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What are Bunions?

A bunion is known as a hallux valgus among doctors and is a type of deformity in the base joint of a big toe. Not only does it make your feet look uneven, it can also cause pain, swelling, and discomfort especially when you’re wearing the wrong shoes.

Causes of Bunions
Most doctors cannot pinpoint the cause of bunions in most patients with the condition, but they can locate where the deformity is. The big toe is angled towards the next toe, causing a bump to form on the side of the big toe’s base. As a result, the tissues and the skin surrounding the deformed joint, called the metatarsophalangeal joint or MTP, becomes thick. In some cases, a bursa or a sac filled with fluid forms on the joint. The joint deformity is called hallux valgus, causing the bones of the big toe to push the other toes due to its sideways angle. “Hallux” is a Latin word which means big toe, while “valgus” refers to the action of turning away from the body’s midline.

Some doctors point to genes as a determining factor, while others are the result of joint problems like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. The condition can run in families especially if most of the members have feet with low arches, loose joints, have flat feet, or have loose tendons. The structure and shape of the feet, such as the roundness of the metatarsal head,can also increase the risk of getting bunions especially if you’re not wearing the right footwear.

Bunions in most women, however, are the result of repeatedly squeezing their feet into narrow, pointed-toe footwear that sometimes even come with high heels. This habit can put pressure on some parts of the feet especially the joints in the toes, because the body’s weight is pushed forward.

Bunions also tend to develop among people whose occupations require hours of standing and walking.

Treatment of Bunions
The symptoms of bunions include pain, difficulty walking, inflammation of the base of the toe, infection of the toe, widening of the foot, difficulty finding shoes that will fit and feel comfortable, arthritis on the big toe, and deformation of the second toe.

Some people ignore bunions, but it’s important to get it treated because the MTP is supposed to help the feet distribute the weight of the body evenly. Ignoring the pain can lead to other more serious problems in the future, such as hammertoes, corns, foot impairment, ingrown nails, bursitis, and misshapen joints.

The simplest way to get rid of the pain is to wear comfortable shoes that are flexible, wide, and have correct support for the feet. You can also ease the pain with occasional cold compresses or the use of bunion pads and shoe inserts.

The doctor might also recommend that you take over-the-counter painkillers to ease the swelling. For people with other joint conditions or those who suffer from severe pain, prescription-strength drugs are recommended, while some cases require physiotherapy and surgery.

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  • For most people nowadays, dealing with stress is a normal part of modern life. How we deal with it will make a lot of difference in our overall health and there’s no excuse not to, because there are many ways to de-stress after a tiring week. But what happens to those who cannot take the stress and don’t have time to unwind even on weekends?

    Acute and Chronic Stress
    Acute stress is sometimes helpful when you’re in threatening situations, because the sudden elevated bodily response might help people survive. Acute stress is just another name for adrenaline rush and it can temporarily improve the body’s immune system. Prolonged stress, however, is a different story altogether. A constantly active stress response damages the body because the body cannot reset its normal inflammatory chemicals and hormones.

    Stress Causes Chronic Pain
    When you’re chronically stressed, perhaps from overwork or family or financial problems, you’re more likely to suffer from musculoskeletal disorders because your muscles are always tense. Although injuries can also cause chronic pain, how the person’s body responds to the injury will also determine the healing process. Muscle tension is a natural response of the body to pain and injury, that is why those who maintain light to moderate physical activities during recovery heal better than those who are afraid to injure themselves again.

    Stress Causes Cardiovascular Problems
    Stress causes an increase in the heart contractions and heart rate due to the increase in the stress hormones. This is fine during fight-or-flight responses for emergencies, but prolonged stress can increase the likelihood of inflammation in the blood vessels and elevate the cholesterol levels, therefore increase the chances of cardiovascular problems.

    Stress is Bad for Menopause
    Not only will stress aggravate any existing medical problem, but it is especially dangerous for women during menopause. In pre-menopausal stages, the level of estrogen can still help the body respond to stress, but postmenopausal stage lowers the level of estrogen that is supposed to protect the heart from diseases. This is why a lot of women complain about “feeling old and sickly” at this stage of their life because of the changes in their body.

    Stress Affects Other Organs
    Although the most noticeable effect of stress can be seen in the cardiovascular system, other systems of the body will also be affected. The liver for example, tends to produce more glucose when you’re stressed, but if your body cannot process the excess sugar effectively, you can gain weight and even be at risk for diabetes. Stress also causes your brain to signal that you’re either hungry or full all the time. Stress therefore, causes changes in the eating habits, weight, and even bowel movements.

    Stress Drains You
    Prolonged stress can give you sleepless nights and various health problems that will only pile up and cause more stress. It’s an endless cycle that will eventually drain you mentally and emotionally.

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  • Caffeine is a substance extracted from coffee beans. When ingested, usually through coffee, it increases alertness by blocking receptors in the brain that receive the signals that tell you it’s time to go to sleep.

    As much as caffeine has positive effects in your system, it also has its negatives depending on how much you consume it. The higher the intake, the more tolerance you build to it, which can lead to what you know as “coffee jitters”.

