cupping, it will be more of a mild suction on your body. Dry will consist of using heat to warm the cups to tug the skin upwards.
  • Helps reduce pain: If you’re looking for a natural way to reduce joint and muscle pain, cupping is your answer. Cupping has been proven to significantly reduce pain in lower back issues, comparing it to typical treatments like painkiller medication.
  • Relax: Instead of getting a massage to relax with minimal benefits, give cupping a try! Cupping can help alleviate physical complaints and sedates the central nervous system, putting you in a mode of utter relaxation. Not only can it relax you, but it can help protect you against anxiety and depression.
  • Improves Digestion: If you suffer from irregularity or irritable bowel syndrome, this method may be worth looking into. Since cupping is a stress reliever, this can also lead to a healthy digestive system, since most digestive issues are caused by high amounts of stress.
  • Kick that cold in the butt: There’s nothing worse than having a cold and taking endless over the counter medicine that doesn’t work. Before you reach for that NyQuil, try cupping instead. Cupping helps improve immune function by moving blood and lymphatic fluid throughout the body, which will help you get over those allergies or an annoying cough.
  • Have a healthier complexion: Cupping can help eliminate skin inflammation, causing breakouts from acne or eczema to ease up. To help treat your problem, suction is applied to the affected area, and “nicking” the skin in the process to remove the breakout.
  • Anti-aging: Not only does cupping help you feel better, it helps fight off wrinkles and mature skin. Make sure to use products after your treatment, like lotions and essential oils to absorb into your skin and feed it all the nutrients it needs. Even if you’re not worried about aging skin now, your future self will thank you for it!
  • Treat your overworked hands: Carpal tunnel syndrome is a painful condition you acquire when you put too much pressure on them. If you feel numbness or pain in your hands, the suction of the cups could help relieve the discomfort. After the treatment, your hands should feel relieved of pain and weakness.
  • Get energized: Forget that cup of coffee in the morning, try cupping! It can be used to improve your energy flow because the bruises caused by the procedure are thought to be the negative energy elements coming to the surface and exiting the body. A detox doesn’t sound like a bad idea to us!

 

 

Does Your Weekly Laundry Include Your Bed Sheets?

After a long and tiresome day, you know that special something is waiting for you at home. Yes, that’s right, that special something has been calling for you since you left early that morning. It’s ready to snuggle with you and make all your problems go away. That special something is your comfortable bed.

As wonderful and exciting as it may be to get back into bed after a long day, you need to be sure it’s safe to do so. Did you know our bed sheets collect our dirt, sweat, dead skin cells, food crumbs, makeup, bodily fluids, bacteria, and bugs? When you take a shower and jump back in bed, it is almost as if the shower was unnecessary.

Now, we are not saying you have to wash your covers, sheets, or pillowcases every day. However, washing them weekly can make a difference in your health. Those differences can include improvement of sleep, limited bacteria build up, improved personal hygiene, and bedbug prevention.

The following information will give more insight on how this simple change can make a big difference:

  • Improve Sleep

According to the Healthy People 2020 article, Sleep Health, “25% of adults in the U.S. report insufficient sleep at least 15 out every 30 days.” However, the “National Sleep Foundation showed that 73% of people sleep better on fresh sheets.” Therefore, if you do not want to be one of the 25% adults who lose sleep, then you better get some clean sheets.

  • Limit Bacteria Build Up

Did you know 5 million different types of bacteria can grow on your week-old bed sheets, which is about 24,631 times more germs compared to a bathroom doorknob? Some of the common bacteria in our sheets include gram-negative rods, gram-positive rods, and bacilli.

  • The gram-negative rods can cause pneumonia, bloodstream infections, and meningitis.
  • The gram-positive rods can lead to antibiotic resistance;
  • The bacilli can cause food poisoning and other infections.

The best way to treat your sheets is if you make sure you limit the bacteria build up by washing weekly and showering before laying in your bed.

  • Impact on Personal Hygiene

Personal hygiene includes, but is not limited to, grooming, brushing teeth, washing hands after using the restroom or before and after meals, bathing daily, washing off makeup, shaving, changing into clean clothes, and smelling fresh.

It does not matter how well groomed or clean you are as an individual because we are surrounded by bacteria. However, clean bed sheets can limit bacteria build up on our skin.

