Health Archives - Medshield Movement

Mobility & Strength Exercises To Improve Your Trail Running

These exercises are not only great for trail runners, but help improve everyone’s mobility and agility. Add these to your weekly gym sessions or do them at home as part of an active recovery day.

Trail running is a dynamic and challenging sport that requires agility, balance, strength and mobility to navigate the uneven terrain and varied elevations found on trails. The below workout is designed to improve mobility and strengthen muscles that will support sports like trail running. Make sure that you perform each exercise with proper form to prevent injuries (use a trainer, mirror or videos to help you).

Warm Up:
1. High Knees
Stand tall and run in place, bringing your knees up to hip level. Keep your core engaged and your back straight.
Do this for 1 to 3 minutes depending on your fitness level.

2.Leg Swings
Stand next to a wall or a sturdy object (street light, pillar) for balance. Swing one leg forward and backward in a controlled motion.
Switch legs after 10-15 swings.

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Workout:

1,Single-Leg Deadlifts
Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in one hand (practice with different weights beforehand to find the right heaviness to suit your strength level). Stand on the opposite leg, keeping a slight bend in the knee. Hinge at the hip, lowering the dumbbell toward the ground while extending your free leg behind you. Return to the starting position.
Do 3 sets of 10 on each side.

2. Step-UpsStand in front of a bench or a sturdy box (or even use a set of stairs).
Step up with one foot, bringing the other knee up to a 90-degree angle. Step back down and repeat on the other side. Do 3 sets of 1 minute alternating step-ups with a short break in between, as needed. Looking to really activate your glutes? Try this workout here: https://medshieldmovement.co.za/video/glutes-activation/

3. Lunges
Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Push back to the starting position and switch legs.
Do 3 sets of alternating lunges, 10 on each side.

4.Plank
Start in a low plank position, with your elbows on the ground. Lift your body off the ground, engaging your core to hold a tight line. Hold for 30-60.
Repeat 3 times with breaks in between as needed.

5.Russian Twists
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat in front of you. Lean back slightly and twist your torso from side to side, holding a weight or a medicine ball and bringing it towards the floor on either side of you.
Do 3 sets of 1 minute alternating russian twists, with a short break in between, as needed.

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Cool Down:

  1. Hip-Flexor Stretch
    Kneel on one knee, with the other foot in front, forming a 90-degree angle. Push your hips forward slightly and hold the stretch.
    Hold for 30 seconds, up to one minute, on each side.
  2. Ankle Circles
    Sit down with your legs extended. Rotate your ankles in a circular motion, first clockwise then counterclockwise.
    Do this for at least 30 seconds, up to one minute, on each side.
  3. Cat-Cow
    Get on your hands and knees in a Table Top position. Press your hands into the floor, arch your back and look up while lifting your head as you inhale (Cow) and then exhale and round your back towards the ceiling and gaze towards your belly button (Cat), moving smoothly between each position. Repeat this movement slowly and with focus for 1 to 5 minutes.

By incorporating these mobility and strength exercises into your training routine, you’ll not only improve your trail running, but also improve your overall fitness and agility while lessening your chance of injury. Looking for ways to make your winter running training more fun? Try these: https://medshieldmovement.co.za/how-to-make-running-in-winter-more-fun-try-these-running-workouts/

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Why Scheduled Date Nights Are Essential for Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

In the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s easy for couples to drift into routines that prioritise everything but their relationship. This is where the magic of scheduled date nights comes in, serving not just as a break from routine but as an element in nurturing and sustaining a healthy relationship. Whether these dates are simple and cost-effective or planned and a bit more elaborate, incorporating them can significantly enhance your connection with your partner.

The Importance of Date Nights

Strengthening Emotional Bonds: Regular date nights are an opportunity to reconnect on a deeper level, beyond the daily surface-level interactions. This dedicated time allows couples to discuss their dreams, fears, and everything in between, which can reinforce the emotional and psychological bonds between them.

Stress Reduction: Date nights can serve as a valuable release valve for the pressures of daily life. Engaging in fun and relaxing activities together can reduce stress and improve overall mental health, making couples more resilient to life’s challenges.

Commitment Reinforcement: By setting aside time exclusively for each other, couples send a clear message about their priorities and commitment. This act of choosing each other repeatedly can significantly enhance the sense of partnership and team spirit.

Inexpensive Date Night Ideas

You don’t have to break the bank to have a memorable date night. Here are a few ideas that are both fun and budget-friendly:

Home Cooked Candlelight Dinner: Pick a recipe together, shop for ingredients, and enjoy the process of cooking together. This can be both an intimate and rewarding way to spend an evening.

