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Make Summer Fitness Fun

HEA-fitness-fun1(Family Features) For most people, there is typically one main motivator for wanting to get in shape for the warmer weather months — they want to fit into the smaller, more revealing clothing of the season.

Whether it’s a new swimsuit they’d like to purchase in a smaller size or they just want last year’s shorts to fit more comfortably, getting a beach-ready body can often seem unattainable. But summer boasts an abundance of outdoor activities that take away the “chore” of getting in shape. Focus on the fun of the season, and before you know it, you will be fitting into your favorite summer wardrobe staples.

“Now that the weather is warmer, people are outside training more,” said KT Tape Founder Jim Jenson. “It is important to have the proper training gear and equipment to avoid injury.”

Go take a hike

Nothing allows you to take in the peace and tranquility of nature more than a long hike. This summer, incorporate many long hikes into your weekly routine and build up your endurance with this beneficial cardio exercise. Check with your county and state parks for trails and expand on your hiking skills, advancing in difficulty levels and length as the season progresses.

What it works: Hiking engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluts. This activity also strengthens your abdominal core, especially while carrying a heavy pack.

 

Break a sweat, courtside

All you need to increase your heart rate is a basketball and an empty court at the local park or school playground. Practice shooting, normal dribbling, dribbling while doing sit-ups and dribbling behind the back of your legs. Make it a weekly event to gather for a game with friends and you’ll forget you are even working out.

What it works: Basketball can be a full-body workout, but it mainly targets your triceps, shoulders, biceps and pectoral muscles.

 

Go for a swim

While the summer days often bring about occasions to relax by the pool, there’s no reason not to jump right in. Take refuge from the sun’s heat and burn calories at the same time by swimming. This exercise is a top choice for those with physical limitations or who find simple cardio activities — such as walking, hiking or jogging — difficult or painful.

What it works: Swimming works all major muscles groups, especially the shoulders, abdominals, legs, hips and back.

 

When the weather warms up and spending hours at the gym sounds less appealing, give a few of these fun activities a try. For more fitness tips, visit www.elivingtoday.com.

 

HEA-fitness-fun2Take care of your muscles

By engaging in a workout routine, you’ve already proven that you care for your body. But do you have a care plan for the muscles that take you to your next level of fitness? Here are some ways to keep those hard working muscles in top shape so you can give it your all at every workout.

 

•Warm up and cool down

Regardless of the sport or activity you pursue, it’s always best to ease into it slowly and build your endurance as you go. Warming up can include light jogging, walking or performing the activity at a very slow pace. At the end of your routine, be sure to lightly stretch out each major muscle group you worked.

 

•Have a backup plan

In case of injury, always have a reliable pain relief and support product on hand, such as KT Tape, an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. It’s lightweight, comfortable to wear and can be used on many common injuries, such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints and tennis elbow. For more information, visit www.kttape.com.

 

•Listen to your body

If you should experience any sharp or sudden pains while exercising, don’t ignore the warning signs. Working out through the pain may make a small injury much worse. As a general rule, if it feels wrong, stop the workout.

 

•Engage in various activities

A body involved in different exercises will call on different muscle groups. This type of cross training prevents overly stressing one area of muscle.

 

•Allow the body to rest

In order to achieve the maximum benefit of your workout, your muscles need proper nourishment. This means sleep is extremely important, but it also means resting for a few days in between workouts. A proper rest period will give muscles time to heal.

 

Today’s trends in fitness

For those who long for a little variety in their fitness routine, here are some new trends taking shape — for indoors and outdoors — that may be just what you need to take your fitness to the next level.

• Body weight training

This new trend in fitness works by using your own body weight as resistance, which can help you shape muscles, tone, increase flexibility and ultimately, burn fat.

• High intensity interval training

This routine is great for those who are short on time, requiring extreme exertion in short intervals followed by a shorter recovery time.

