Skip to main content

Posts

Get Your Pap Smear, Girl

  I'm about to say something shocking. Are you ready? I'm a big fan of pap smears. You may be thinking, "What? Why?" Because getting a pap smear may prevent cervical cancer and may save your life. The American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 14,480 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed in 2021 and of those cases, 4,290 women will die of cervical cancer.  What Is A Pap Smear? A pap smear is a test that checks for early changes in the epithelial cells in the cervix. Epithelial cells are all over the body, and the cervix is one of those places. The cervix contains squamous epithelial cells and columnar epithelial cells. The cells have similar functions but have different locations within the cervix. Their names come from how they look under a microscope. They may be remembered as squamous epithelial cells look "squashed" and columnar epithelial cells look like columns.  Pap smears usually occur at the time of the pelvic exam. Many times p

Keep Moving to Sleep Better

 After a long day on the trail, I find it pretty easy to fall asleep. I used to walk into my house, get a glass of water, hop in the tub, and take a long bath before going to bed. It helped relax my muscles, my mind, and my body. I usually tried to read a book while I was in the tub, also, so I could stay alert and not fall asleep. I find showering after exercising relaxing, too, and it prepares me to go to sleep. The days that I exercise, I have no problem whatsoever going to sleep. How Exercise and Sleeping are Related The Centers for Disease Control recommends that the average adult exercises for 30 minutes a day and sleeps for 7 hours a night. Exercise and sleep are directly correlated to one another. Exercising even 30 minutes a day can provide a better night's sleep. Exercise improves sleep at night, and reduces daytime tiredness.  Image by  PublicDomainPictures  from  Pixabay   How Exercise Improves Sleep Individuals with insomnia benefit from exercising because of the horm

Keep Moving with Good Posture

When I was a young girl, my grandmother would always praise me for sitting up straight and having good posture. She paid attention to things like that because her brother and his wife were osteopaths. My mom further promoted good posture at home and even walking. We were those kids that practiced walking with books on our heads on the carpets and even tried it going up and downstairs. In high school, I was in the marching band, and posture is incredibly important while playing an instrument and marching. I have to confess that walking isn't nearly as strenuous on my body as marching. Standing at attention and holding your shoulders for several minutes at a time or high-stepping while playing actually takes some serious muscle coordination and muscle development. This is one of the reasons I am a strong advocate for marching band students to receive school physicals. Walking alone strengthens your body's muscles. I notice a considerable difference in my leg and hip muscles, and

Eat Breakfast to Keep Moving and Stay Healthy

 I used to skip breakfast every day. It wasn't that I didn't like breakfast. I like breakfast a lot. I simply felt like I didn't have time, and I thought skipping that meal would help me keep my weight down. I was wrong on both counts. I credit my nurse friends who worked with me at an inner-city hospital for getting me on the eating breakfast habit. I would go into work, drop everything in my office, and they would do a pop-in. "Hey, I noticed your door was open. Do you want to go grab some breakfast with me?" I said I would go with them, but I really didn't eat breakfast. "Oh, you have to eat breakfast," they told me. Fortunately, the hospital where I worked had a terrific breakfast spread in the cafeteria, so I was hooked. I still make myself breakfast -- even if it's some fruit and cereal -- every day.  Image by  Erick Palacio  from  Pixabay Breakfast Gives You Energy In my post Moving to Create Energy , I discussed how eating provides fuel f

Moving to Create Energy

A few weeks ago, I was asked if I have ever thought about drinking coffee with only hot water and creamer -- and leaving the actual coffee out. I smiled and told them no and assured them that I only drink one cup of coffee a day.  A couple of weeks later, I had a similar conversation and the person asked how big the one cup of coffee was that I drink a day because I have seemed to have "a lot of energy." I told them that I do have a lot of energy -- when I'm awake. I have always been a high-energy kind of person. Where does my energy come from? That question can be answered by biology and physics mostly. I'm going to give you a really high-level, basic physics and biology lesson here. The law of conservation of energy  says that energy is constant within a system and energy is neither created nor destroyed. That is true for the earth or the universe as a whole. There is a limited amount of energy available on the earth. However, in human beings and other ecosystems ,

Increasing Vitamin D Production

 Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have advocated walking outside. I had multiple reasons for suggesting this activity. Walking outside gives you a different environment than an at-home environment. You can see other people, and people need other people. We are social creatures, and none of us live in a vacuum. Seeing other people and being around others stimulates thoughts and also boosts moods. The fresh air also diffuses molecules. The more air you have to breathe, the more air molecules your body has to choose from. That means that smaller molecules (or even larger ones) have a harder time circulating directly into your breathing space. When you are inside, because the molecules float around the building or space all the time, you can actually develop sick building syndrome (SBS). Walking outside is also a great way to get sunlight. Direct or indirect sunlight helps with Vitamin D production. When you are outside, Vitamin D production can occur when the ultraviolet sun rays

Keep Moving In the Winter

Over the weekend, we had a beautiful snowfall. After a couple of days of rest and relaxation at home, I had to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and the new-fallen snow. Fortunately, temperatures were above freezing. The ground was still covered with slush, and I put my boots on and took a walk on the trail. I made sure that I bundled up with my warm winter coat (I have different coats that are comfortable in different temperatures), my hat, my gloves, my scarf, and warmer socks than usual. People who live in cold weather climates know that no matter how hard you try, your feet may get cold and wet when you are outside. I was excited to get out on the trail that particularly snowy day. I love the feeling of the air when it is crisp and fresh. It feels clean. I left my music at home and listened to the sound of nature, the sound of my feet as they slushed across the ground, the sound of the river flowing, the sound of the birds warbling in the trees. I listened to the sound of my brea