Clean Hands Especially in Healthcare Facilities Clean hands are important always. Regular and thorough hand washing helps stop the spread disease and can help keep you from getting sick. But while in a healthcare facility it’s especially important to keep your hands clean. According to the CDC, clean hands can protect you from serious infections while you are a patient in a healthcare facility. Why specifically while in a healthcare facility you ask? A lot of germs that cause serious infections in are spread by people’s actions. Hand hygiene can help prevent the spread of diseases and prevent infections. The CDC says, every patient is at risk of getting an infection while they are being treated for something else. Preventing the spread of germs is especially important in hospitals and other facilities such as dialysis centers and nursing homes. Hand Sanitizer Myths/Truths Everyone should know the truth about hand hygiene and alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Did you know alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills most of the bad germs that make you sick and is the preferred way to clean your hands in healthcare setting? BUT, alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill every disease including the Clostridium difficile Infection (also known as C. difficile), a common healthcare-associated infection that causes severe diarrhea. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are more effective and less drying than using soap and water, and does not create antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Soap and Water Myths/Truths Hand washing with soap is substantially more effective at cleaning your hands than hand washing with water alone. Rinsing hands with water is preferable to not hand washing at all, but hand washing with soap is more effective in removing dirt and germs from hands. Research has found that while use of water alone does help reduce the risk of diarrhea, use of soap is substantially more effective and has caused a decline in the spread of germs. Hand Hygiene and Your Healthcare Provider Hand hygiene should be a topic of conversation between healthcare providers and patients. If your healthcare provider does not shake your hand upon greeting, it is generally because they do not want to spread germs, so don’t take it personally. Your healthcare provider is just looking out for you. Patients and their visitors can protect themselves by cleaning their own hands often as well. Still have questions about hand hygiene? Bring it up next time you see your doctor. They may be able to give you even more tips.
How to make Black Friday Healthier! Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Since you may be out and about, we have a few tips to help you make your experience less stressful and healthier. Consider a few of the following tips to get your through Black Friday in a healthier way:
- Start your day with hydration. Since you more than likely overindulged on Thanksgiving, start your Black Friday with a big glass of water and lemon. This will help to hydrate you. You can also consider adding some electrolytes to it as well as long as they are low on sugar.
- Eat breakfast, even if you don't feel like it. You don't want to be starving later, when you only have unhealthy options at the food court. Make sure your breakfast doesn't include any processed foods or anything too sugary that might make you crash later.
- Stay on the move. You can make your Black Friday shopping into a workout by power walking or doing a few lunges, squats, calf raises or similar moves in between shopping trips or stores. If you would rather do your workout separately, plan on some light yoga or Pilates at the very least. Yoga will also help to calm you after the stress of a crazy shopping outing.
- Think ahead and pack snacks. Pack healthy, energizing snacks to take with you so you can avoid sugary and processed temptations.
- Get sleep the night before. Make sure you get enough sleep the night before. Thanksgiving stress can cause you to not sleep well. As a result your body will be tense and your muscles will be tight. If you only get a few hours sleep, the next day you can't function and set yourself up an unhealthy experience.
- Try not to leave all of your shopping to Black Friday. This will just stress you out. Consider waiting for Cyber Monday deals as well to keep your stress levels down.