• Yoga by air

Yoga’s newest offering is called aerial or antigravity yoga, which combines classic yoga moves with acrobatics; all while being suspended in the air from a hammock.

 

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Consider health and safety risks when getting body art

 

Body art modification has become increasingly popular with one out of four persons ages 18-25 in the United States now having tattoo or body piercing. As body art such as tattoos or piercings becomes more common, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is urging residents to protect their health and wellness by working with a local state licensed body art facility for their body art.

The MDCH is running public service announcements on Pandora Radio through August to help educate Michigan residents about the risks associated with getting body art from an unlicensed facility. Residents interested in body art modification can protect themselves against infection by choosing licensed body art facilities when electing a tattoo or body piercing procedure.

Body art procedures are invasive processes that can be associated with serious health risks including transmission of blood-borne diseases such as Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). These procedures also carry the risk of skin infections such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).

In 2010, State of Michigan Public Act 375 was enacted to encourage and require collaborative on-site facility inspections of body art facilities in Michigan to ensure the health and safety of residents. Public Act 375, along with the Body Art Licensing Program at MDCH, requires licensed body art facilities to adhere to a uniform set of standards to protect the health and safety of body art practitioners, their customers, and the general public.

To learn more about the MDCH Body Art Licensing Program, body art procedure risks, body art facility licensing requirements, or to find a list of local state licensed body art facilities, visit the MDCH website at www.michigan.gov/bodyart.

To listen to Michigan’s new public service announcements about body art safety, visit the MDCH YouTube page at www.youtube.com/michigandch.

 

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Stroke and osteoporosis screenings coming to Cedar Springs

 

Cedar Springs, Michigan – Residents living in and around the Cedar Springs, Michigan community can be screened to reduce their risk of having a stroke or bone fracture. Solon Center Wesleyan Church will host Life Line Screening on August 23. The site is located at 15671 Algoma in Cedar Springs.

Steve Hennigar of Oscoda, MI attended a Life Line Screening and said, “I’m sure Life Line Screening saved my life.”

Four key points every person needs to know:

• Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of permanent disability

• 80% of stroke victims had no apparent warning signs prior to their stroke

• Preventive ultrasound screenings can help you avoid a stroke

• Screenings are fast, noninvasive, painless, affordable and convenient

Screenings identify potential cardiovascular conditions such as blocked arteries and irregular heart rhythm, abdominal aortic aneurysms, and hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women.

Packages start at $149. All five screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete.  For more information regarding the screenings or to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287 or visit our website at www.lifelinescreening.com. Pre-registration is required.

 

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Seven health myths that might surprise you

HEA-Seven-health-myths-web(BPT) – Living a healthy life takes some resolve, but success often comes down to knowing what pays the biggest dividends for a given effort. Health coaches are great sources for this insight. They’ve seen it all on the job and learned a lot in their training.

Health coaches for workplace well-being leader Provant identified seven commonly held health and wellness myths drawn from their research and experience:

Myth No. 1: An aerobic workout boosts your metabolism all day. Wrong, it just burns calories while you’re doing it. Muscle-strengthening exercises, however, will burn calories long after your workout.

Myth No. 2: If you don’t break a sweat, it’s not a workout. Wrong, sweat is just the body’s way of cooling itself. A better reflection of effort is the talk test: your workout is moderate if you can talk, but not sing, and vigorous if you need to take a breath every few words.

Myth No. 3: You should stretch before you exercise. Not really, you could hurt yourself. Better to stretch after you’re warmed up with light, smooth movement of gradually increasing intensity.

Myth No. 4: Frozen fruits and vegetables are less healthy than fresh ones. Actually, they’re both healthy. Frozen fruits and vegetables are generally picked and frozen at nutritional peak. Canned can be a fine choice if you’re watching your budget. Avoid fruits packed in syrup.

