In Health News 2017-06-21T11:39:56+00:00

Laughter is the Best!

June 12, 2017

Health experts have found that both positive and negative emotions have an influence on our health … and that laughter really is the best medicine.

When we’re feeling angry or threatened, our adrenal glands respond by producing adrenaline and cortisol, chemicals that are usually beneficial as they provide a boost of energy and alertness so we can confront danger or get safely away. Unhealthy levels of these stress hormones could have a harmful effect, elevating heart rate, suppressing the immune system, and making it difficult to rest and get enough sleep.

In contrast, positive thoughts, and a healthy focus on diet and exercise, stimulates the production of endorphins, a neurotransmitter that counteracts the effect of stress by lowering blood pressure, easing pain, and causing our brain to register feelings of happiness and well-being.

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Stress Less

June 9, 2017

Though the cardiovascular system never stops working, getting the recommended 5-7 hours of sleep each night lowers blood pressure, slows respiration, and gives our bodies a chance to rest.

This infographic from demonstrates that stress is a healthy adaptive response but harmful if it isn’t managed effectively

Stress: How it Affects the Body

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Finding the Time

June 2, 2017

We know that exercise is good for our health, but how much of a metabolic boost is needed to reap some of the benefits?

Researchers have found that just 20 minutes of physical activity a day kick starts the immune system, preventing it from over-producing certain types of leukocytes that target healthy cells in the body and cause inflammation.

Read Instride: Cardio



May 13, 2017

Our immune system protects us from disease-causing pathogens in the environment. White blood cells produced in the marrow of our bones make antibodies to kill an invading virus or bacteria.

In recent years, scientists have been developing cancer treatments that use a patient’s own immune system to detect and destroy cancer cells:

  • Antibodies can be created in a lab and used to target certain types of cancer 
  • Cancer cells are sometimes not recognized by the body as dangerous. Scientists can modify a person’s immune system to fight cancer cells that previously were able to avoid detection
  • A vaccine can be created to prevent cancer from invading other parts of the body 

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Building Up Immunity

April 10, 2017

With the use of vaccines we can place our immune system on guard against diseases such as the measles, chicken pox, and even the flu.

Being injected with a disease-causing virus might sound dangerous, but vaccines contain a dead or weakened strain that allows our white blood cells to develop the antibodies that remain in our bloodstream for years.

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Strong Bones

March 5, 2017

Though our bones naturally start to weaken as we age, we can guard against the loss of bone density by continuing to exercise moderately and getting a proper balance of nutrients in our diet.

The International Osteoporosis Foundation estimates that approximately 9 million bone breaks each year can be attributed to age-related changes in bone density.

Warning: Graphic!

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Spark of Life

February 3, 2017

Within the right atrium of the heart is the sinoatrial node, a small cluster of pacemaker cells that generate a spark of electricity about 80-100 times each minute.

Electricity is simply the movement of electrons. When these tiny, subatomic particles travel from a negatively charged atom to a positively charged atom, practically at the speed of light, an electric current is generated.

In the human heart, charged particles of calcium, sodium, and potassium flow through ion channels in specialized cells of the SA node to “polarize” the cells, creating an electric spark that travels through the heart and causes a precisely timed heartbeat.

An electrocardiogram, or ECG, displays the electrical activity of the heart in wave form.

Read Instride: Heart Health