Longevity: moving our body to live longer

Why physical activity has such an impact on our health? What happens to our health when we do not add workout into daily routines? What does longevity mean and how is it linked with exercise?

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The concept of Longevity

Living longer and better is an aspiration pursued by most people. Longevity corresponds exactly to that ability to add more years into our lives, as well as more health into those extra years.

In 2015, the World Health Organization introduced the concept of Healthy Ageing, the process of developing and maintaining a functional ability that promotes wellbeing in older age.

Among many of our daily habits, physical activity is one of the most important determinants of longevity due to its role in the prevention of chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia and premature death. Exercise improves our overall health, mood, and quality of life. It can also sharpen mental function, boost concentration, and help us to sleep.

Inactivity: putting our lives at risk

Nowadays, unconsciously, many of us spend most of the time seated while watching TV, checking our mobile phones and tablets, working on computers or reading. As opposed to a decades ago, people currently spend much more time inactive and motionless, especially due to the use of technology: washing machines allow us to relax and rest; cars are more affordable which means we walk less. All in all, contemporary life is much easier than in the past.

Despite such a very pleasant and comfortable scenario, the lack of exercise contributes to the emergence of many chronic conditions and increases the risk of premature death. In most developed countries, economic activity revolves around the services sector. Workplaces are mainly at offices, where we stay seated and seldom move away from the desk. Unfortunately, children are already experiencing the impact of inactivity as there are much more pretexts to play inside than outside.

Move your body: it’s never too late to start

The good news is that the benefits of physical activity accumulate across life, so we are never too old to start worrying about exercising. Harvard Health Publishing advises us to work toward reducing the amount of time we spend sitting every day. For instance, those with desk jobs are recommended to get up to walk around regularly, try chair yoga or a go for a few desk exercises. If we have been inactive for quite a while, we should walk 2 minutes every 10 to 15 minutes (during commercial breaks when watching TV or reading). And if we jog, we could add an extra level of effort to it by starting at our regular pace and then gradually increasing it.

Small adjustments in our daily routine can add up to big changes in our life. Adding physical activity into our everyday habits will allow us to increase longevity, living longer and better.

 

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Parkinson’s Disease: How exercise can help

Exercise has multiple benefits for everybody. But for people suffering from Parkinson’s, a movement disorder, it can have even greater importance. A recent article by the New York Times emphasizes the power of exercise for Parkinsons Disease patients.

Portrait of sporty female supporting her friend while doing physical exercise in sport gym
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Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease (PD), but there are ways to mitigate the suffering, promote a higher quality of life and autonomy. Exercise is one way of doing it. The New York Times quotes Marilyn Moffat, physical therapist at New York University: “The earlier people begin exercising after a Parkinson’s diagnosis, and the higher the intensity of exercise they achieve, the better they are”. She adds that activities such as cycling, boxing and dancing have proved to have benefits on Parkinson’s patients’ lives. The results are stronger muscles and overall physical health, improved breathing, diggestion and blood circulation and enhanced mental and cognitive health.

However, according to a study on Parkinson’s Rehabilitation, “only 63% of the PD patients were referred to physical therapy for problems with gait, posture, transfers and balance.” For problems related to arms and hand activities, only 9% were referred to therapy.”

Portugal hosts an innovative and multi-strategy rehabilitation program for PD, developed by the renowned Professor Joaquim Ferreira, chair of the European Section of the Movement Disorder Society. At Campus Neurológico Sénior, Parkinson’s patients and caregivers can learn to cope with the disease, through a program that includes two main components: exercising and education.

It combines multiple training programs such as LSTV BIG, LSTV LOUD, Hydrotherapy Bad Ragaz & Halliwick, Adapted Parkinson Boxing Aerobics and Dance Therapy for PD, which are adapted to the patients’ needs. If you wish to learn more about this program, contact us or visit our dedicated webpage: www.medicalport.org/parkinsons.

 

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4 tips to lose weight effectively and for the long term

When summer approaches, millions of people start looking for diets and for ways to lose those extra pounds gained during winter.

