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Health Tips #73 ~ [Issue 0805-2]  Wellness Weekly
 Aug 12, 2005 09:12 PDT 

* Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are solid accumulations of material that form in the
tubal system of the kidney. Kidney stones cause problems when they
block the flow of urine through or out of the kidney. When the stones
move along the ureter (the tube from the kidney to the bladder), they
cause severe pain. Tiny crystals in both urine and the blood fluid
used to help flush the kidneys may form, meet, and cling together to
create a larger solid mass called a kidney stone. Many people do not
ever find out that they have stones in their kidneys. These stones
are small enough to allow the kidney to continue functioning
normally, never causing any pain. These are called "silent stones."
Kidney stones cause problems when they interfere with the normal flow
of urine. About 10% of all people will have a kidney stone in his or
her lifetime. Kidney stones are most common among Caucasians, males,
people over 30, people who have had kidney stones before and
relatives of kidney stone patients. Kidney stones can be composed of
a variety of substances. The most common types of kidney stones
include calcium stones, struvite stones, and uric acid stones.
Calcium stones usually stem from excess calcium in the body. Struvite
stones come often after repeated urinary tract infections. The
infections leave bacteria that changes the urine pH levels that makes
crystals appear more readily. Uric acid stones come from excess uric
acid in the body, a condition that usually causes gout as well
(painful deposits, usually found in the big toe or foot).
Chemotherapy and certain bone marrow disorders can also cause higher
than normal uric acid levels

* Sleep For Seven

Seven appears to be the magic number when it comes to getting a good
night's sleep. A study recently revealed that people who routinely
averaged 7 hours of sleep each night had the lowest mortality rates.
Most people need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep each night, so listen
to your body and get the amount of rest that feels appropriate for
you. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep each night may help
improve several measures of well-being. Good sleep habits can improve
mood and productivity during the day. Sleep also appears to help with
the organization and formation of memories. And people who routinely
get enough sleep each night appear to have lower mortality rates
compared to people who sleep too much or too little. Many times, even
if you are not sleeping, just resting your body and mind is enough to
help your body "reset." If you have trouble getting to sleep, do not
fret - just relax into your bed and let your imagination take you
somewhere soothing.

* Buy The Right Equipment

A common mistake in workouts is not getting the proper equipment or
not wearing the proper shoes or clothes. For example, many people
have bicycle ergometers, or stationary bikes. Some of the less
expensive models cannot be adjusted properly so the leg is not in
full extension during the down cycle of pedaling, which can lead to
knee problems. Before you buy, play with the machine in the store in
a variety of settings and use it for at least 5 minutes at your top
speed. This will give you an idea for if it fits your body. Many
individuals who start, for instance, a walking program, will have
read that all they need is a comfortable pair of shoes. But you need
a good pair of walking shoes - yes, shoes designed with walking in
mind - with the correct arch and heel support and toe box. Once you
start walking long distances, increasing your speed, and walking more
often, if you do not have the proper shoes, you actually can get
injured in what is probably the safest form of exercise. Also, if,
for instance, you are taking an aerobics class, you should have a
pair of shoes for the aerobics class and not wear them on the street.
You could pick up things on the bottom of the shoes that will make
them dirty and slippery. Secondly, the way your foot strikes is
different in walking and in your aerobics session, so you will have
two different wear patterns. This could unbalance your foot during
activity and lead to additional strain. Likewise, match your exercise
clothes to the activity that you have chosen. If you are going to be
on a treadmill, for example, you do not want clothes that are really
loose and could get caught in the machine.
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