Myth No. 5: Cigars and chewing tobacco are safe because you don’t inhale. This is another myth. Cigar smokers have higher rates than nonsmokers of death from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and are four to 10 times more likely to die from cancers of the throat, mouth, lips, larynx and esophagus, according to the American Cancer Society. People who chew tobacco are more likely to develop oral cancers that affect the tongue, lips, cheeks and gums.

Myth No. 6: Stress happens. There’s nothing you can do about it. Not true, stress doesn’t have to overwhelm you. There are several approaches to managing it. Set priorities and tackle simple problems first. Then move on to complex difficulties. Practice relaxation exercises. Make yourself more resilient by eating smart, exercising and avoiding tobacco.

Myth No. 7: Cold turkey is the best way to quit tobacco. Nope. It’s just one of the ways to quit, and the more times you try to quit, the better your chances of succeeding. Research indicates to help improve success rates, you need: the desire and readiness to quit, some form of pharmacotherapy (nicotine replacement therapy or prescription medications) and social support (family, friends, health coach).

Keep this information in mind as you go about improving your health, and most importantly, don’t give up.

 

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Work outside? Beat the heat!

Thousands of people become sick each year, some severely, from working in the heat.

Thousands of people become sick each year, some severely, from working in the heat.

(NAPS)—Thousands of people become sick each year and some even die from working in the heat. Heat illness most affects those who have not built up a physical tolerance to heat, and is especially dangerous for workers in agriculture, construction and transportation.

Working in hot weather can raise body temperatures past the level that normally can be cooled by sweating. Heat illness may initially appear in the form of heat rash or heat cramps—but can turn into heat exhaustion or heat stroke if preventative measures are not followed.

If your job requires working long hours outdoors this summer, make sure your employer is taking the necessary (and easy to provide) steps to keep you safe, including: scheduling frequent water breaks, providing shaded areas, and allowing enough time to rest. Remember this simple message to prevent heat illness: Water. Rest. Shade.

Want more information? The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has a free “app” for mobile devices that can help. The app uses the temperature and heat index at your worksite, and displays risk levels, signs and symptoms of heat illness and what to do in case of emergency. The app, along with other important information (in English and Spanish) is available at osha.gov/heat.

 

 

 

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Address tomorrow’s needs today

Rabbi Bunny Freedman from the Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy network helps Hospice of Michigan staff understand the world Jews lived in during the Holocaust.

Rabbi Bunny Freedman from the Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy network helps Hospice of Michigan staff understand the world Jews lived in during the Holocaust.

Hospice of Michigan Institute  

Fifteen years ago, Hospice of Michigan team members began noticing a “care gap.”

The physicians, nurses and social workers so adept at providing end-of-life care for those with a diagnosis of six months or less to live found an increasing number of patients and families who needed help but didn’t meet this criteria.

Struggling with advanced cancer, Parkinson’s, ALS and other serious illnesses, these patients were falling through the proverbial cracks of the healthcare system.  Families who had stepped in to provide the extra care needed found themselves exhausted and struggling.

So was born the idea for At Home Support™, an advanced illness management program that offers comfort care to seriously ill patients who may still be years away from hospice care. The program provides an interdisciplinary team who handle the medical, social and spiritual needs of patients and their caregivers and round-the-clock access to nurses telephonically.

At Home Support is just one example that makes it easy to understand why research and education is so important to end-of-life care. That’s why, with a generous $3 million gift from Detroit-area philanthropist and civic leader Maggie Allesee, the Maggie Allesee Center for Quality of Life was formed.

Today, the Center has evolved to become the Hospice of Michigan Institute, the only research and innovation center in Michigan focused on end-of-life care. It has become the premier hub for research, education and community outreach initiatives aimed at improving care for people who are seriously ill and providing support for their caregivers.

The Hospice of Michigan Institute is a place where end-of-life experts can exchange ideas on enhancing the care of those with serious illness and where health care providers can learn new ways to improve the care they provide their patients in the last phase of life,” said Dr. Michael Paletta, executive director of the Institute. The education and programs the Institute provides are grounded in its research, which changes every day.