Most people want to lose weight fast and are willing to try several weight loss methods, only to find out that those methods don’t work for the long term. Those who lose weight fast also can regain it fast. So what are the best ways to lose weight and maintain it? There isn’t a unique answer for this question. Losing weight results from a combination of healthy eating, exercising and changing lifestyles. Commit to have a healthy weight should be a long-term commitment, not just for the summer months.

Remember these 4 tips the next time you think about losing weight:

  1. Drink water – Every adult should drink at least eight cups of water a day to keep hydrated, and maintain kidneys and intestines working which will lead to a better digestion and consequently lose weight.
  2. Do more than 3 meals a day – Don’t limit yourself to the main meals of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eating light snacks (like fresh fruits or dried nuts) every 2 to 3 hours will keep the body function and prevent hunger.
  3. Practice exercise – Physical exercise is of great importance for the body. Not only to lose weight but to maintain a health body and mind. A great way to start exercising is to take a walk t least for 30 minutes every day.
  4. Sleep well – Resting is very important for the body. Those who want to lose excess weight should take into account that the body needs to rest every night for at least 7 hours. A diet can deliver poor results if the body isn’t restoring properly every night and a tired body will ask for more food than a rested one.

Being healthy entails to eat, drink, exercise and sleep well. When the body and the mind are aligned to produce the desired results, they will appear and continue for the long term.

Do not forget to do a health check-up before starting your weight loss program and to monitor Key variables each 6 months to be sure you are keeping your health along the program. Contact us – we can help you to start.

 

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10 facts about diabetes

April 7 is the World Health Day. Every year the World Health Organization chooses a health problem that concerns millions and millions of people around the world and raises awareness to that problem.

This year, the World Health Day is dedicated to Diabetes, a disease that affects 422 million people, according to the World Health Organization. In order to join the conversation about diabetes we will highlight 10 facts about the disease:

  1. 422 million is the estimated number of people worldwide who suffer from the disease
  2. It is one of the leading causes of death
  3. There are two major types of diabetes: type 1 (caused by lack of insulin production) and type 2 (caused by the ineffective use of insulin)
  4. The third type of diabetes is related to pregnancy, the gestational diabetes
  5. The incidence of type 2 diabetes is much greater than the others
  6. When diabetes is detected and well-managed, people can live a long and healthy life with the disease
  7. Early detection and diagnosis is crucial for patients to live a long life
  8. The majority of deaths related to diabetes occur in low and middle-income countries
  9. Diabetes can cause blindness, amputation and kidney failure
  10. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented with a healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle increases the chances to avoid being affected by diseases such as diabetes type 2 that are caused by sedentary lifestyle and poor nutrition. Eat well and be physically active are two of the most important tips for those who want to live longer.

Read the full article on the World Health Organization’s website, here.

 

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Hypertension increases as a consequence of contemporary lifestyle

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a disease that affects millions all over the world.

According to Medical News Today, the number of people living with hypertension is predicted to be 1.56 billion worldwide by the year 2025.

There are several reasons pointed as the triggers of the high blood pressure increased incidence in Europe and in the United States. The contemporary lifestyle choices related to lack of physical activity, increased salt consumption, alcohol and tobacco consumption are pointed as some reasons. Because this is a silent disease with no visible or painful symptoms, alarming numbers of people suffering from it. In order to first treat high blood pressure, patients are advised to make lifestyle changes such as salt restriction and other diet changes.

Those who suffer from hypertension are those who are more likely to suffer from other complications which can be very serious and sometimes fatal, like heart failure, aneurysm, blood vessel narrowing (for example, leading to kidney failure or heart attack).

It is important to keep track of blood pressure specially when people start aging, as this condition tends to affect more and more people, as they get old.

It is very easy to do it at home or at the pharmacy. Hypertension can be diagnosed after a doctor has measured the patient several times and high values are most of times present. Keeping track of your health condition is important to prevent future diseases, and the best way to do it is to maintain an active lifestyle associated with regular health check-ups. A balanced diet is also very important, and reducing the salt intake is key to lower blood pressure. If you would like to know more about reducing the consumption of salt please read our previous blog post here.

