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9 Things To Remember If You Love Someone With Asthma

9 Things To Remember If You Love Someone With Asthma

Does one of your friends or loved ones have asthma?  This can be a difficult condition to live with — both for the asthmatics and those who care about them. Read on to find out more about things you should remember if you love someone with this chronic condition.

They Can Be Embarrassed by their Condition

Most people with asthma have stories to tell about having an asthma attack at work or school or other public place.  These attacks are obvious and it can be very embarrassing for them when people stop and stare or stand around and don’t know what to do.  They also get frustrated if an attack happens at a very awkward moment, such as in the middle of a business meeting or their child’s recital at school.

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They Cannot Travel Light

People with asthma have a lot to remember before they leave the house in the morning — let alone going on a vacation or weekend jaunt.  Pill packs with asthma medications, inhalers and nebulizers all take up a lot of space and even an simple overnight trip can require a lot of planning.

They Usually Need to Go to the Doctor a Lot

Between flu shots, allergies shots and general check-ups, people with asthma can find themselves sitting in the waiting room of a clinic a lot more than the average person.  This can be frustrating — and can also cause problems at work about having to take time off for medical care if the boss is less than understanding.

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They Hate the Winter

It’s hard to going walking in a winter wonderland when the first breath of cold air sends your respiratory system into spasms. Even when they wrap up with a scarf over their mouths and noses, it can still be difficult just to get from the house to the car during the worse of the year’s cold weather.

They Also Hate Cold and Flu Season

For most people, getting a cold or the flu is a pain in the neck, but it is not something that they take very seriously.  For someone with asthma, however, these minor respiratory infections can turn quickly into something major and can take weeks to recover from – or even mean a stay at the hospital.

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They Want to Remind You to Watch What You Wear

When you live with or just hang out with someone who has asthma, be careful of what you wear in regards to personal care products.  That new mango-peach-vanilla lotion might smell great to you, but it can set off a potentially serious asthma attack. So be careful of things like perfume, hair sprays and deodorants, as these can all be a problem for asthmatics to be around.

They Are Not Sickly or Nerdy!

How many TV shows have portrayed people with asthma as either invalids or geeks sporting prominent pocket protectors?  The truth is that asthmatics are neither sickly nor nerdy — and are healthy apart from their respiratory condition.

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They Can Exercise

Many people assume that just because someone has asthma that they won’t be able to be active. As a matter of fact, though, exercise and activity are important parts of asthma treatment.  Many asthmatics have actually gone on to careers as professional athletes. They just have to be more careful, often treating themselves before practice and allowing for a warm-up and cool down.

They Have to Think About Breathing

This one might sound strange, because most people breathe without ever thinking about it — it just happens naturally. Asthmatics, on the other hand, have to be continually aware of their breathing and often have to monitor themselves in order to pick up on the signs of an oncoming flare-up.

In short, asthma presents some unique challenges to those who have it. However, it is good to remember that if you do love someone with asthma, they are also more than just their condition and that they can lead full and happy lives and pursue the same interests as everybody else.

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Brian Wu

Health Writer, Author

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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