The research shows we can live better with serious illness and through training and education of its staff, medical professionals and the community at large, the Institute is improving quality-of-life at the end-of-life.

The Institute is focused on:

Training the trainers: It’s an approved provider of continuing nursing education, allowing the Institute to train HOM staff as well as educate nurses throughout the country on issues and concepts dealing with quality-of-life and end-of-life care. Additionally, the Institute offers cultural experience programs that provide greater insight into the needs of those facing unique circumstances related to shared experiences that fall beyond typical hospice care and training.

Education and training for persons living with advanced illness: the Institute conducts educational and outreach activities, accessible to the general public, that provide a comfortable environment for individuals to discuss advanced illness management and death at any point in their lives.

Research initiatives: Collaborating with major universities and health care centers, the Institute develops new and innovative ways to improve quality-of-life and end-of-life care. The Institute uses this research and data to show the value of its programs and constantly measures outcomes to prove effectiveness.

In the past few years alone, research and education developed by the Institute has helped HOM introduce several new programs, including:

Veteran support training: In conjunction with the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization’s We Honor Veterans program, the Institute has provided training and education programs to HOM’s clinical teams to recognize and treat the unique issues facing military families. HOM has been recognized as a Level Four partner in the program, signifying the organization has met the highest standards set by the Veterans Administration and NHPCO for this national program.

Holocaust survivor education: In an effort to provide better and more sensitive end-of-life care to the hundreds of Holocaust survivors in Michigan, the Institute is working with the Jewish Hospice and Chaplaincy Network to educate HOM staff on the Holocaust and the unique end-of-life needs of survivors.

Hispanic outreach program: The Institute has secured grant funding to allow HOM to better meet the needs of the Hispanic community in Grand Rapids. Spanish-speaking nurses and staff have begun connecting with community to provide culturally sensitive hospice services and educational materials.

To learn more about the Hospice of Michigan Institute or for more information on educational programs offered to medical professionals and the community, call 888.247.5701 or visit www.hom.org.

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Will quitting smoking help prevent diabetes?

The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is encouraging residents to combat the risk of diabetes by maintaining healthy habits and quitting smoking. According to a 2014 report released by the Surgeon General, smoking is shown to be an actual cause of diabetes and a risk factor for poor control of blood glucose or blood sugar. The report, released in January, The Health Consequences of Smoking: 50 Years of Progress, explains that smokers are 30-40 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than people who do not smoke.

“Smoking negatively impacts blood flow making it even more difficult to control blood glucose levels,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, chief medical executive for the MDCH. “The more cigarettes smoked, the higher the risk of diabetes. The good news is that by quitting smoking today you can lower your risk of developing diabetes and other chronic diseases over time.”

_HEA-smoking-and-diabetes-webIn 2012, one out of ten Michigan adults were diagnosed with diabetes. An additional 250,000 were thought to already have the disease but were not yet diagnosed. More than a third of Michigan adults were already at high risk with a condition called prediabetes.

Diabetes is a word used for several conditions where blood glucose levels are too high. When a person eats, most of the food is turned into energy in the form of glucose. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, keeps glucose levels in normal ranges by helping glucose move from the blood into the body’s cells where it is used for energy. In type 1 diabetes, the pancreas makes very little or no insulin. In type 2 diabetes, insulin that is still being made is not working as well as it should to keep blood glucose levels down.

Some people are at risk for diabetes, particularly type 2, and don’t know it. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include: a family history of the disease, being overweight, physical inactivity, high blood pressure, age, and a history of gestational (during pregnancy) diabetes for women. The Surgeon General’s report makes it clear that smoking is a cause for type 2 diabetes as well. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease and most commonly develops in children or young adults.