Eat smart to stay healthy

The month of September usually marks the beginning of new decisions and new goals. It is the month that marks the end of summer and the beginning of new cycles such as the new school year.

With new beginnings comes the desire to define new healthy goals and to live a healthier lifestyle. Some foods can help you get slimmer, make you live smarter and even longer. Depending on your goals, there are plenty of seeds that can be very good for your health.

Those who embrace a healthy diet are also more likely to improve their cognitive skills and fight memory loss that comes with aging. When healthy food groups are preferred over saturated fats or high amounts of sugar, the brain responds positively as people age. A study by the American Academy of Neurology in over 40 countries and lasting more than 2 years concluded that higher diet quality was associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline.

Seeds are among some of the healthiest choices one can make. They are usually rich in protein, low in sugar and saturated fat and they will make the perfect add-on to your favorite snack.

  • Sesame – they have a good satiating effect and they act as a shield to the heart. The best way to eat them is in snacks like yogurts, or in soups, juices and salads. Contain proteins, omega 6 and omega 9.
  • Flaxseed – these seeds are known for regulating the intestinal transit and for being a good substitute of the regular wheat flour (which contains gluten) for traditional flour recipes. Contains omega 6 and omega 9.
  • Sunflower – their action against the early aging of cells and tissues is proved and they go well with salads, juices and soups. Contain omega 6, minerals and vitamin E.
  • Chia – a source of energy and resistance these seeds have become very popular in the last few years. They can be used in salads, juices or added to cereal bowls. They contain fiber and calcium.
  • Pumpkin – these seeds have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties. They can be consumed in yogurts and salads.

Adding seeds to the diet is an easy and tasty way to start making healthier choices and to get the best of the food intake. The better the nutrients in our diets, the better our physical and mental health will be.

10 ways to live longer

Health and lifestyle website Medical Daily, shared their 10 tips that can help everyone to live longer.

Although we cannot predict until what age we will live, there are ways to extend our lives by living a healthier life and having a positive attitude.

These are the 10 ways to live longer:

  1. Manage stress
  2. Exercise
  3. Don’t smoke
  4. Don’t do drugs or drink too much alcohol
  5. Think young
  6. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle
  7. Keep a Mediterranean diet
  8. Always learn something new
  9. Keep close friends
  10. Stay positive

The key to live longer lies in the attitude towards life and in keeping the right balance between what is healthy and what is not. If there is something you really like, for example, eating fast food, you should have it once in a while, but not regularly. You should keep a Mediterranean style diet, as it is considered the healthiest diet by the World Health Organization, privileging cereals and vegetables over meat. But, sometimes you crave fast food and that is ok, since you keep it sporadically.

Maintaining a healthy life is also about doing what you like the most and feel happy with your choices.

Control your stress levels is also very important for your overall health because when you feel stressed for long periods of time, your immune systems goes down and you become more vulnerable to diseases.

Practicing exercise and avoid a sedentary lifestyle are crucial for a longer life since they rejuvenate your body and prepare it for the days to come. The more active your life is when you are 30, the better prepared your body will be for when you are 60.

Attitude towards life plays a big part in living longer.

This is what Medical Daily says about the importance of a positive thinking: “Whether you’re in college, working, or retired, making goals for yourself and challenging yourself is going to improve your outlook on life, which will make you happier and keep you healthier. At the end of the day, it’s all about being positive, focusing on the good things, and never giving up.”

World Health Day

April 7 is the day the World Health Organization chose as the World Health Day. Every year WHO celebrates this day with the goal to discuss health issues around the world that affect millions of people.

This year, the theme is Food Safety. With globalization comes the importance to ensure the safety of food supply, since ingredients travel long distances before they reach the consumers plate.

Medical Port wants to celebrate the World Health Day by discussing a topic that is transversal to everyone no matter their age, gender or nationality. The topic is health prevention. Health prevention is about taking care of your health and your family’s health making sure everything is fine by doing a regular health check-up. Every person should do a health check-up once a year. When was the last time you had one? 

These health check-up exams can outwit diseases that aren’t manifested yet. And early detection is the key to a successful treatment. Appropriate preventive care is important in every stage of life, but it becomes especially important after a certain age, usually 40 for both males and females.