    Here are a few steps you can take to reduce the effects of drinking too much coffee:

    1. Drink lots of water
    After five hundred milligrams, your body will start to signal that you are dehydrated. Your urine will start to look dark yellow or even orange, which is a sign that you need to drink more water.

    Caffeine doesn’t trigger dehydration unless you drank 500 milligrams. As long as you stick to one or two cups of coffee a day, you should be able to steer clear of heart palpitations and jumpiness.

    2. Do mild exercises
    A little bit of stretching might help here and there, as well as a walk down a hallway or a flight of stairs. Doing mild physical activity will help your system calm down, and will allow your heart to return to its normal rate.

    3. Eat a banana or two
    … or other foods that are rich in potassium and magnesium, including dark leafy greens such as bok choi.

    If the symptoms of drinking too much coffee, such as elevated heart rate, migraine, and nervousness, are relatively mild, you can easily wait them out by avoiding coffee and other caffeinated beverages.

    4. Take a few deep breaths
    Once you start experiencing the effects of too much caffeine, the first and most immediate method of calming down is to breathe deeply. The increased intake of oxygen in the lungs will counteract the antioxidant effects of caffeine and help your system return to normal.

    It also helps you to calm down psychologically. While it may not have any immediate effects, taking in more oxygen will allow your brain to return to a more normal rate as it is using up a lot of nutrients in the body.

    5. Get some shut-eye
    The best way to deal with the symptoms of drinking too much caffeine is to simply get enough sleep and limit your coffee consumption.

    The most common reasons for drinking more than three cups of coffee include not getting enough sleep the night before, which in turn leads to an increase in the signals in the brain telling you to sleep.

    While blocking them with increasing amounts of caffeine will give you a temporary boost of alertness and energy, your system will eventually crash once the effects wear off.

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  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a workout routine that alternates between intense burst of exercise and short recovery period. One example is running as fast as you can for a minute, and then walking for two minutes. Repeat this three-minute interval for 15 minutes to get the most fat-burning effect. It sounds too simple to be effective, but the intense burst of exercise is what makes the training more fat-burning than the traditional workout. Read on for more benefits of HIIT.

    1. It’s Efficient

    HIIT is an ideal workout for busy people. Research shows that you can achieve more progress in a 15-minute HIIT routine (done three times a week) than a one-hour jogging on a treadmill. In just two weeks of interval training, you can improve your stamina as much as six weeks of endurance training.

    2. It Burns More Fat

    Looking to lose those love handles? HIIT can take care of that faster than other forms of exercise. The effects of your high-intensity training kick your body’s natural repair process into hyperdrive, meaning you continuously burn fat in the next 24 hours after working out, not just during the workout.

    3. It Burns More Calories

    A 10-minute HIIT can burn more calories than a 30-minute run on a treadmill. Plus, just as you burn fat during the next 24 hours after the training, you will also burn more calories post-HIIT as well.

    4. Less Equipment Is Needed

    One of the best things about HIIT is that you get an intense workout sans the equipment. This means, even if you do not have access to a gym, don’t have dumbbells and kettlebells at home or you travel a lot, you can still workout. Burpees, squats, sprints, high knees—there are so many ways to sweat by just using your own bodyweight.

    5. You Won’t Get Bored

    This isn’t a workout you can do while chatting with a friend or reading a magazine. Because HIIT is too short and constantly changes, you will be working hard the entire time. You may feel sore, you may be out of breath, but you will never get bored. (Hint: If you ever feel bored during an HIIT session, it’s time to up your intensity level.)

    What’s not to love about HIIT? It’s efficient, quick and delivers fast results. These are just a few of the many benefits you’ll get with high-intensity interval training.

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  • Two Elements for a Healthy Life


    Being healthy means being fit. This sounds easy but executing it proves to be difficult. The Singapore government encourages us to stay healthy. In fact, private organizations join the call of the government for a healthier society.


    We are actually in the right track. Healthy and fit people are now commended. For example, there is a competition that aims to seek the fittest people here in Singapore. The competition is called ELITE 2015 and it already started on April 19, 2015.

    There were many contestants. The Men’s Open award went to John Cheah and the Women’s Open award went to Chew Feng Yi. It did not end there because Team Mobilus was also awarded for displaying camaraderie.


    There are Singaporeans who were inspired of the display of a healthy life but there are others that simply ignore it. If we want to be healthy, we have to think of two elements. These elements are interconnected. This means that overall healthy life cannot be achieved without the presence of the other. Here are the two elements:

    • Diet: Healthy life is not only pure exercise. This is what others believe. We have to know that diet plays a vital role in ensuring a healthy life. We have to make the right decisions even when eating. If we want a professional advice, we can always employ the help of dieticians and nutritionist. If this is expensive, we can just research.
    • Exercise: Let us not devout all our time in exercise. Yes, exercise is very important but not to the point to straining the body too much. We can also ask the help of personal trainers because they of all people know how to maximize exercise.

    Now that we know the elements, we have to make this happen.


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