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Viewing posts from: October 2019

Tips for a Healthy Halloween

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Tips for a Healthy Halloween halloween safety tips Halloween is just around the corner, and while kids love to dress in costumes and cause mischief, parents may not feel as excited about Halloween celebrations.  Halloween is actually a great time of year to begin practicing balance and mindfulness when it comes to eating, since it's the official kick-off of the holiday season. Remember, it's alright to indulge in treats, just don't forget to practice moderation. Here are a few important tips for keeping you and your children extra healthy this year.   Wait to buy Halloween candy. Purchase Halloween candy the day of, to avoid temptation. Buy less than what you think you will need to avoid leftovers and, if you really don't want to indulge at all, purchase candies that you do not like. If you still have leftovers, place them out of sight. If you really have a hard time with temptation choose to pass out non-candy treats such as bouncy balls, spider rings, pencils, erasers, bubbles or stickers. Eat before you trick or treat. Serve a healthy family dinner before the fun begins, so the kids will not be tempted to eat candy along the way. After trick or treating, offer a cup of warm, low-fat milk with just one treat to ensure that blood sugar is stable before bedtime. Be aware of calories. Weight management is always a challenge but more so during most holidays. The secret to success is calorie intake, which means choosing appropriate portions and remembering that extra bites add up. It takes only 100 calories a day more than what you need to lead to an extra 10-pound weight gain at the end of the year. Stick to your diet and limit your calorie consumption during Halloween. Stay active. Halloween is surprisingly based around a great physical activity for you and your kids: walking. Take a long walk around your neighborhood while trick or treating and enjoy all the creative decorations and costumes. Practice portion control. After trick or treating, sort the candy and set boundaries on an amount to be eaten over the next week. Keep in mind that there are many low-calorie candies that can satisfy a sweet tooth. Always choose fun size candy bars based on the least amount of fat and calories per serving and try and choose healthier dark chocolate versions. Bargain. If you're left with an overwhelming amount of candy, bargain with your kids and ask them to trade some of their stash for a favorite nonfood "item," such as a chance to stay up just a little later on a school night. Keep it in perspective. Let your kids enjoy themselves, with a few small rules of course, and you will be back to healthy, nutritious meals before you know it. Keep it healthy. Have a safe and happy halloween. 

Bone and Joint health: Steps to ensure strong, healthy bones and joints.

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Bone and Joint health: Steps to ensure strong, healthy bones and joints. joint health It's important to make sure you're on track for good health. As you get older, bone and joint problems can occur for both men and women. Simple wear and tear can lead to osteoarthritis, and the weight gain that often comes with age puts even more stress on joints.  For women, though, the story is more complicated. To begin with, a woman's bone mass is generally lower than a man's. And the decrease in estrogen that comes with menopause brings a higher risk for weak bones from osteoporosis. Additionally, mechanical differences in the way women's thigh, hip and butt muscles are engaged — in combination with the angle between the hip and knee — puts them at a higher risk for injuries than men, especially injuries to the knee cap and anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL. In midlife, women are also at higher risk than men for overuse injuries, such as stress fractures and tendonitis. Tips for better bone and joint health: Keep moving. Exercise is key. A well-designed exercise program including aerobic exercise, stretching and lifting weights can help you avoid injuries. Weight-bearing activities, such as walking, jogging and dancing, can help keep bones healthy. The secret is to begin slowly with an easy activity, such as walking, and build up to more strenuous exercise. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity — either all at once or 10 minutes at a time — on most days of the week. But if it's been a while since you’ve been active, talk to your doctor before you begin any exercise program to ensure you don't have any health problems that might make exercising risky.   Eat a bone-healthy diet. Calcium is the most important nutrient for bones, and vitamin D helps the body absorb it. In addition to finding both in dairy products and fish, some foods and beverages, such as orange juice, are fortified with calcium, and it’s in some green vegetables. The amount of calcium and vitamin D  you need varies with age, so make sure you’re getting enough — but not too much — at each stage of your life.    Taking a proactive approach to prevention  Have a baseline bone density test, or DEXA scan, for all women at age 65, or earlier if you are at high risk for developing osteoporosis. This allows you to start treatment as soon as necessary. Have additional questions about bone and joint health? Talk to your doctor about how they can help.

Healthy Lungs – Tips for keeping them strong and healthy.

