How to get back in shape after the holidays? Keep the focus on wellness.

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

It’s no secret that the holidays are rough on our waistlines and our health. By all means, eat, drink and be merry this December! But once the new year starts, it’s time to rededicate ourselves to health. After taking a holiday break, what’s the best way to get back into shape?

Find a Diet That Works For You

There are literally thousands of diet plans. They come in the form of books, videos, pay-by-the-week webinars, meals delivered to your home… You’ve likely tried at least three diet fixes. Trendy diets, like cleanses, are appealing because they promise a quick fix. But most trend diets are, in practice, worthless.

Make your own “diet”. You can’t go wrong if you focus on these four things:

  • Eat whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables than you do meat.
  • Practice moderation. Serve yourself smaller portions, but go back for seconds if you’re still hungry. Remember that a treat is okay; an occasional “bad” day is okay, too.
  • Try to cook at home more often than you eat out.

Ease Into an Exercise Routine

When we panic about our health or recent lethargy, we sometimes take drastic measures. Hasty, grandiose New Year’s Resolutions feel good to write down on paper. But they’re much harder to put in practice. If (when) we can’t keep our outlandish goals, we feel let down. Sometimes we quit.

Exercise, like diet, is best done in moderation. Recommit to a realistic exercise regimen.

  • Make realistic exercise goals. “I will try to hit the gym three times a week,” is a better resolution than “I will go to gym every morning at 6am!”
  • Try something new. A dull exercise plan won’t motivate you.
  • Experiment with solo and group exercise. Some people find classes invigorating and push themselves harder. Others may revel in the alone time while exercising solo. Try both and see what works for you.
  • Keep a gym bag in the car. Being prepared means you have one less excuse when your resolve weakens.

Finally, seek wellness, not weight loss. We often give thanks for good health during the holidays. Wellness, our overall health, should be the end goal of diet and exercise.

If the sight of the scale is getting you down, stop looking at it. Don’t obsess over your weight. You weight is not the only, or the best, measure of your health.

When you go back to the gym after the holidays, measure your progress in meaningful ways. Track your progress. Can you lift more weight? Can you complete more sets than before? Are you swimming or running faster? Are you more flexible than you were a month ago? Do you feel better?

Work towards wellness, always.

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Have the flu? Know the best home remedies?

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

As we move closer to the holidays, we move further into flu season. Flu season starts in October and begins to peak in December. When you or a family member comes down with the flu, you can turn to home remedies. Home remedies won’t cure flu, but they can help ease the symptoms.

When Should Someone With the Flu See a Doctor?

You should go to the doctor if you get the flu if you have a high risk of developing complications. People at high risk of developing flu complications include

  • very young children
  • people over 65
  • and pregnant women.

For a complete list, please check here.

You should also see a doctor if you’re worried about your case of the flu, or if you are very sick. Last week, I wrote about the flu vaccine and why it’s a good idea to get a shot. If you’re a high-risk individual or live with someone who is, please get a shot as soon as possible!

But for most people, the flu is a mild illness. Flu symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and a runny nose can all be treated at home. Flu symptoms such as body aches, fatigue, headaches and chills are best treated by staying in bed. Most of us do not need to see a doctor when we come down with the flu.

What Are the Best Home Remedies for Treating the Flu?

For aches and pains, take an epsom salt bath. Add one or two cups of epsom salt to warm bathwater and soak for at least 20 minutes. The salts relieve muscle soreness and cramps. If you’ve never tried it, you’ll be amazed at the results.

Epsom salts are cheap and available in most drugstores. You can get salts scented with essential oils such as rosemary, mint and lavender, too. Wait to add bubble bath or washing with soap until you’ve finished your 20 minute soak – the soap may interfere with the salts.

Try gargling to relieve a scratchy throat.Warm salt water can provide temporary relief. So can gargling with green tea, which is rich in tannins, and can help relieve the tickly feeling in your throat. Another trick worth trying? A honey and lemon gargling solution. (One tablespoon lemon juice, one cup hot water and one teaspoon honey mixed well and then cooled to room temperature.)

Relieve congestion with nasal irrigation once a day. (A Neti-Pot is the best tool for irrigation, but you certainly don’t need to own one to try this method.) Make a saline solution by mixing ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon baking soda and eight ounces of warm water. Tilt your head slightly forward and to the side over a sink and pour the solution through one nostril. The solution will run out through your other nostril and the back of your throat. Repeat two to three times in each nostril. Blow your nose lightly afterwards. In addition to breaking up congestion, the saline solution removes virus particles and bacteria from your nose.