Diabetes can cause serious damage to organs and nerves. Heart attacks, strokes, blindness, amputations, and infections are well-known complications. Regardless of the type of diabetes, smoking makes it more difficult to control blood glucose levels. Smoking negatively impacts blood flow resulting in similar complications and compounds the risks caused by diabetes.

Learn how to prevent or manage diabetes. Connect with a local Diabetes Self-Management Education Program or learn more at www.michigan.gov/diabetes. For smoking cessation resources, contact the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit www.michigan.gov/tobacco.

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Mental health first aid trainings

Courses help communities identify, understand, and respond to mental illness

In an effort to help communities identify, understand, and respond to the signs of mental illness, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is encouraging Michigan residents to take a Mental Health First Aid training near them. There are currently more than 30 classes scheduled for the months of June and July across the state.

“We would like to see Mental Health First Aid training become as common and as widely known as traditional first aid courses are,” said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. “Through these courses, we are not only helping reduce stigma by increasing understanding, but we’re helping our residents direct their friends and loved ones to the care they need.”

The MDCH is running online and radio promotions to increase awareness of the trainings to residents throughout Michigan communities. Currently, Mental Health First Aid trainings are being conducted free of charge for those who work or reside within Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Genesee, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Kent, Macomb, Muskegon, Oakland, and Wayne counties. Residents of other counties may take the training for a fee.

Mental Health First Aid is an eight-hour training certification course that teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual. The certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. Thorough evaluations in randomized controlled trials and a quantitative study have proved the CPR-like program effective in improving trainees’ knowledge of mental disorders, reducing stigma, and increasing the amount of help provided to others.

Mental Health First Aid originated in 2001 in Australia under the direction of founders Betty Kitchener and Tony Jorm. To date, it has been replicated in twenty other countries worldwide, including Hong Kong, Scotland, England, Canada, Finland, and Singapore.

Kent County will hold trainings on Wednesday, July 16 and Tuesday, July 29, at Network 180, 790 Fuller NE, Grand Rapids. To register go to www.network180.org. For additional info, email training@network180.org.

For more information about Mental Health First Aid trainings visit www.michigan.gov/mentalhealthfirstaid.

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When disaster strikes, will your pets be safe?

Preparedness tips for pet parents

(BPT) – Americans living in areas prone to severe storms, floods, earthquakes or other natural disasters may be well aware of the philosophy, “Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.” Families with a disaster plan in place will be better equipped to stay safe and recover from an emergency. Too often, however, even the best planners forget to include provisions for the four-legged members of the family.

_HEA-Pet-Tips-during-disaster-web“When disaster strikes, families may not have much time to act,” says Dr. Ellen I. Lowery, associate director of U.S. professional and veterinary affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition. “While organizations like Hill’s, through our Disaster Relief Network, strive to help families and pets in the wake of natural disasters, it’s important to have a disaster plan ready, including a well-stocked Pet Emergency Go-Kit with food, water and other essentials for your pet.”

Dr. Lowery offers some guidance for putting your “Pet Emergency Go-Kit” together:

  • Include first aid supplies and a first aid guide book for pets.
  • Keep three-day supplies of both your pet’s favorite food – in a waterproof container – and bottled water.
  • Store an extra safety harness and leash because even the best-behaved pet may be frightened in an emergency, causing him to run and hide.
  • Include waste cleanup supplies. It’s important to properly dispose of pet waste to avoid adding health concerns to an already difficult situation.
  • If your pet is on any medications, keep a few days’ worth in your kit. Also include an up-to-date copy of medical records, as well as contact information for your veterinarian and additional veterinary and pet care organizations in your area.
  • You should have a brief, written explanation of your pet’s feeding routine, personality and any behavioral issues. In a disaster, your pet may receive care from someone who doesn’t know him as well as you do.
  • Don’t forget comfort. Include a few toys and a favorite blanket to keep your pet comfortable.

Keep your Pet Go-Kit somewhere readily accessible in an emergency. Be sure your pet always wears his/her identification—a microchip or collar ID tag with up-to-date information may help reunite you with your pet if you become separated in the confusion of a disaster scene.

