Holidays without gaining weight

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Thalia Kardatou, Collaborator, Nutrition Department of Mediterraneo Hospital

The term “summer vacation” has been associated in most people’s minds with a period of relaxation and tranquility which often affects our eating habits and hence our body weight. Frequent eating in taverns and restaurants, eating snacks outside the home and increasing alcohol consumption throughout the day usually lead to weight gain although there are many opportunities for physical activity (swimming, walking, water sports). Do not get stressed about keeping your weight during the holidays, just follow some useful tips!

  • Say “Yes” to breakfast, but with moderation: Breakfast is perhaps the most enjoyable, summer meal, especially for those staying in a hotel because the buffet is full of dishes that we rarely eat in the morning in the winter (e.g. fried eggs, bacon, sausages, bougatsa, creams, cakes etc.). Although it would be healthy eating fruits, whole grains and yogurt in the morning,  you can also try some “forbidden” food, but in a small quantities. If you do not eat at a hotel, but on the way to the beach, instead of paying a visit to a bakery for pizzas, cheese pies, donuts, etc. you can opt for fresh milk and a sandwich with whole grain bread.
  • Eat something on the beach: Do not stay withot food all day, considering that you can eat safely at night in the tavern. Try to eat small and frequent meals that will provide you with the right energy for the sea and beach games. Beach canteens usually have foods of high caloric value, and if you eat every day from there, there is a risk of gaining weight without even noticing. Before leaving the hotel room, make a pack of bottled water, sandwich with whole grain bread, yogurt and lots of fruit.
  • Pay attention to alcohol: Prefer wine or beer that have fewer calories and alcohol and, in order not to exceed the indicated quantity for each glass, drink a glass of water respectively. Also make sure you drink plenty of liquids (coffees, juices and tea) to hydrate your body while detoxifying it. Beware also of nuts and crisps commonly served with drinks at bars: if possible, ask them to take them back and bring you fruits and raw vegetables (eg carrots), otherwise eat a minimum of nuts and no potato chips.
  • Consume plenty of fruit, natural juices and vegetables that not only reduce appetite but also provide you with antioxidants and fiber, reducing fat absorption.  Some of them will even help you naturally tan).
  • Say “Yes” to ice cream, but with moderation: Although an ice cream now and then doesn’t hurt, it contains many fats and calories – and the more “rich” (for example, chocolate, caramel, nuts, creams, etc.), the more fattening they are. The ideal dessert is, of course, frozen yoghurt with fruit, but if you can not resist an ice cream, choose the simplest one you can find. If you’re getting ready-made ice cream, always read the packs to know how many calories you eat. Another alternative is to eat whenever possible, water ice (without adding sugar).
  • Do not miss the opportunity for exercise: Increased physical activity is also a good way to save yourself from excess weight. Swimming, racquets, beach volley and simple walking is really helpful.
  • Goal maintenance: Set your goal of maintaining your body weight as a loss during summer vacation is a lot of pressure while trying to relax. “All in good measure“!

Rehabilitation of Neurological Conditions and Lesions of the Central Nervous System

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Physiotherapy plays an important role in the rehabilitation of neurological conditions and illnesses of the Central Nervous System. Among the neurological conditions that can be treated are multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, while protocols for the rehabilitation of craniocerebral and hemorrhagic or ischemic stroke can be applied.

The physiotherapy unit, by approaching each case individually and holistically, takes on the task of rehabilitating the patient, in collaboration with other units within our hospital, the doctors, the surgeons, the nutritionists, and the psychologists.

Before the application of the program, the medical history of the patient is taken down and their present condition, along with the medical data from other departments and the desired objectives, are all evaluated together.

First, the correct and uninhibited breathing and correct posture of the body are ensured; then, the physiotherapeutic rehabilitation begins, even from the first hours after surgery, employing kinesiotherapy and special techniques which correspond to each condition. When it is deemed necessary, technical equipment is employed, as well as electrotherapy, orthotic inserts and mobilization structures.