Evening Walks or Bike Rides: Utilise local parks or trails for a peaceful walk or bike ride. This not only provides quality time together but also incorporates physical activity, which is great for mental and physical health.

Questions: If you’re on a dinner date or sitting on the couch together, Google some prompts or questions for couples. You might be surprised by some of your partner’s answers. 

Game Night: Break out the board games or cards for a night of playful competition. Games are a great way to engage and laugh together, keeping the relationship lively and entertaining.

DIY Spa Night: Create a spa-like atmosphere at home with candles, soothing music, and a few pampering treatments like face masks or foot rubs. It’s relaxing and allows you both to unwind and connect in a serene setting.

Frequency of Date Nights

The frequency of date nights can vary based on individual schedules and lifestyle, but aiming for at least once a month is a good starting point. Consistency is key, as it builds anticipation and establishes a routine, reinforcing the importance of your relationship.

For those looking to integrate wellness and fitness into their relationship, Medshield Movement offers resources like couple workout programs and healthy meal plans. These resources can be incorporated into dates, aligning health goals with quality time, and making each date both fun and beneficial for overall well-being.

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.
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Biggest Health Issues Impacting Men in 2024

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month – a call to create awareness about men’s specific health issues, from physical and emotional to mental health awareness. Here, we look at some of the biggest and most common health issues impacting men today – and what can be done about them.

Men’s Health Month was created to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. It is also an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and check-ups. But what are the health issues typically faced by men in the post-pandemic era? And what steps can be taken to prevent or reduce these and help men live healthy lives? We’ll unpack more below.

Cardiovascular Disease

This remains a leading cause of death among men. Heart disease, hypertension and stroke are prevalent due to factors such as poor diet, lack of exercise and smoking.

Prevention and Management:

Follow a healthy diet, by incorporating heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins.
Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.
Go for regular screenings for blood pressure, cholesterol and other heart-related metrics.
Seek resources to help quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.

Mental Health

Levels of depression, anxiety and stress have surged in recent history, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Men also often face stigma around seeking help for mental health problems, which can exacerbate the situation.

Prevention and Management:

Encourage open discussions about mental health.
Seek therapy or counselling if experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Read more here about how to know when it’s time to seek help: https://medshieldmovement.co.za/how-to-know-when-its-time-to-seek-therapy/
Build strong support systems with friends, family and mental health groups.
Engage in stress-reducing activities such as meditation, exercise and hobbies.

Prostate Cancer
Early detection through screening can significantly improve outcomes.

Prevention and Management:

Men over 50 should schedule regular prostate screening with their healthcare provider.
Maintain a healthy weight, eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
Stay informed about family history and potential genetic risks.

Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is increasingly common among men, often linked to obesity and sedentary lifestyles. It can lead to serious complications like heart disease, kidney damage and nerve damage.

Prevention and Management:

Focus on a diet rich in fibre and low in sugar and processed foods.
Incorporate both aerobic and strength-training exercises in your weekly routine.
Regularly monitor blood-glucose levels and other related health metrics.
Maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
Been diagnosed as pre-diabetic? Read this: https://medshieldmovement.co.za/im-pre-diabetic-what-can-i-do-to-prevent-diabetes/

Respiratory Diseases

Conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and lung cancer are significant health threats, especially for men who smoke.

Prevention and Management:
Avoid smoking – If you smoke, seek help to quit. Avoid exposure to second-hand smoke and environmental pollutants. Trying to quit and need some advice? Read more here: https://medshieldmovement.co.za/anti-tobacco-month-31-may-no-tobacco-day-by-who/
Speak to your doctor about routine screenings for lung function and early detection of issues.
Engage in regular physical activity (150 mins per week minimum) and maintain a balanced diet.

Obesity
Obesity is a major risk factor for many other health issues, including heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. The modern sedentary lifestyle and poor dietary habits contribute significantly to obesity.

Prevention and Management:
Eat a diet rich in whole foods, while limiting processed foods and controlling portion sizes.
Incorporate daily physical activity into your routine (150 mins per week minimum).
Seek advice from nutritionists and fitness experts to create a personalised plan that suits your lifestyle.
Address emotional and psychological factors that contribute to overeating.

Erectile Dysfunction
Erectile dysfunction (ED) can affect men’s self-esteem and relationships. It can be caused by physical issues like cardiovascular disease and diabetes or psychological factors such as stress and anxiety.