If you have the flu, remember to stay in to avoid spreading the infection to others. Hopefully, you’ll be well by Christmas and New Year’s, and your family will stay healthy, too.

How to treat the flu – http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/flu-guide/coping-with-flu

14 Tips – http://symptoms.webmd.com/cold-and-flu-map-tool/cold-and-flu-treatment-checklist

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When is the best time to get a flu shot, and why is it so important?

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

It’s that time of year again. Christmas music seems to have taken over every airwave, from the radio to any and every store you enter. But the joy of the season is often accompanied by sniffles and sneezes. December is the beginning of peak flu season. Have you been vaccinated yet? If you haven’t gotten a flu vaccination already, early December is the time to do it.

Get Vaccinated for Flu

Flu season starts in October and continues into May. Ideally, everyone who could get a flu shot would get a flu shot by October. In reality, less than half of Americans get vaccinated.

After vaccination, it takes two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies to protect it against flu. So don’t wait! If you can get the vaccination, get it today. Shots are widely available. If you’re not sure where to go, use this Flu Vaccine Finder from flu.gov.

Who Needs to Get Vaccinated?

Everyone that can get vaccinated should be vaccinated. The flu is no joke. Flu causes 36,000 deaths every year. Another 200,000 people are hospitalized.

If you’re wavering on whether or not to get the vaccine, consider who you’re in close contact with. Some people are more likely to get the flu and experience potentially deadly complications from flu. At risk populations include:

  • Young children
  • Pregnant women
  • People with disabilities
  • People with health conditions, like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
  • Seniors

How Can You Help Prevent the Flu from Spreading?

The vaccine protects against the three strains of flu – those predicted by research to be the most common that year. So remember, the vaccine isn’t a guarantee you’ll avoid getting sick.

To help avoid getting, or giving, the flu, be conscientious about hand washing and covering your mouth and nose when you sneeze. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you get the flu, stay home! You need rest and fluids. You’ll wear yourself out and expose other people to illness if you don’t take a break. So do yourself, and everyone else a favor: sleep in and stay in!

Why Are There More Colds and Flu in the Winter?

Despite generations of folklore that says otherwise, cold weather doesn’t cause cold and flu. If you’re worried about the kids catching a cold from playing outdoors too long, don’t. The culprit behind the increase in cold and flu is our behavior in winter. We’re chilly, so we stay indoors with friends and family.

Cooped up inside, we’re breathing recycled air and sharing germs with one another in close quarters. Another possibility for the rise of illness in the winter is our own dry mucosa. Mucosa lines the back of your throat, sinuses, and trachea. In cold, dry conditions, the mucosa gets drier and more susceptible to viruses.

Our immunity may not be as robust, either. Exercise is an immune system booster, but a lot of us neglect it when it’s too chilly. So don’t worry too much about sending the kids (and yourself) outside in winter. You may all be better off for spending some time with Jack Frost!

10 Flu Myths

CDC Guidelines for Flu Vaccination

Flu Vaccination and Vaccine Safety

What You Should Know About the 2014-2015 Influenza Season

Why Vaccinate? Considering the Herd

 

 

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Diabetes is a costly epidemic! Learn more about it now, before Thanksgiving’s temptation to over indulge.

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

We’re preparing to tuck into Thanksgiving dinners around the VeinInnovations office. Thursday can’t come soon enough! Thoughts of turkey, sweet potato pie, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, and the rest make the workdays before Thanksgiving seem longer than usual.

Even with the stresses that often accompany large family gatherings, most of us are looking forward to cooking dinner this Turkey Day. There’s not much that can beat the smell of homemade cranberry sauce, a roasting turkey, and a pumpkin pie fresh out of the oven. Cooking is a social ritual that draws us together, after all.

Cooking from scratch is also a great way to improve our health. That’s one of the main messages of American Diabetes Month, which is happening right now. It’s an appropriate month to raise awareness. Thanksgiving kicks off the holidays and the attendant tendency to overindulge.

Diabetes is increasingly common in the United States. About 3 million people have Type 1 diabetes. Twenty-seven million people live with Type 2 diabetes. An astounding 86 million people have prediabetes, which means they have high blood sugar and are at risk of developing diabetes. More than nine percent of Americans (9.3%) have some form of diabetes.