  • Prevent Bedbugs

Bedbugs are small parasites that feed on the blood of people. They cause itchiness and lack of sleep. Their bite marks can take up to 14 days to develop. However, even if they do not bite you they can live for several months in your bed sheets, clothes, and travel bags. When you sleep in sheets infested with bedbugs, you put others at risk of getting bedbugs. So please, sleep tight but don’t let the bedbugs bite!

In case you do have bed bugs, the good news is they do not usually pose a medical threat according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid scratching the bitten area
  • To treat bites apply antiseptic cream and lotions
  • Spray your bed and sheets with insecticides spray
  • Call a professional pest control company

So what to take away from this, you ask? Simple, wash your sheets weekly. There are many benefits to clean sheets, but I hope the ones provided in this article influence a change in your laundry days.

When prepping to wash your sheets make sure you grab your favorite detergent and keep the water temperature very hot, at least 131 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Top 10 American Cities with Drug Problems

Drug abuse is undoubtedly a major public health issue in modern America, with roots too complex to try and pinpoint a single cause or issue. Looking at the tapestry of American cities that have the most prevalent drug issues tells a complex story that gives us an idea of the many variables and voids that people use drugs to fill. To even attempt to solve the problem of addiction means to take a closer look at the locations and communities where substance abuse reigns supreme, whether due to abject poverty or a thriving prescription painkiller black market.

Addiction does not discriminate amongst racial, sexual or financial criteria, and as the cities below show, it is a rampant problem among all ethnicities and regions. Addiction is a complex condition, a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences. People with addiction (severe substance use disorder) have an intense focus on using a certain substance(s), such as alcohol or drugs, to the point that it takes over their life. They keep using alcohol or a drug even when they know it will cause problems. Luckily, there are a number of effective treatments available that can help people recover from addiction and lead normal, productive and happy lives.

Here, in no particular order, are the Top 10 Cities in America with Drug Issues:

  • Espanola, New Mexico: This small town of just over 10,000 people consistently makes federal statistics lists in terms of overdose deaths. While the national average of drug-related deaths per 100,000 people is 7.3, the figure shoots up to 42.5 in this small town with an 85% Hispanic population.

  • Baltimore, Maryland: According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Baltimore is home to the highest number of heroin addicts and heroin-related incidents of crime in the country. With 300 deaths related to heroin in 2013, it’s no wonder both The Fix and ABC News call the city “the heroin capital” of the United States. It is so prevalent, in fact, that 1 in 10 of the city’s residents (60,000 people out of a population of 645,000) is addicted to heroin. Due to its location on the middle of the East coast, drug smugglers often start in Baltimore and ship heroin up and down the coast. This means that Baltimore dealers and users get a purer (and also deadlier) form of the drug compared to the finished product that is eventually distributed throughout the rest of the United States.
  • Dayton, Ohio: According to a CDC Analysis, this city saw a 21.5% increase in opioid overdose fatalities, making this city No. 1 in the nation in overdose deaths per capita.

  • Chicago, Illinois: The third largest city in America has a drug problem drawn across racial lines. The Drug Enforcement Administration estimates that the drug cartel has more than 100,000 agents operating in the city and is responsible for 70% of the illegal drugs being traded on the streets of Chicago. The drug cartels use the vibrant Hispanic neighborhoods as their bases to market heroin and methamphetamines to mostly black areas, according to the Washington Post.
  • Cincinnati, Ohio: A couple of years ago, Cincinnati saw a huge growth in the sale of carfentanil, a synthetic opioid meant for animals that’s even stronger than fentanyl. In 2016, the city that had already been struggling with an opioid crisis saw 174 overdoses in just six days.
  • Missoula, Montana: A 2009 survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Survey in this mostly Caucasian city of 66,788 people found that the city had the highest rate of illegal drug use in the country. SAMHSA reported that 13.8% of responding households reported using chemical contraband in the month preceding the survey. Forbes reported that the state of Montana is in the throes of a methamphetamine epidemic that resulted in 50% of the state’s adult incarcerations.
  • Birmingham, Alabama: This southern state is attempting to deal with its widespread opioid addiction. When responding to calls, law enforcement officials in this city frequently carry Narcan, a drug that helps stop overdoses. It’s also been made accessible at pharmacies. “Anyone can go into a pharmacy at this point because there’s a standing prescription for anyone in Alabama who walks in and says they may need that for a loved one, a friend, or even for themselves,” Dr. Stefan Kertesz, with UAB Medical School, told WVTM 13 News.
  • Kermit, West Virginia: With a population of only 406, this small town has been dubbed the “ground zero” of the prescription drug epidemic. It is a poor, remote area where a small Sav-Rite pharmacy and another about 10 miles away moved almost 3.2 million units of hydrocodone in 2006. The national average at the time was 97,000. West Virginia, though the ninth smallest state in the country, has the nation’s highest drug overdose mortality rate: 28.9 per every 100,000 people. That’s a 605% increase from 1999, when the mortality rate was just 4.1 per every 100,000 people.