Prevention and Management:
Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly and avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
Consult a healthcare provider for appropriate medications or therapies.
Address psychological factors through counselling or therapy.
Monitor and manage underlying health conditions that could contribute to ED.
For more information on ED, click here.

Men’s Health Month serves as a reminder of the importance of proactive health management. By understanding these common health issues and taking preventive steps, men can lead healthier, more fulfilling lives. Regular medical check-ups, a healthy lifestyle and open discussions about both physical and mental health concerns are crucial in tackling these challenges. Encourage the men in your life to take charge of their health today! Visit Medshield.co.za for more information about our medical scheme.

 

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.

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What causes ED, what are the types and how to treat it.

June is Men’s Health Awareness Month – a call to create awareness about men’s specific health issues, from physical and emotional to mental health awareness. This month we’ll be shedding light on numerous different topics, including those like erectile dysfunction, otherwise known as ED.

Men’s Health Month was created to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of diseases among men and boys. It is also an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and check-ups. Here, we shine a light on what causes ED, what treatment options are available and how it can be prevented.

ED affects millions of men worldwide, yet many suffer in silence due to stigma and embarrassment. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to achieve or maintain an erection sufficient for satisfactory sexual performance. It’s a common problem, particularly as men age, but it’s not just an inevitable part of getting older. ED can significantly impact a man’s self-esteem, relationships and overall quality of life.

What Causes ED?

Symptoms are either physical or psychological. Here we look at what could be at the root of either:

Physical:

Cardiovascular Disease – conditions like hypertension and atherosclerosis can delay or obstruct blood flow to the penis.
Diabetes – high blood-sugar levels can damage nerves and blood vessels, affecting erectile function.
Obesity – excess weight can contribute to other health conditions that cause ED.
Hormonal Imbalances – low levels of testosterone or other hormonal issues can affect libido and erections.
Medication – certain drugs, including antidepressants and blood pressure medications, can have side effects that include ED.
Neurological Disorders – Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis can interfere with nerve signals required for an erection.

Psychological:

Stress and Anxiety – these can significantly affect sexual performance.
Depression – this can lead to a lack of interest in sex and erectile difficulties.
Emotional Abuse or Conflict – Poor communication, unresolved conflicts and other relationship problems can contribute to ED.

Treatment Options for ED

From lifestyle changes to medication and therapy, the good news is that ED is treatable at any age. Speak to your medical doctor about which options would work best for you.

Lifestyle changes include following a healthy, balanced diet, exercising regularly (a minimum of 150 minutes a week, ideally 300 a week), quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.

From a medical perspective, there are a host of drugs called PDE5 inhibitors that are commonly prescribed to ED sufferers (such as Viagra) and help to increase blood flow to the penis. There are also a variety of medical treatments available, including hormone therapy and in some cases surgery.
Addressing psychological issues with treatments such as psychotherapy and counselling or even sex therapy could make a significant impact.

How to Prevent ED

While not all cases of ED can be prevented, here are some steps that men can take to reduce their risk of ED:

  1. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, a balanced diet and a healthy weight, to help avoid conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Also avoid illicit drug use, quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
  2. Going for regular check-ups to monitor health conditions such as blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar as well as managing any chronic conditions.
  3. Manage stress through mindfulness and well-being exercises, such as meditation, yoga and breathing exercises as well as journaling or going for regular therapy. Also seek help for anxiety or depression.

According to MensHealthNetwork.org, women are 100% more likely to visit the doctor for annual examinations and preventive services than men. Know that there is always help available. If you are a woman reading this, encourage your loved ones to get their regular health checks.

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.
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Anti-tobacco month + 31 May –– no tobacco day by WHO.

 Trying to quit smoking? Try these tips

Breaking Free from Tobacco: Tips To Quit Smoking Today

Every year, the month of May serves as a reminder of the detrimental effects of tobacco use. As we approach 31 May – World No Tobacco Day, by the World Health Organization (WHO) – share info on the harmful consequences of smoking and provide guidance for those looking to quit.