Though diabetes is more common these days, it’s not easy to live with. Diabetes requires near constant consideration. Blood sugar has to be checked three or four times a day (sometimes more.) Every food and drink choice matters and must be covered with enough insulin. A high or low blood sugar is at the least inconvenient and unpleasant. At most, it can be deadly.

The complications stemming from diabetes include cardiovascular disease as well as nerve, kidney, eye, and foot damage. The financial cost of diabetes is major, too; the American Diabetes Association, estimates diabetes and related costs were to be $245 billion in 2012.

The forecast is grim, as the CDC expects two out of every five Americans will develop diabetes at some point in their lifetime. But we can change that! Knowing risk factors and making simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference.

So before you celebrate with family (and second helpings!) on Turkey Day, spend some time learning about diabetes. You may temper your appetite, and opt for a walk after dinner instead of, or in addition to, your nap!

Risk Factors for Type 2 Diabetes and Prediabetes

  • Being overweight
  • Exercising less than three times, or 150 minutes, a week
  • Being over age 45
  • Having gestational diabetes (diabetes while pregnant)
  • Having a parent or sibling with diabetes
  • Being African-American, Hispanic/Latino, American-Indian, Asian-American, or have a Pacific-Islander family background

Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes or Prediabetes

  • Turn off the TV. Every two hours spent in front of the TV increases your chance of developing diabetes by 14 percent. Replace time spent in front of the TV with more active pursuits. (If you are going to stay glued to the games during the holidays, make yourself get up and march during commercials to help lower blood sugar, burn calories, and improve your circulation.)
  • Get moving! Even walking can make a difference – really. Aim for at least 150 minutes of exercise a week at the least.
  • Make some dietary changes. Read more about the type of changes that are most beneficial here.
  • Quit smoking. Smokers are 50 percent more likely to develop diabetes.

 

More resources:

Simple Steps to Preventing Diabetes

Understanding Type 1 Diabetes

The CDC’s Guide to Diabetes

 

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Great day the Saturday before Thanksgiving at the American Diabetes Expo! VeinInnovations CEO David Martin screened more than 30 people at the event at the Cobb Galleria. Hundreds of visitors to the VeinInnovations booth learned more about the link  between varicose and spider veins, leg pain, swelling, and restlessness, and how these are symptoms of a medical condition that degrades quality of life, Chronic Venous Insufficiency (CVI). For more information about chronic venous insufficiency, veininnovations.com.

 

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On Brittany Maynard, Thanksgiving, and how facing our mortality head-on this “Movember” is a leadership gift to our families.

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

Thanksgiving is next week. It is a time to celebrate our blessings and our loved ones. In the midst of love and life, I am reminded of a family that will mark their first Thanksgiving without one of their loved ones.

Brittany Maynard was 29, newly married and hoping to start a family. But that changed when severe headaches sent her to the doctor’s office. The diagnosis she received was improbable and heartbreaking. Brittany had a terminal brain tumor. She began planning for her death.

Mortality is a thorny subject. We ignore and avoid discussing death, even (or especially) with the ones we’re closest to. We spend time preparing our wills in the hopes that we can leave our assets as gifts to our family. Especially in this age of modern medical advances, we need to prepare for our exit from the world, too.

Brittany Maynard’s options were limited. Full brain radiation may have added a few weeks to her life, but it could not save her. Her family would have watched as her hair singed off and her scalp became covered in burns. Her quality of life would have been destroyed. The death she faced was awful. She described it this way: “I considered passing away in hospice care at my San Francisco Bay-area home. But even with palliative medication, I could develop potentially morphine-resistant pain and suffer personality changes and verbal, cognitive, and motor loss of virtually any kind. Because the rest of my body is young and healthy, I am likely to physically hang on for a long time even though cancer is eating my mind. I probably would have suffered in hospice care for weeks or even months. And my family would have had to watch that.”

Circumstance led Brittany to plan for her death. She decided what interventions she wanted and what she wanted for her family. She and her husband left California and moved to Oregon so she could use the Death with Dignity Act. In early November, she passed away peacefully, in her home, with her mother and her husband by her side.

The majority of Americans have not considered the way they wish to exit this world. A Coping with Cancer study found that two-thirds of terminal patients had had no discussion with their doctors about end of life care. On average, those same patients were only four months from death.

Modern American health care is excellent at extending your life, but this is a double-edged sword at the end of our lives. We must decide what interventions we want when the end comes. If we don’t make our wishes known, our families will be left to make heart-wrenching decisions in the midst of grief.

