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Guides

Are You Suffering From Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?

If you suffer from restrictive airflow, you may be suffering from COPD.

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     Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, more commonly known as COPD, is a group of aggressive lung diseases that negatively affect airflow. In fact, COPD has become the 3rd leading cause of death in the US. Surprisingly, 48% of those suffering from the condition don’t even realize they have it. Those suffering from this chronic inflammatory lung disease have difficulty breathing, consistent coughs and wheezes, and excess mucus production. These symptoms are caused by heavy and long-term exposure to gas and particulate irritants – the most common being derived from cigarette smoke. Left untreated, individuals with COPD have greater risks of developing lung cancer, heart disease, and various related condition.

     COPD and its various forms may arise from several risk factors. Long-term smoking is a common entry-point into the body but second-hand smoke may also be a concern. Aside from the most obvious culprit, age, genetic imperfections, and exposure to fumes and irritants from the burning of chemical and substances in the home and workplace may also be to blame.

Causes

     COPD, at least in developed countries, is largely a result of tobacco smoke. However, in the developing world, the condition is a result of direct and indirect exposure to fumes and irritants from burning fuel. Fumes of burnt fuel may come by cooking or heating homes. These pollutants are more commonly seen in poorly vented enclosed spaces.

Again (& largely), COPD and its complications are self-induced due to extended cigarette smoking. That being said, there are several other factors that come into play during development (and subsequent worsening) of the condition. Furthermore, only 20-30% of long-term smokers may suffer from COPD, alluding to the fact that genetics may help in preventing or easing the condition as well.

Symptoms

     COPD symptoms typically worsen over time, especially if irritant inhalation continues or worsens, but won’t normally appear until recognizable lung damage has been established. Nonetheless, those suffering may experience one or several of the following:

  • Shortness of breath – particularly during sports and exercise
  • Wheezing
  • Chest constriction
  • The constant need to clear one’s throat in the morning of excessive nighttime mucus production
  • Blue tint of the lips and/or fingernail beds – also known as Cyanosis
  • Respiratory infections
  • Apathy
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Swollen legs/ankles/feet

Those dealing with COPD may also deal with the exacerbated episodes of symptoms – unexpected, short-term worsening of symptoms.

Concerns

     Starting in the most common area, patients with COPD will suffer greatly from even the most simple of respiratory infections. These infections are capable of increasing breathing difficulty and may cause additional damage to lung walls and tissues. Thankfully, an annual flu vaccination will largely rid yourself of the danger of these lesser-illnesses. However, threats only continue. Quitting the use of tobacco can help but COPD may increase the risk of heart attack, lung cancer, and pulmonary hypertension – high blood pressure in the lung arteries. Additionally, as an unexpected side effect, breathing difficulties may cause an inability to participate in once-enjoyed activities. This may lead to a feeling of helplessness, ultimately leading to a mild or severe form of depression.

Prevention

     Any attempt to quit smoking is beneficial, but the true secret is to quit as soon as possible. No matter the struggle, the overall quality of life will greatly improve upon removing the dangerous inhalation of smoke. If needed, partaking in a suitable cessation program to quit the drug altogether will be your best possible line of defense. Additionally, if you work in an occupational “danger zone,” discuss with your manager the possibility to minimize your chance of irritation.


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Travel

3 Hammock Camping Tips for a Safe and Comfortable Experience

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Did you know that over 78 million households go camping every year in the USA?

Camping is a great way to sleep out under the stars and enjoy a vacation while safely socially distancing. 

If you find traditional camping uncomfortable, have you tried hammock camping? Hammock camping is a great way to enjoy a comfortable trip to the great outdoors.

Do you want to know how to do it successfully? Why not read on to find out?

1. Use an Under-Quilt

You might think that if you are sleeping in the air in a hammock, you will not need an under-quilt. While it is true that a hammock allows you to sleep away from the cold hard earth, an under-quilt is still a good idea. 

It is good to plan to have some insulation below your body. Otherwise, you will lose significant heat to the cool air that is passing beneath you. 