Besides a regular health check-up individuals should live a healthy life, by paying special attention to the way they eat, sleep and exercise. Eat well is one of the main drivers of a good health. The Mediterranean diet, based on fresh ingredients, is a great way to start. Reducing the amount of meat and increasing the amount of fish, vegetables, fruits and grains are the grounds of a balanced diet. Sleep well is also important and a better nutrition brings better sleep. It’s not about how many hours people sleep per night but is about feeling rested in the morning. Practicing exercise is a driver of good health and everyone should do it as part of a healthy lifestyle. Even the ones who can’t practice exercise, everyone should at least walk 20 to 30 minutes every day. Physical inactivity is a major health problem worldwide and the benefits of exercising affect several health outcomes.

A healthy lifestyle is like a circle, where eating, sleeping and exercising go together and influence each other. Influencing the overall health condition.

Celebrate World Health Day with Medical Port by doing something for your health today and set goals for a healthy lifestyle. Let us know what was your decision and if there is something we can do to help you.

World health day
World health day

The 3 key factors to an effective weight-loss plan

Weight-loss is always a hot topic, new diets appear every day promising fast results. Because most diet plans overpromise results, the word “diet” often has a bad connotation and seems something very difficult to do.

Many people try several diets only to find out they gain weight shortly after. And then they get upset. Others don’t do diet because don’t know where to start. There are 3 key components of an effective diet: health, nutrition and exercise.

Health

Before starting any diet, everyone should check with their doctor if they are healthy enough to start loosing weight. Starting a diet without a doctor’s advice can lead to poor results and even diseases.

Nutrition

Trendy diets often don’t take into account the different nutrition needs each individual has. No two people are alike, so diets shouldn’t be the same for everyone. A nutritionist evaluates a person eating habits, tastes and weight loss needs to create a tailor-made diet plan, customizable to the various stages of weight-loss.

Exercise

Whoever wants to lose weight exercise is key. Exercise will make the body to burn calories and get rid of excess fat. No one should start exercising without assessing their health conditions first and the proper advice from a doctor.

These 3 components need to work in an integrated and combined way that is different for each of us.

Start your weight-loss journey
Start your weight-loss journey

Medical Port developed a weight-loss program, combining the 3 key aspects, for those who would like to start loosing weight but don’t know where to start. In a 15 day program, individuals assess their initial health condition, get a personalized diet and a personalized exercise plan. The main goal of this program is to provide the necessary tools and guidance for a weight loss start and to maintain the results. The program also entails a 1 year follow up with remote consultations with the nutritionist to assess the progress and give the individual all the confidence he or she needs to keep going.

If you would like to know more about our weight-loss programs, please visit our website here or use the form to contact us.

Portugal is the World’s Best Golf Destination

In the first annual World Golf Awards, Portugal received the awards of World’s Best Destination and Europe’s Best Destination.

These two important distinctions reflect the efforts made to establish Portugal as a leading golf destination.

Portuguese golf resorts offer high quality golf courses and luxury accommodations, providing guests with the best golf experience and competing with the world’s best golf destinations like the United States, Argentina, Australia, South Africa or Malaysia.

The award for “Europe’s best new golf course” was for the North course of the Portuguese resort Quinta do Lago, in Algarve. The mild weather Portugal enjoys all year round is one of the reasons for these awards.

The first edition of the World Golf Awards was held in Conrad Algarve and the second edition is already being put in place.  The World Golf Awards are a part of the World Travel Awards, distinguishing the best in travel since 1993, where Conrad Algarve won the World’s Leading Luxury Resort in 2013 and 2014.

Golf course in Portugal
Golf course in Portugal

Golf lovers may not realize how the game can improve their life and health conditions. And is a natural way of losing weight. Playing an 18-hole game of golf burns at least 900 calories, according to www.getintogolf.com.  A round of golf takes about four hours, which corresponds to walk around five to six miles. The health benefits of playing golf include: muscle toning and strengthening and stress relieving.  Also the vitamin D you get from the exposure to sunlight is essential for a healthy life.