A friend of mine was in just such a situation when her stepfather was dying of Alzheimer’s disease. She and her mother had to decide whether to replace the man’s pacemaker battery or not. A family dispute ensued, and the pacemaker’s battery was replaced. The family suffered, as did the man, emotionally and financially, in the 18 months he lived in a nursing home, curled, most of that time, in a fetal position. He would not have wanted that ending. But he had not made his wishes known, legally, with an Advanced Directive.

As the men’s health awareness initiative – Movember – draws to a close, I am thinking of family leaders  — men and women – taking charge of their health and modeling healthy behavior, and of our extending that healthy behavior all the way to making our end-of-life wishes known, and making this conversation a part of the family holiday gathering,

I am also thinking of Brittany Maynard and her family, and imagining that while they will miss her dearly on this first Thanksgiving without her, that they are grateful for her courage and bravery to face her mortality head-on.

Facing our mortality head on, and sharing what we want, is a gift we give to our families.

Here are a few resources to get you started: 

Spare Your Loved Ones by Making Your Final Wishes Known

Letting Go: What should medicine do when it can’t save your life?

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End a new book by Atul Gawande

 

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Movember? Let’s circle back around to look at Prostate Cancer, the cause that launched the Men’s Health movement.

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

Movember – Men’s Health Month – grows on and men across the globe are starting to brush out their mustaches. This year, more than 550,000 people are participating. More than $13 million has been raised thus far, by fewer than a million participants!

Hopefully the men that are now looking for mustache trimmers are also having lots of serious conversations about men’s health. After all, Movember’s goal is get men talking amongst themselves about mental health, as well as testicular and prostate cancer. According to the annual, independent survey of past participants, the mustache works. Ninety-nine percent of MoBros talked to someone about their health, and 75 percent said they were more aware of the health risks they face. Half of men surveyed said they told someone to take action to improve their health.

Movember’s first years were dedicated solely to prostate cancer. In the spirit of Movember, let’s talk about it:

Prostate Cancer Facts

  • The risk of prostate cancer increases with age
  • 1 in 7 American men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point
  • 1 in 36 American men will die of prostate cancer, which accounts for 22 percent of all cancer deaths
  • A man with a close blood relative (father or brother) who was diagnosed with prostate cancer before age 60 is twice as likely to develop prostate cancer
  • Avoiding physical activity and eating a poor diet are contributing risk factors
  • African American men are more likely to develop prostate cancer and 2.5 times as likely to die after diagnosis

When to Get Screened for Prostate Cancer

Testing isn’t necessary for everyone. That may sound ludicrous, but if you don’t believe me, please check out the American Cancer Society’s website. You won’t know if you need testing, or which test is best for you, if you don’t have a primary care doctor. No matter your age, finding a “medical home base” in your primary doctor, and establishing a relationship with them, is crucial. It’s one of the most effective steps you can take to improve your health!

Your doctor will discuss the best course of action with you. Do you need to be screened? What age should screenings begin? Should you take the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) test or not? Establishing that relationship with your primary care physician will help you when it’s time to ask these questions.

The United States leads in Movember participants, closely followed by the United Kingdom. Canada has 40,000 fewer participants than the US, but they’ve raised almost as much money as the US has. So if you want to contribute to men’s health – and beat our neighbors to the north – find a MoBro or MoSista and contribute to the cause!

Movember USA

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Protect young athletes from concussions and blows to the head to avoid Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

For decades, we referred to concussions taken in contact sports as “getting your bell rung.” Boxers who showed signs of cognitive decline were called “punch drunk” or were said to be suffering from dementia pugilistica. Today, we appreciate the dangers of concussions and severe blows to the head. But are we doing enough to protect athletes, both amateur and professional?

The NFL and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy

High profile and tragic cases in the NFL have brought the gravity of concussions into the public mind. Junior Seau retired in 2010 as a beloved and wealthy NFL icon. His retirement should have been long and peaceful. But Seau killed himself two years later. His family donated some of his brain tissue after his death. He, like so many other deceased NFL players, was suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE.)

CTE is a progressive degenerative brain disease. It is found in those individuals (such as athletes) with a history of repetitive brain trauma. In 2008, CTE made headlines. A dozen high-profile athletes, including six from the NFL, announced plans to donate their brain tissue to Boston University’s CTE Center for study after their deaths.