The Harsh Reality of Smoking

Smoking remains one of the leading causes of preventable death worldwide, with devastating effects on both physical health and overall well-being. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. Smoking is a major risk factor for respiratory conditions and research published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and Chest highlights the link between smoking and the development of respiratory diseases, including the harmful effects of secondhand smoke on non-smokers. Tobacco smoke contains numerous carcinogens that increase the risk of various types of cancer, including lung, throat, mouth, esophagus, bladder and pancreatic cancer, according to studies published in journals Cancer Research and The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Tips to Quit Smoking

  1. Set a quit date and mentally prepare for it.
  2. Seek support – family, friends and co-workers can all play a role.
  3. Identify triggers and avoid them where possible
  4. Replace smoking habits with hobbies.
  5. Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
  6. Stay positive – this is a journey and setbacks are normal.
  7. Reward yourself – use positive reinforcement to motivate yourself and reinforce your commitment to quitting.

By understanding the harmful effects of tobacco use and implementing effective strategies for quitting, we can protect our health and well-being for years to come. Promote a smoke-free lifestyle and support those on their journey to quit smoking.

If you or someone you know is struggling to quit smoking, remember that help is available. Speak to your medical doctor, smoking cessation programmes or support groups for guidance and support.

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.
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What exactly is hypertension and how to prevent it?

Understanding and Preventing Hypertension

AKA: The Silent Killer.

17 May is World Hypertension Day and, at Medshield, we’re shining a light on this condition which affects millions of people worldwide. Understanding this silent killer and taking proactive steps to prevent its consequences can make a big difference to your health. Read more below on steps you can take today.

 Understanding Hypertension

Hypertension occurs when the force of blood against the walls of your arteries is consistently too high. This persistent elevation in blood pressure puts extra strain on the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of serious health complications such as heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. The biggest concern of hypertension is that it often presents no symptoms in its early stages. Many people may be unaware that they even have hypertension, until it leads to a major health event. That’s why regular blood-pressure monitoring and preventive health measures are paramount.

How to Prevent Hypertension

While certain risk factors for hypertension, such as genetics and age, are beyond our control, there are several lifestyle modifications that can help prevent or manage high blood pressure.

  1. Maintaining a Healthy Diet
    Aim for a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, while limiting sodium, saturated fats and processed foods. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet, which emphasises fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products, has been shown to be effective in lowering blood pressure.
  2. Exercise Regularly
    Engage in moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming or cycling, for at least 150 minutes per week (ideally 300 minutes per week, according to the WHO). Physical activity helps lower blood pressure, improve cardiovascular health, and manage weight. New to exercise? Try our “Walking for Weight Loss” programme to get you started: https://medshieldmovement.co.za/want-to-start-walking-for-weight-loss-this-4-week-walking-plan-will-get-you-there/
  3. Manage Stress
    Chronic stress can contribute to hypertension. Incorporate stress-reduction techniques into your daily routine, such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, yoga or calming hobbies, such as painting or reading. Want to try deep belly breathing to help reduce stress levels? Read this how-to guide here: https://medshieldmovement.co.za/how-to-do-deep-belly-breathing-and-why-its-good-for-you/
  4. Limit Alcohol Consumption
    Excessive alcohol consumption can raise blood pressure. If you choose to drink, do so in moderation, which means up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men (as a general guideline).
  5. Quit Smoking
    Smoking damages blood vessels and raises blood pressure. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce your risk of developing hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
    Read this article for more reasons to quit smoking today: https://medshieldmovement.co.za/if-you-ever-wanted-a-reason-to-stop-smoking-this-is-it/
  6. Maintain a Healthy Weight
    Being overweight or obese increases the risk of hypertension. Strive to achieve and maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular physical activity.
  7. Monitor Blood Pressure Regularly
    Have your blood pressure checked regularly, especially if you have risk factors for hypertension or a family history of the condition. Early detection allows for timely intervention and management.

Share these prevention methods with your loved ones and raise awareness about the importance of understanding hypertension and taking proactive steps to prevent its adverse effects. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, managing stress and monitoring blood pressure regularly, you can significantly improve your overall cardiovascular health. Together, let’s take control of our heart health and #BeatHypertension #MedshieldMovement.

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.
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The Power of Cold Water Therapy

Imagine standing at the edge of a natural icy spring or freezing cold lake, bracing yourself for the plunge. This scene, which might seem daunting to many, encapsulates a practice that has been woven through human history and various cultures: cold water therapy. Today, this ancient regimen is re-emerging as a modern wellness trend, praised for its remarkable health benefits. So, what exactly is cold water therapy, and why are people around the world embracing the cold?

Historical Roots of Cold Water Therapy

The use of cold water for therapeutic purposes dates back to ancient civilizations. The Spartans, renowned for their hardy nature, were early proponents of cold water immersion, believing it fortified the spirit as well as the body. In the 19th century, Vincent Priessnitz, a farmer in what is now the Czech Republic, popularised hydrotherapy among European nobility after he successfully treated his own injuries with cold river baths.