If an impending disaster requires you to evacuate, take your pet with you. Be aware of your pet’s favorite hiding places so you’ll know where to look when you’re in a hurry to leave.

Before disaster strikes, identify locations where you could take your pet during an evacuation. Not all disaster shelters for people will be open to pets. Look for pet-friendly hotels or motels, or ask relatives and friends if they could accommodate you and your pets.

Despite your best efforts, it may not be possible to take your pet with you. To alert first responders to the possible presence of a pet in the house, place a pet rescue decal on your front door or window. It should include your veterinarian’s contact information and any special notes about your pet’s personality or medical needs. Carry a picture of your pet in case you become separated.

“Pet displacement during natural disasters is such a serious issue, the federal government has even enacted standards for evacuating and transporting pets during disasters,” Dr. Lowery says. “One widely quoted report cited Hurricane Katrina as an example of what can happen to pets during a natural disaster. The report said more than 200,000 pets were displaced during the storm, and the majority of them were never reunited with their families.”

Last year, Hill’s launched the Disaster Relief Network, a first-of-its-kind national system that allows the company to quickly coordinate pet food deliveries in response to natural disasters. Since its inception, the network has delivered free food to more than 50 shelters and veterinary clinics in response to floods, forest fires, tornados and mudslides. To learn more about the network, visit http://www.hillspet.com/food-shelter-love/emergency-help.html.

 

 

 

 

 

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The burning truth about tanning

HEA-Burning-truth-girl-getting-tan

As more people begin to head outside to enjoy the weather, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is joining the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to promote the Burning Truth campaign urging residents to protect themselves from the dangers of tanning and exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Science has shown that no matter the source, sunlight or tanning bed, exposure to UV rays can cause skin cancer.

“There is a misconception that indoor tanning is somehow safe or safer than exposure to sunlight, but the truth is that tanning bed related injuries send thousands of people to the hospital each year,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive with the MDCH. “Tanning beds pose immediate risk and have long-term effects on your skin and overall health.”

People who tan indoor damage their skin, which can lead to wrinkles, warts, rashes, and dark spots. The most serious concern is the risk of causing the deadliest skin cancer, melanoma. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and rates are climbing. Teen girls and young women need to be especially careful, as it is the second most common cancer in women between 20 and 29 years of age.

Further, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently came out with new requirements for sunlamp products that reinforce the risk, especially to minors. These requirements include reclassifying sunlamp products and UV lamps as moderate-risk, up from low-risk, and additional warning and safety labeling regarding minors under the age of 18 and skin cancer screenings.

The CDC’s Burning Truth initiative encourages residents to keep their skin healthy by protecting themselves from UV rays from the sun and tanning beds and learning about the myths associated with tanning of any kind, including:

• A base tan is not a safe tan. There is a common misconception that a tan acts as the body’s natural protection against sunburn. The truth is that a tan is the body’s response to injury from UV rays, showing that damage has been done. A “base tan” only provides a sun protection factor (SPF) of about 3 or less, which does little to protect your skin.

• Tanned skin is not healthy skin. Some people believe the tanning bed gives them a “healthy glow.” The truth is that whether tanning or burning, you are exposing yourself to harmful UV rays that damage your skin, and every time you tan, you increase your risk of melanoma. The truly healthy glow is your natural skin color.

• Controlled tanning is not safe tanning. People may have heard that indoor tanning is the safer way to tan because you can control your level of exposure to UV rays. When in reality indoor tanning exposes you to intense UV rays, increasing your risk of melanoma.

Avoiding indoor tanning and protecting yourself from the sun when outdoors are the best ways to reduce your chance of getting skin cancer. For more information about the truth of tanning, visit www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/burningtruth. For more information about the FDA’s recent sunlamp requirement changes, visit http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm399222.htm.

 

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