CTE’s effects can be devastating. The changes wrought in the brain are associated with memory loss, aggression, poor impulse control, depression, confusion and progressive dementia. Before his death, Junior Seau was depressed and pulling away from family and friends. He gambled and lost huge sums. He was not the man he had once been.

High School Athletes and Concussions

Sport is a valuable social activity that teens benefit from. Sports provide community, lessons in teamwork, a healthy competitive outlet and exercise. Contact sports, including football, hockey, and martial arts, are here to stay.

While athletes are more likely to suffer a concussion during a contact sport, athletes in everything from volleyball to soccer are at risk. (Girl and boy athletes get concussions in about equal measure, too!) So, if you have a young athlete at home, here are a few steps worth taking:

  • Talk to your athlete about concussions. “Shaking it off” is not a safe or smart option when you get hit in the head.
  • Talk to other team parents and the coaches. Symptoms of concussions are often vague and unspecific. It’s part of why concussions often get missed. The CDC’s Heads Up: Concussions in Youth Sports is an excellent resource for parents, athletes and coaches.
  • Ask if referees are trained to spot concussions. Are the officials going to stop play if they suspect a head injury? This is a larger initiative, but it’s one that’s worth pursuing. Players in any sport want to tough it out and stay on the field. That’s why we need officials who are willing to err on the side of caution.

Sports are valuable; protecting the future of young athletes by protecting their brains, is paramount. Stay safe on the field, everyone!

 

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Mustaches call attention to wildly successful Movember campaign to raise awareness for an increased focus on men’s health.

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

Come November, you may to notice more mustaches, especially on young men. It’s not a way to prepare for a cold winter; it’s the signature style and tool of Movember. The Movembe rmovement is sleek and hip movement in its efforts to to change the face of men’s health – literally. Movember asks men to grow a mustache (and use it to call attention to the movement) in the month of November.

For “Mo Bros”, the men who participate by growing a mustache, the goal is to “Use the power of the mustache to create conversations about men’s health and to raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular, cancer and mental health.” We’ve long known that men aren’t talking openly about their health. The same culture that encourages men to “man up” and ignore minor illnesses creates a culture of silence that surrounds major illnesses and diseases.

Movember has been wildly successful. What began as a contest between 30 friends in Australia is now an international event. So far, more than four million Mo Bros and Mo Sistas have taken part. They’ve raised $559,000,000 since 2003. The money they’ve raised has gone towards testicular cancer, prostate cancer and mental health programs. As proud as the leaders of Movember are of the money they’ve raised, they’re equally enthusiastic about the conversations the mustaches have started.

When Robin Williams died earlier this year, there was a cry for conversation. Mental illness is stigmatizing for both genders. It can be hard for men to open up about depression and other mental health concerns, especially to other men. Since 2003, Movember has asked participants to donate their upper lip to men’s health. A large part of that fight is opening the floor for conversation. Movember hopes that conversation will lead to greater awareness and understanding of men’s health issues. With destigmatized conversation, Movember hopes men will take action to improve their health.

When it comes to mental health, we certainly need to talk. Mental health carries a stigma that keeps us silent, yet one in four people experience mental health issues worldwide. (This excellent TED article, “How Should We Talk About Mental Health?” is an informative starting point.) Men in the United States die by suicide far more often than women do. In 2010, men were 79 percent of all deaths by suicide. These are statistics that can change.

So, are you ready to lay down your razor and grow a ‘stache for a good cause? Or become a Mo Sista and participate without the mo? You’ve still got time to sign up, raise funds, and get others involved. Visit the Movember site and participate in the conversation about men’s health.

Movember: The Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Movember’s History

Men’s Health – Why Married Men Live Longer Than Single Men

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Will an app or a wearable make you healthier?

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

A slew of new, wearable technology promises to track our every move. No, this isn’t a sinister government program I’m talking about, it’s voluntary health monitors. I wrote about Sense, the high-tech, unobtrusive sleep monitor in July. The monitor raised more than $2,000,000 on Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site. Sense will make its debut on shelves in December. You may be asking: Is it worth all the hype?

The App Store is filled with programs designed to help you keep track of your health. Some, like Fooducate, hope to help you make better food choices. There are apps to keep track of menstrual cycles, and apps to help couples conceive. You can also plan, monitor, and track every last workout done and ounce of water consumed.

