Monthly Archives: November 2015

Healthy Living A to Z: E (A Thanksgiving Special!)

Eating Wise

How can we prevent putting on the pounds this holiday season?

  • Go for a walk in the morning and after dinner with the family. This will promote family bonding and physical activity!
  • Eat Breakfast!! Don’t “save” your calories for the big meal, you need a small high-protein breakfast to give you more control over your appetite later in the day. It’s never a good idea to skip a meal.
  • Pick and Choose. Yes, Thanksgiving is an exciting day for everyone, but you can have corn on the cob year round, right? It’s okay to pick and choose your food. Survey the buffet before filling your plate and decide what holiday exclusives you absolutely are dying to try.
  • Listen to your gut. Just because you had two plates last year, doesn’t mean you have to break that record this year. If you stomach is telling you no more, listen.
  • Eat slowly and savor your food. You will end up consuming less and avoiding the dreaded unbuttoning of the pants.
  • Lastly, spend time with your loved ones. It’s not just the food we have to be thankful for (although I sure do love some apple pie!)

 

 more Thanksgiving Tips can be found at http://www.webmd.com/diet/10-tips-for-a-thinner-thanksgiving?page=3

Healthy Living A to Z: D

Dehydration

You become dehydrated when your fluid output exceeds your input. The effects of mild dehydration are easily fixable- drink some water. However, if you or someone you know is severely dehydrated (see below for symptoms), they may require immediate attention. Always keep an eye on your water intake, and make sure you drink slightly more than eight 8oz. glasses of water a day.

Symptoms of dehydration:

MILD TO MODERATE DEHYDRATION SEVERE DEHYDRATION
Dry, sticky mouth Extreme thirst
Sleepiness or tiredness Irritability and confusion
Dry skin Sunken eyes
Headache Dry skin that doesn’t bounce back when you pinch it
Constipation Low blood pressure
Dizziness or lightheadedness Rapid heartbeat and breathing
Few or no tears when crying Fever
Minimal urine No tears when crying
 Dry, cool skin3 In serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Muscle cramps Little or no urination, and any urine color that is darker than usual
Dry Eyes

How can we prevent this scratchy foe?

  • Remember to blink often and takes breaks when reading and especially when working with a computer
  • Rest with a warm compress or wash cloth over your eyes to melt semi-solid secretions blocking your tear glands.
  • Eat Fish
  • Make sure you close your eyes all the way when blinking.
  • Use a humidifier in the winter
  • Artificial Tears- thin liquid drops for short term relief and thicker gels for long term (aka before bedtime). Avoid “red eye reducing” drops, as they often contain decongestants that will dry your eyes out even more.

 

Sources: 

http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/dry-eye-tips.cfm

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dehydration/basics/definition/con-20030056

http://articles.mercola.com/dehydration-symptoms.aspx

 

Healthy Living A to Z: C

Cardio Workouts

Heart disease and stroke are the number 1 and number 5 causes of death in the United States. The American Heart Association states that cardiovascular exercise is crucial to avoiding these two health epidemics. Whether it’s jogging, bicycling, pick-up basketball or Zumba, thirty minutes a day, five times a week is an easy goal to remember. You will also experience benefits even if you divide your time into two or three segments of 10 to 15 minutes per day. Anything that keeps your heart pumping and makes you sweat will burn calories and build your cardiovascular system to perform better and stay healthy.

For people who would benefit from lowering their blood pressure or cholesterol, we recommend 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week to lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Try varying the duration, intensity or frequency of your cardio workouts to keep things fresh and also maintain progress. Your body will adapt to repeated workouts and, to gain fitness, it’s good to constantly strive to train a little harder, longer or more often. But above all, have fun with it: you’ll find it a lot easier to get your weekly cardio in if it’s something you enjoy!

Colon Health

Just as diet can have a positive or negative impact on heart, brain and bone health, your colon’s overall health can be affected by what you eat. The colon is a crucial part of the digestive system, and many different conditions can cause it to work improperly. Some of these include inflammatory bowel diseases, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease; diverticular disease; irritable bowel syndrome; and colorectal cancer (the third most common cancer and the third deadliest cancer in the U.S.).Treatment for these conditions includes diet and lifestyle modifications, medications and/or surgery.

Diets high in vegetables, fruits and whole grains and low in red and processed meats have been associated with a decreased risk of colon cancer, according to the ACS. To help promote good colon health, follow some of these diet recommendations:

Limit red meat consumption and steer clear of processed meats.

Cut back on sugar.

Up your fiber intake by eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. 

Drink your milk: make sure you’re getting the recommended amount of calcium in your diet: depending on age, that is 1,000 milligrams to 1,300 milligrams a day (three to four eight-ounce glasses of low-fat or fat-free milk). Other dietary sources of calcium include leafy greens, such as spinach, kale and collard greens.

Choose grains wisely: Some readily available whole grains include barley, quinoa, whole wheat flour, wild and brown rice and oatmeal. 

 

http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/PhysicalActivity/FitnessBasics/American-Heart-Association-Recommendations-for-Physical-Activity-in-Adults_UCM_307976_Article.jsp#.VkOPdLerSUl

https://www.rush.edu/health-wellness/discover-health/eating-healthy-colon

Healthy Living A to Z: B

BPA

You’ve heard about it, seen it on the news, but what exactly is the deal with BPA? Is it really that bad? The answer is maybe. The potential issue with BPA stems from the fact that it mimics estrogen, making it a chemical that can interfere with hormonal functions. This is most troubling for fetuses, infants, and young children, as exposure at such a  young age can cause cellular changes. Although most BPA research had been done using animals, the few human observational studies have found links between high BPA exposure and obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, as well as a plethora of other disorders. How can you avoid BPA? It’s often found in Polycarbonate plastic, the lining of aluminum cans, and Thermal paper (like store receipts).

Learn more: http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-community/environmental-health/article/hard-look-bpa

Blood Pressure

So, your blood pressure is 130/81. Great! But what does it mean?

The first number, your Systolic Blood Pressure,  measures the pressure put on your arteries from your heart contracting and pushing blood through your body. Ideally, this number should be under 120. Anything above 140 is considered hypertension (high) and in between these two magic numbers, is hypertension. 130=Prehypertension

The second number is your Diastolic blood Pressure. It is the pressure inside your arteries while your heart is resting in between beats. This number should ideally be below 80, and anything above 90 is hypertension.  81= Prehypertension

Want to learn more?: http://www.webmd.com/hypertension-high-blood-pressure/guide/diastolic-and-systolic-blood-pressure-know-your-numbers