Understanding Cold Water Therapy

Cold water therapy involves the intentional use of cold water to promote physical and mental health benefits. This can include practices like ice baths, cold showers, and swimming in chilly waters. The therapy leverages the body’s natural reaction to cold exposure, a process that stimulates various beneficial physiological responses.

 

Key Benefits of Cold Water Therapy

  1. Boosted Immune System: Regular cold water immersion has been shown to increase white blood cell count and boost the immune system, helping the body fight off illnesses more effectively.
  2. Enhanced Mental Health: Jumping into cold water can increase blood levels of beta-endorphins and noradrenaline, providing a natural mood lift. This has made cold water therapy a supportive treatment for depression and anxiety.
  3. Improved Circulation: Exposure to cold water causes blood vessels to constrict and then dilate, which improves cardiovascular circulation and can help reduce inflammation.
  4. Increased Metabolism: The shock of cold water activates brown adipose tissue, a type of fat that burns calories to generate heat, thereby increasing metabolism and aiding weight loss.

When and Who Should Practise Cold Water Therapy?

The best time for cold water therapy is subjective and varies based on personal preference and lifestyle. Many enthusiasts prefer morning sessions to invigorate their start to the day or post-exercise to aid in recovery. Not everyone is suited for cold water therapy, especially individuals with heart conditions or hypertension. It is crucial for anyone interested in starting this practice to consult with a healthcare provider.

Getting Started with Cold Water Therapy

For beginners, the key to cold water therapy is gradual adaptation. Starting with lukewarm water and gradually decreasing the temperature can help acclimate the body. Even a few seconds under cold water can be beneficial, and as tolerance builds, so can the duration of exposure.

Incorporating cold water therapy into one’s wellness routine is not just about enduring the cold; it’s about embracing a practice enriched with historical significance and proven health benefits. Whether it’s the improved mental clarity, the invigorating start to the day, or the deepened connection to nature, the reasons to take the plunge are as varied and profound as the practice itself.

 

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.
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The Value Of Vaccines – And Why You Should Get Them

World Immunisation Week, which takes place from 24 to 30 April and we’re here to share information on how Immunisation saves lives and how vaccination prevents disease outbreaks.

Despite all the controversial conversations around that Covid-19 vaccine, vaccines are super important in protecting children and people of all ages against disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO)’s aim is to protect humans from vaccine-preventable diseases. Let’s start by unpacking what those are and which vaccines are the most important.

Vaccination 101
The purpose of vaccines is to protect against disease. Vaccines are a powerful tool in conferring immunity against a spectrum of infectious diseases.
How do they work? By introducing weakened or inactive forms of pathogens into the body, vaccines stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies, building defences against future encounters with the actual disease-causing agents.
Vaccine programmes play a pivotal role in curbing the spread of infectious diseases within communities. By achieving widespread immunisation, vaccines effectively create ‘herd immunity’, which reduces the likelihood of disease transmission and safeguards vulnerable populations, including those who cannot be vaccinated due to medical reasons.

NB Vaccines
The WHO has identified a comprehensive list of vaccines, which it deems essential for protecting individuals against a range of preventable diseases.
These include vaccines targeting diseases such as: 

  1. Measles
  2. Polio
  3. Influenza 
  4. Hepatitis B 
  5. Tetanus
  6. Diphtheria 
  7. Pertussis 

Each vaccine is meticulously developed and rigorously tested to ensure safety and efficacy. The eradication of smallpox and ongoing efforts to eliminate diseases like polio, show the transformative impact of vaccination programmes.

 

Community Responsibility
Embracing vaccination is not only a matter of personal health but also a collective responsibility to safeguard the health and well-being of entire communities. By choosing to vaccinate, individuals contribute to the broader effort of disease prevention and support the resilience of public health systems.
Several diseases that were once under control or on the verge of eradication are experiencing a resurgence due to declining vaccination rates in some communities. These diseases include: measles, polio, whooping cough, mumps, rubella and hepatitis B, as some examples.

When in doubt about any vaccine, consult with your medical doctor for expert medical advice on the best way forward for you and your family.

Read more about World Immunisation Week here: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-immunization-week

 

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.
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Best Travel Tips For Visiting A Malaria Area

On 25 April, World Malaria Day is observed and a reminder that the world’s deadliest insect is the tiny mosquito. Here is some medical advice to consider when travelling to an area where malaria is prevalent.