Lung Cancer Awareness Month November is lung cancer awareness month and we’re spreading the word. Lung cancer in many cases is a preventable disease often caused by smoking or other inhalants or toxins into the lungs. It’s a complex disease to understand and treat. According to the American Lung Association, Lung cancer happens when cells in the lung change. They grow uncontrollably and cluster together to form a tumor. Unlike normal cells, cancer cells grow without order or control, destroying the healthy lung tissue around them. These types of tumors are called malignant tumors. When the cancer cells spread, they prevent organs of the body from functioning properly. Lung cells most often change because they are exposed to dangerous chemicals that we breathe. There are two main types of lung cancer, small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Non-small cell lung cancer is more common. Lung cancer symptoms usually do not appear until the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. At this point, it is harder to treat lung cancer. Malignant tumors are dangerous and can grow uncontrollably. When the cancer cells grow too fast, they prevent your organs from working normally. For example, if cancer affects the lungs, the tumor may grow so large it blocks a major airway so that part of the lung is not usable for breathing or an infection may develop because of the blockage. There are two main types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. A third less common type of lung cancer is called carcinoid. Small cell lung cancer There are two different types of small cell lung cancer: small cell carcinoma and mixed small cell/large cell cancer or combined small cell lung cancer. The types of small cell lung cancer are named for the kinds of cells found in the cancer and how the cells look when viewed under a microscope. Small cell lung cancer is almost always associated with cigarette smoking. Small cell lung cancer is usually treated with chemotherapy. Non-small cell lung cancer Non-small cell lung cancer is more common. It makes up about 80 percent of lung cancer cases. This type of cancer usually grows and spreads to other parts of the body more slowly than small cell lung cancer does. Carcinoid Lung carcinoid tumors are uncommon and tend to grow slower than other types of lung cancers. They are made up of special kinds of cells called neuroendocrine cells. They are usually classified as typical or atypical carcinoids. Carcinoids are very rare, slow-growing and most commonly treated with surgery. Just as each person is unique, each type of lung cancer is different. It is important to know the type of lung cancer you have, sometimes called “your lung cancer profile” because it helps determine what lung cancer treatment options are available. If you’re interested in learning more about lung cancer, or if you have any concerns about your lung health, make an appointment to see your doctor.
Trot before your treat - Run the Pueblo Turkey Trot. Thanksgiving is a holiday of food, family and fun, but where does the healthy aspect of Thanksgiving come in? Consider taking a jog before you indulge for the day. Join your community for the YMCA of Pueblo's Annual Turkey Trot 5K Run/Walk and free 1K Kids Fun Run. Not only will you feel better about the amount of food you’re eating later in the day, you will have earned it. Plus every runner that signs up, your race fee contribution helps provide:
- FREE memberships for all 6th graders in Pueblo County
- Affordable Childcare
- Camperships to Camp Jackson
- Sports and Swim Lesson Scholarships
How to choose healthy school lunches and snacks Students have been back to school for a little while now, but families may still be discussing whether children should take a brown-bag lunch to school or purchase a meal at the school’s cafeteria. School lunches, have improved over the past few years, especially with the decrease in sugary beverages and emphasis on fruit and vegetables, but they may still offer some not-so-healthful options. Given the choice, many kids will choose the latter – like pizza every day, no veggies and high-sugar chocolate milk, etc. It’s really important to stay ahead of those choices and make sure your children have a healthy option. Homemade lunches are usually a better choice because a parent can tailor the meal to the child’s needs and tastes. If your child has a food allergy or dietary issue, for example, you can address that. School lunches also generally tend to be repetitive. School cafeterias have a rotating calendar of meals and generally serve the same thing each week. With a homemade lunch, you can have variety and make it healthy and what your child likes and will eat. Ideally, a healthful lunch – one-third of your child’s daily intake of nutrition – should include some form of lean protein, a whole grain, a vegetable, fruit, and a source of calcium, like milk, yogurt or cheese. The same dish served at school may not be nutritionally equivalent to the one made at home. Mac and cheese, for example is likely made from white pasta and processed cheese at school. At home, she uses high-protein pasta and natural cheese. Homemade lunches don’t have to be that elaborate. There’s nothing wrong with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread if you don’t have time to make something fancier. And all kids love sweets, so it’s OK to throw in a bit of sweet, such as a chocolate kiss or a mini candy bar as long as it’s in moderation. Sandwiches and wraps with whole-grain bread or tortillas, lean meat and veggies are a good standby. Raw veggies, such as carrots, celery, jicama and grape tomatoes are always a good choice. Or consider looking for baked veggie straws or baked potato chips in single serving pouches as a side to a sandwich. There are so many options for healthy simple lunches for your children. Consider packing it for them and making them as healthy as they can be.