In short, the following could be noted regarding the rehabilitation plan:
•Correct functional breathing (specially designed movements in order to unfold the lungs, expectoration, uninhibited functional breathing through suction of the bronchial excretions).
•Correct body posture of the patient (by avoiding contraction of the muscles and the tendons, by avoiding the need for leg rests and footstools, and by avoiding eccentric contractures)
•Maintenance or even improvement of the spectrum of the movements of the joints (distensions, structures of immobilization and support)
•Suppression and prevention of various pathological reflexes, wherever these occur, which in turn may lead to a bad posture of the body of the patient, contractures, flexural or extensive patterns.
•Muscular strengthening
•Proprioception exercises, which means specialized techniques for the improvement of the neuromuscular interlocking, aiming at making the muscular system ‘smarter’ so that it can react faster and more accurately, in order to prevent lesions of the muscular-tendon and the joints.
•Improvement of balance
•Retraining in gait, which means an effort to restore the gait to the most normal pace possible, by eliminating pathological patterns or by training the patient to use the appropriate aid correctly.
•Guidelines and list of exercises for the post-operation time period after hospitalization (daily personalized training program for each patient)
•Reintegration in the social and working environment: In collaboration with the other hospital departments, the patient is trained at their living and working space, according to the new standards of their mobility situation, adapting the environment around them in such a way, that the most comfortable way of living is secured.

The Department of Physiotherapy at Mediterraneo Hospital is always close to the patient, both during their rehabilitation, as well as after it, and is always in contact with them for any question or guidance on new rehabilitation techniques.

The constant updating and training of the Department’s staff contributes to the specialized support, in accordance with current international scientific standards.

Orthopedic Conditions and Athletic Injuries

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athlitikes kakoseis blog 300x200 - In The NewsThe participation of people in various athletic activities has increased significantly during the last decades. The majority of the athletic lesions are connected with the musculoskeletal and nervous system, while other systems participate to a great extent as well.

During the past few years, the efforts of the scientists of all the specialties that are involved in the restoration of the orthopedic lesions or injuries have been intensified and new surgical techniques and methods, as well as new restoration protocols for the faster and safer return of the patient to levels before the injury, are being proposed. The most common injuries are divided mainly into three general categories:

  • Metabolic diseases (osteoporosis)
  • Degenerative arthropathies (primary – secondary osteoarthritis)
  • Athletic lesions (rupture of the ligaments and the tendons, fractures etc)

The physiotherapy unit at Mediterraneo Hospital is close to the patient or the athlete from the first hours after the surgery, so that it can aid in the primary mobilization of the upper and lower limb, with the aim of avoiding muscular atrophies and limiting the deficits in the spectrum of muscle movements.

This is achieved through the excellent scientific training of the physiotherapy unit, always in collaboration with the orthopedic surgeon, but also through the modern physiotherapeutic equipment that we have (CPM, TENS, electro-muscular stimulation).

We rely on modern protocols of rehabilitation aiming at:

  • Muscular strengthening (specialized exercises for each patient)
  • Improvement of the spectrum of movements of the joints (distensions)
  • Re-education in gait (with the aid of the appropriate auxiliary gait medium)
  • Balance Improvement (specialized exercises of proprioception)
  • Guidelines and specialized list of exercises for the post-operational period of time after hospitalization.

The Physiotherapy Unit at Mediterraneo Hospital is always informed on the progress of contemporary surgical orthopedics by attending national and international conferences, aiming at providing specialized support – prevention – rehabilitation to every kind of orthopedic or athletic injury.

The Nutritional Value Of Walnuts

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Eugenia Eliadou, Clinical Dietitian at Mediterraneo Hospital

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Walnuts have the highest value among dried nuts, as they protect the body from chronic diseases (cardiovascular and neurological diseases, as well as some forms of prostate and breast cancer). This is mainly due to their antioxidant and antithrombotic activity. Walnuts contain the highest amount of omega3 fatty acids from all other dried nuts, in the form of alpha-linoleic acid. Thirty grams of walnuts, correspond to about ¼ cup or a handful, and contain 2.5 grams of omega3 fatty acids.

Walnuts are rich in antioxidants, especially polyphenols. In walnuts there are unique antioxidants that are not found in other foods, such as quinone juglone, the telimagrandin (a rare tannin) and flavonol morin. That’s why they have powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. Polyphenols, according to studies, reduce tumor cell proliferation mainly in prostate cancer by mechanisms that are not fully defined yet.

During the past two decades, given the increased incidence of cardiovascular disease, several studies have set up to evaluate the effect of the ingredients found in walnuts. Due to their high content of the amino acid l-arginine, vitamin C and other components, walnuts reduce the ‘bad’ cholesterol (up to 15%) and blood pressure, two major risk factors for the occurrence of cardiovascular disease.

Walnuts are undoubtedly one of the healthiest foods and reinforce body health.

Consume about a handful per day as a snack or use in your cooking!