  • Wilmington, North Carolina: According to a study published by Castlight Health titled “The Opioid Crisis in America’s Workforce,” it is estimated that more than 11.6% of the Port City’s population that receives prescription painkillers abuse the drugs. The study also found that more than half – 53.8% – of all opioid prescriptions in the city are abused.
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Philadelphia had the second-highest rate of drug overdose deaths in 2016 among the nation’s 44 counties with over 1 million residents: 46 per 100,000 residents, with most attributed to the misuse of opioids. Only Allegheny County, which includes the city of Pittsburgh, had a higher rate.

As you can see, drug addiction and abuse is a problem that affects millions of Americans and their loved ones throughout the entire span of the country. The good news is that help is available to those seeking recovery.

If you or someone you know is suffering from drug addiction call (877)379-6908

Do you need help with a drug addiction? Click to call

Top 10 Ways to Keep your Lungs Healthy

Over 3 million people worldwide die each year from lung related issues like COPD and cancer, and 235 million people suffer from asthma, a disease that blocks the airways and makes it difficult to breathe. With such a large number of the population suffering to breathe, it’s time to invest in your lungs and keeping the airways clear and open. Here are our top 10 ways to keep your lungs healthy, and keep your breathing a top priority.

  • Take a deep breath: Deep breathing is something you should be doing all day every day, but something we forget to do during the day. Deep breathing will open up your lungs to their full capacity, making it easier to breathe. While inhaling, allow your chest to lift up while lowing your diaphragm, filling up with air. When you exhale, make sure you are relaxing your stomach muscles and lifting the diaphragm to let out every bit of air.
  • Drink water: Staying hydrated is crucial to lung health, especially if you suffer from COPD or asthma. In fact, you may want to check out detox water, a water that is infused with different variations of fruits and veggies that work in multiple ways besides fueling your lungs, like help with digestion or promote weight loss (things that can help your lung health significantly).
  • Incorporate lots of vitamins in your diet: Eating healthy is going to improve functionality in all of your organs, including your lungs. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, eating foods with lots of vitamins A and C will keep your respiratory health at it’s best. Also make sure to include the minerals zinc, potassium, and magnesium into your diet for ultimate lung health.
  • Stay away from tobacco: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that cigarettes, or any type of tobacco product, isn’t the best for your lung health. If you have consumed tobacco products in the past, hope is not lost. Fruits like oranges and kiwis have been proven to prevent lung cancer, and are rich in vitamins that will restore healthy blood levels.
  • Keep germs away: Not trying to sound like your mom, but wash your hands every time you use the restroom, touch anything in public; basically whenever you can. Germs, viruses, and bacteria cause epidemics like the flu and pneumonia to get into your lungs and not only cause breathing difficulties, but more severe issues that will lead to hospital stays and damage your respiratory system.
  • Decorate your home with greenery: Not only will your house look prettier, your lungs will also benefit! Green plants like a peace lily or Chinese evergreens will increase the air quality in your home because plants have a natural ability to get rid of toxins from the air.
  • Keep up on your cardio: Telling someone to go on a run that has breathing difficulties may sound like a crazy idea, but it’s not as wild as you may think. Engaging in cardio like a light run on the treadmill will increase your heart rate, which will give more power to your lungs and make them even stronger.
  • Invest in an air purifier: Set an air purifier in your room and turn it on while you sleep to help remove odors and particles from the air, which can trigger your asthma symptoms. Air purifiers with True HEPA filtration are proven to remove 99.9% of particles down to just 0.3 microns. You can also purchase HEPA-type filters that give comparable results for a lower cost.
  • Sit up straight: Your lungs will only expand to as much room as you give them. If you’re constantly sitting down with a hunched back, you’re not giving them much space to inhale and exhale. Make sure you’re always sitting up and standing up straight, and practice leaning back and pushing out your chest a couple times a day to give extra room for your lungs.
  • Laugh: Watching your favorite sitcom can actually benefit your lungs, believe it or not! Laughing gets your abdomen and diaphragm running while laughing from the depths of your belly help push out stale air from your lungs.