Google, Amazon, and Samsung are all investing significant time and resources into creating and marketing wearable health technology. Apple wasted no time featuring their new Health app in ads for the iPhone 6. In short, if you want to track something about your health, you can. But do we need wearables and health trackers?

The utility is clear for a person with pre-diabetes. In the US, there are millions of people who are in danger of developing Type 2 diabetes. For those people, increasing exercise and changing their diet is essential. Most wearables, in addition to tracking activity, ping or send a reminder to the user’s smartphone when they don’t get enough movement within a certain time period. The Jawbone (a wearable bracelet) can be set to vibrate when the user has stayed sedentary for an hour.

For people with chronic health conditions, doctors may recommend tracking one or more health indicators. The apps designed to track health through user-generated and entered input are indispensable. A smartphone is a computer in your pocket. Apps that update to the Cloud will save your information, even if you lose the device. They can also spit out reports for your physician. Apps are a more clever pen-and-paper system. It’s a bonus that many of them can prompt you to input data, or remind you to drink more water.

Unfortunately, many (possibly most) of us casual users will sport a wearable enthusiastically for a few weeks, and then forget about them. A wearable may help us create a new habit as it wakes us up to our own apathy for exercise. This biggest difference between apps and wearables is the price: most wearables cost upwards of $100. Apps, on the other hand, usually cost less than $10.

Americans spent around $290 million on health trackers in 2013. The market is expected to grow. So, should you buy into the trend and start sporting a Fitbit Flex or a Nike Fuelband, or gift yourself a Sense come December? There’s no right or wrong, here. Deciding to use a wearable is entirely up to you. It really depends on your preferences, personality, and health needs. The most important thing is to keep moving, or get moving, wearable or not!

If you do want to buy and use a wearable, the New York Times has a detailed roundup and review I suggest checking out. It covers everything from the Jawbone to the Fitbit.

There’s also one man’s account of wearing a variety of trackers for months. It’s worth a read.

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Breast cancer devastates 1 in 8 American women; but there is some good news and cause for hope during this Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

By David Martin, President and CEO of VeinInnovations

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as you probably already know. Black and orange Halloween decorations are almost overshadowed by pink products as companies join the cause of raising awareness. Like pink products on the shelves in October, breast cancer is pervasive in the lives of women. Almost 1 in 8 American women will develop breast cancer in the course of their lifetime. It’s expected that breast cancer will claim the lives of 40,000 women by the end of 2014.

Stark statistics are part of the fuel that keeps advocates for breast cancer going, but there’s a good deal of positive movement to report, too. For women, breast cancer is not the stigmatized illness it once was. Women are encouraged to talk openly with their support network about their diagnosis, during treatment and in remission.

Earlier this year, a French study that followed four million women around the world from 1987 to 2013 found that exercise cuts breast cancer risk for all women. The study found that it didn’t matter what kind of exercise they did, how old they were, how much they weighed or when they get started, exercise cut the risk of breast cancer. (The women who were the most active, doing an hour of vigorous exercise a day, decreased their breast cancer risk by 12 percent.)

In 2010, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) launched the Breast Cancer Deadline 2020. The goal? Know how to put an end to breast cancer by 2020. In 2011, the NBCC began the Artemis Project, a collaboration between breast cancer advocates and leading scientists studying breast cancer. The NBCC hopes the Artemis Project will coordinate scientific research, with the end goal of curing breast cancer. The NBCCs approach is novel and has its critics. Please read more about the new approach here. If the NBCCs model works, it will impact far more than those diagnosed with breast cancer.

VeinInnovations was incredibly proud to help sponsor last month’s Power of Pink Casino Night and Survivor Fashion Show, presented by North Fulton Hospital. The festive event brought some 300 revelers together at the Marriott in Alpharetta for a night of gaming, dancing, and dining to celebrate survivors. The survivor fashion show was inspiring. A reminder of why we had all come together, the VeinInnovations staff was awed by the candor and stories of recovery. In one night, the Power of Pink benefit raised more than $65,000 for Susan G. Komen of Greater Atlanta.

So this October, we’ll remember that we’re building upon the dedication and work of years past, of coming from a place where breast cancer was not even mentioned. At the same time, we won’t forget the devastating toll of breast cancer: the 40,000 women, this year alone, who will not survive. Nor will we forget the better future we’re working towards.

With these thoughts in mind, have you done your monthly self-exam for October, and are you working exercise into your daily routine?

For photos of The Power Pink visit www.facebook.com/Veininnovations

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