In South Africa, we have small pockets of the country where malaria is still a concern – and some of these happen to be in our tourist hotspots of the Kruger National Park and surrounding bushveld in Limpopo and Mpumalanga and in KwaZulu-Natal. The good news is that from May to September, the risk of getting malaria during these months is much lower and, so, planning a bush trip in winter is an ideal time! But no matter what time of year you decide to travel, here, we provide the know-how needed for visiting a malaria area.

  1. Know Your Risk
    The first step in your travel prep is to look up the area you’re visiting and check for updated information on risk. For example, reports show us that in March 2017, after a seasonal malaria breakout in Limpopo, the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) received reports of malaria in the Waterberg District.
  2. Speak to Your Doctor
    If you are visiting a malaria area that’s high risk, it’s important to discuss your travel details with your doctor who will be able to advise the best course of action and medication based on your travel plans and medical history.
    The SA National Department of Health recommends taking malaria chemoprophylaxis (the administration of a medication for the purpose of preventing disease or infection) during September to May when in high risk areas.
    The CDC has comprehensive information on types of medication available to prevent malaria, which you can read more about here: https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/drugs.html
  3. Manage Your Medication
    Depending on the outcome of step 2, above, you will likely need to start your medication before you travel. Additionally it’s important to take your medication consistently for the medication to be effective. Set an alarm each day to take your meds or make sure you have them routinely with meals.
  4. Practise Protection
    When at your travel destination, try to limit exposure as much as you can with smart protection methods. These include: putting on insect repellent creams and sprays – and reapply regularly; sleep with mosquito nets above your bed; wear protective clothing with long sleeves and pants; and make sure to keep any screened or netted windows and doors closed. Also, avoid stagnant water, which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

 

Worried you may have been infected? Here’s all you need to know about the signs and symptoms of malaria: https://medshieldmovement.co.za/signs-and-symptoms-of-malaria/
For more on World Malaria Day, visit the World Health Organisation’s site here: https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-malaria-day

 

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DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.
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7 Home Habits That Can Improve Health

In celebration of World Health Day, we’ve put together a basic guideline on 7 healthy habits that you can start implementing at home that will help you live a healthier, better-quality life.

7 April marks the founding of the World Health Organisation and World Health Day! At medshieldmovement.co.za we have a number of articles on exercise, nutrition, well-being, sleep and mental health that can help you start living a healthier life.

 

  1. Prioritise Your Sleep
    Aim for seven to nine hours of good-quality sleep each night. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, minimise screen time before     bed and ensure your sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to rest – dark, cool and quiet.
  2. Make Sure You Drink Enough Water
    Keep a reusable water bottle handy or jugs at your desk and sip water throughout the day. Water helps regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, flush out toxins and help you feel energised throughout the day.
  3. Implement Healthy Eating Habits
    Fill your kitchen with nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. Plan balanced meals and healthy snacks to avoid reaching for unhealthy options when hunger strikes. Practising mindful eating can also help change your eating habits and perception of food – savouring each bite and paying attention to fullness cues.
  4. Exercise Regularly
    Move your body every day, even if it’s just a short walk or a quick workout at home. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, with an ideal of 300 minutes (5 hours). Find activities you enjoy, whether it’s running, dancing, yoga, gardening or playing a sport.
  5. Manage Your Stress
    We know it can be hard to simply say “manage stress”, but there are steps that can be taken to prevent chronic stress. Try deep breathing exercises, meditation and mindfulness, yoga, spending time in nature or try journaling. Think about what brings you joy and relaxation.
  6. Maintain Good Hygiene
    Good hygiene habits can help prevent the spread of illness and infection. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating and after using the restroom. Keep your living space clean and sanitised, paying particular attention to commonly touched surfaces.
  7. Focus On Your Mental Health
    Take care of your mental well-being by seeking support when needed and nurturing positive relationships. Practice self-care activities that promote relaxation and self-reflection.

Explore our site for other helpful guidelines and expert advice on how to start living a healthier life today.

______
DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This article may contain information related to exercise, fitness, diet, and nutrition, which is intended solely for your personal use and informational purposes. Before commencing any exercise, fitness, diet, or nutrition regimen, especially if you are pregnant or have pre-existing health conditions, you should consult with a physician. Nothing on this site should be construed as medical advice or diagnosis. For any symptoms or health concerns, please consult a healthcare professional.
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