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Healthy Lungs - Tips for keeping them strong and healthy. healthy lungs Staying fit and exercise are important factors in staying healthy, but did you realize that this recommendation goes well beyond achieving a healthy physique and moves into lung health? You might not think about lung cancer as a daily ritual, but maybe you should. After all, your lungs help you live the life you love every second of every day. Your lungs allow your body to take in oxygen from the air and clear carbon dioxide (a gas than can become toxic) from your body. This gas exchange is an essential part of breathing, which is a vital function of your life.  When thinking about lung diseases, lung cancer is often the first thought, but there are many other diseases and conditions of the lungs that can be prevented or better managed with these lung health solutions. Some include pneumonia, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and a pulmonary embolism (PE).   Here are 10 simple tips for keeping your lungs healthy and prevent lung disease.

  1. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, too.
  2. Be mindful of your environment’s air quality. Test for pollutants or contaminants if you are concerned and discuss it with your doctor. 
  3. Prevent common colds and respiratory illnesses by washing your hands frequently with soap and water (or using an alcohol-based hand cleaner if not available). 
  4. Avoid large crowds during the flu season, or when you get wind that some other respiratory illness is going around. 
  5. Stay home if you are sick to avoid spreading colds and respiratory illnesses to others. 
  6. Get your annual flu shot and encourage others in your household to do the same. 
  7. Get regular cardiovascular exercise to boost lung fitness and overall health.
  8. Practice deep breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, exercises.
  9. Stay on top of your dental health and oral hygiene to prevent harmful bacteria from traveling from your mouth to your upper airway.
  10. Get regular check-ups from your primary care physician and discuss any concerns about your lung health, including any symptoms of lung cancer, and family history of lung disease. 
  If you’d like more information about how to protect your lung health, our primary care physicians are here to guide you with expert care. 

Mental Health: The Effects of Bullying on Children

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Mental Health: The Effects of Bullying on Children bullying Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern.   Kids Who are Bullied According to “Stop Bullying”, Kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, school, and mental health issues. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:

  • Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
  • Health complaints
  • Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
A very small number of bullied children might retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied.   Kids Who Bully Others Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood. Kids who bully are more likely to:
  • Abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults
  • Get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school
  • Engage in early sexual activity
  • Have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults 
  • Be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses, or children as adults
  Bystanders Kids who witness bullying are more likely to:
  • Have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs
  • Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
  • Miss or skip school
  The Relationship between Bullying and Suicide Media reports often link bullying with suicide. However, most youth who are bullied do not have thoughts of suicide or engage in suicidal behaviors.    Although kids who are bullied are at risk of suicide, bullying alone is not the cause. Many issues contribute to suicide risk, including depression, problems at home, and trauma history. Additionally, specific groups have an increased risk of suicide, including American Indian and Alaskan Native, Asian American, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth. This risk can be increased further when these kids are not supported by parents, peers, and schools. Bullying can make an unsupportive situation worse.   Think your child is being bullied? We have resources on how you can help. Talk to your doctor about the situation for help.  

Breast Cancer in Men

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With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’d like to highlight the men that are affected by breast cancer and provide information about male breast cancer. male breast cancer   All people, whether male or female, are born with some breast cells and tissue. Even though males do not develop milk-producing breasts, a man’s breast cells and tissue can still develop cancer. Even so, male breast cancer is pretty rare, especially compared to the cases of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer in men is usually detected as a hard lump underneath the nipple and areola. Men carry a higher mortality than women do, primarily because awareness among men is less and they are less likely to assume a lump is breast cancer, which can cause a delay in seeking treatment.  Breast Cancer Types in Men Of the men who develop breast cancer, the vast majority of those cases are Infiltrating Ductal Carcinoma (IDC), which means cells in or around the ducts begin to invade surrounding tissue. Very rarely, a man might be diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer, or Paget disease of the nipple. Signs & Symptoms Male breast cancer can exhibit the same symptoms as breast cancer in women, including a lump. Anyone who notices anything unusual about their breasts, whether male or female, should contact their physician immediately. Survival rates and treatment for men with breast cancer are very similar to those for women. Early detection of breast cancer increases treatment options and often reduces the risk of dying from breast cancer. If you or your loved one thinks they may have male breast cancer, speak to your doctor right away.