You might worry that a quilt or sleeping pad will shift during the night and possibly exit the hammock. If you find this to be true, try finding one that is small enough to fit inside your sleeping bag.

2. Hang Your Hammock Loosely

If you are a first-time hammock-camper, you could be tempted to hang your hammock as tightly as possible. After all, a taught hammock resembles a traditional bed right?

Actually, this may not be the most comfortable way to lie. This can cause your shoulders and back to squeeze together. It could cause you to wake in the morning with a stiff neck or back.

One of the most comfortable ways to hang your hammock is to allow it to sag or hang loosely. This is one of the most important things you can do to make your stay comfortable.

If you want to be able to create a comfortable hammock experience, you will need the right equipment. Why not try out these straps to see how you can create the ultimate comfortable hammock.

3. Don’t Forget Your Bug Net

In some locations, a simple hammock setup will not be enough to guarantee a good night’s rest. You will need to equip yourself with bug spray and a bug net to fend off the many curious little insects that come to visit. 

If you set it up correctly, you will not even notice that the bug net is there during the night. You will be able to sleep, read and relax without swatting mosquitos every 30 seconds.

Everything You Needed to Know About Hammock Camping and More

Hammock camping is a great way to sleep out under the stars and enjoy nature at its best. However, if you are considering getting away from it all and camping in the wilds, you need to be prepared. By applying the principles we have discussed today, you will be able to do so safely and comfortably. 

If you would like to learn more about these types of subjects, why not check out our blog page? We publish articles every week that we know you will enjoy. 

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Guides

Satisfy Your Wild Side With A Safari

There are many great safaris in the world, but these are six of the best… according to our experts. 

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     Everyone should experience a safari at least once in their lifetime. It’s one amazing adventure… But there are several wonderful options to pick from – so it may be hard to know which ones are worth considering.

Well, look no further! Here are the absolute six best safaris you can find from around the world.

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (TANZANIA)

The Serengeti is probably one of the most popular places to go on a safari, and it’s on the top of the list for a reason. On any given game drive you could encounter wildebeests, buffaloes, leopards, lions, rhinos, giraffes, and elephants within a couple of hours of each other. Not to mention Tanzania also offers gorgeous beaches.

VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK (RWANDA)

If you want to live like Jane Goodall on your next vacation, then a safari in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda is the place for you! There are gorillas (including plenty of babies) galore in Rwanda, aka “the land of a thousand hills.” And a guided trek through the jungles of Volcanoes National Park is a great option for those that like to take the path less traveled and get a proper nature experience under their belt.

KRUGER NATIONAL PARK (SOUTH AFRICA)

This is an ideal trip for the newlyweds and lovers out there. Kruger National Park is the most famous and popular park in South Africa, and there are multiple safari packages that equally value the love-struck couple and natural wildlife. You can even take a self-driving tour if you really want some privacy. And aside from the beautiful wildlife, this park also offers powerful rivers and beautiful lakes.

OKAVANGO DELTA (BOTSWANA)

If lions and zebras and elephants aren’t your thing, then head on over to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. Here you can take in a water safari on the swamps and rivers and catch a glimpse of some truly massive hippos. There are also plenty of luxurious and pamper-heavy accommodations in the area for you to get your relaxation on.

YALE NATIONAL PARK (SRI LANKA)

Yale National Park in Sri Lanka is a sneaky alternative to take in a great safari if, for whatever reason, you don’t want to go to Africa. But make no mistake, this beautiful park still offers views just as amazing and all the wildlife you can handle including leopards, elephants, deer, bears, and even adorable sloths! And similar to Tanzania, Sri Lanka also has many beautiful beaches that are ideal for a great vacation.

MAASAI MARA NATIONAL RESERVE (KENYA)

This breathtaking park is the final destination of over a million wildebeest every year that migrate there all the way from the Serengeti in Tanzania, a journey that is known as “The Great Migration.”

But what makes the end of their migration so compelling, is when they reach Maasai Mara National Reserve and the hippo and crocodile-infested Mara River. Not to mention the Hyenas and lions that are waiting for them on land. The migration happens between July and October every year and is definitely a must-see.


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