Tuesday, November 30, 2010


"Why use your mind to remember when you can use it to imagine big things?"

Stephen Covey

Health Tip

It’s known that exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of ear
infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, and more severe asthma in
children. That’s not all. In a recent study, the more children were
exposed to secondhand smoke at home or in motor vehicles, the more
likely they were to report symptoms of nicotine dependence. There is
NO SAFE LEVEL of exposure to secondhand smoke. Do not allow smoking in
your home or car, and avoid public places where smoking may still be

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Exercise Tip

Exercise is good for kids’ health–and their heads. Research shows fit kids have bigger brain areas associated with learning and memory.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Health Tip

Burn yourself while cooking? Forget applying butter. Soak your skin in cold water for at least five minutes and apply antibiotic cream.

Nutrition Tip

Fight heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer by eating more veggies and fruit. This fall, up your intake with an apple a day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Nutrition Tip

Think you’ll save calories by skipping breakfast on Thanksgiving? Guess again. You’ll be more likely to binge if you haven’t eaten.

Instead of bypassing breakfast on Thanksgiving Day, eat a small, sensible meal that will keep you satisfied until the Thanksgiving feast. Good breakfast options include a bowl of whole-grain cereal with fruit and milk, a slice of peanut butter toast, or an egg and toast – using 100 percent whole-grain bread, of course. You’ll have less control over your appetite, and be more likely to grab the first appetizer in sight, if you’re starving. Another way to keep your grazing in check: take one or two hors d'oeuvres and step away from the table. You can also offer to help with the prep work – keeping your hands busy gives you less time to snack before dinner.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Health Tip

Strong evidence indicates that both aerobic activity and muscle strengthening activity provide therapeutic benefits with persons with osteoarthritis.

Health Tip

Today is the 35th Great American Smokeout. Make a plan to quit, or help someone you know give up tobacco for 24 hours.

Even if you’ve quit a hundred times before, the Great American Smokeout is the perfect time to make a renewed effort. If you don’t feel ready to give up cigarettes for good, try going tobacco-free for 24 hours and see how you feel. You might be surprised at how much easier it is this time around. In preparation for the day, ask a friend or family member to hide or dispose of your cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters and matches. Plan a day full of activities that don’t trigger a cigarette craving. Try to keep yourself busy, but don’t do anything too stressful. Ask a friend who supports your cause to be on call in case of emergencies. Promise them that you will call them first if you have a craving. If you don’t smoke but know someone who does, reach out today and offer to “adopt” them and be their first responder during the day.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Fitness Tip

Which is better for your muscles, dumbbells or machines? The American
College of Sports Medicine and many strength experts recommend using a
combination of the two. Together, they help to increase strength,
while also improving coordination and flexibility. For example, using
a chest-press machine may allow you to lift more weight safely, but
using dumbbells to push into a press requires muscle balance and
coordination. Muscles benefit from both types of weight training. Mix
it up. Find a routine that fits you and your goals.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Health Tip

Don’t be afraid to get the flu vaccine if you’re pregnant. Infants of inoculated moms are less likely to contract the flu.

Getting the influenza vaccine when you’re pregnant can help protect your baby not only from the flu, but also from being admitted to the hospital for flu-like respiratory infections, according to a new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics

Health Tip

For most produce, rubbing them under water is the best way to remove pesticides. Waxed items like apples may benefit from produce washes.

Rinsing your produce under running water appears to work just as well as mild detergents for removing pesticide residue and bacteria. If your fruits or vegetables are hardy enough, use light friction to rub away germs and pesticides. Washing produce in water can lower its bacterial count by tenfold. Some produce, however, like apples, peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes have an edible wax coating, which protects them from bruising but can also trap pesticides and dirt underneath. For these items, a mild soap and water mix or ready-made produce wash can help remove the wax and whatever is trapped underneath.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Health Tip

How can you alleviate allergy congestion without the side effects of nasal spray? Irrigate your nasal passages with a neti pot and saline.

Just as gargling with salt water can help soothe a sore throat, flushing your nasal passages with a saline solution can help alleviate allergy congestion. Nasal irrigators like neti pots, which resemble small teapots, have been used for centuries to cleanse and soothe nasal passages. Recent scientific studies suggest that regular nasal rinsing with a salt-water solution can significantly ease allergy sinus symptoms and reduce the need for prescription nasal sprays. Because an over-reliance on nasal sprays can lead to nasal tissue irritation, dryness and rebound congestion, people with chronic sinus issues may find that nasal irrigators help control their symptoms without bothersome side effects.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Health Tip

Cocktails are not kind to the waistline. Some mixed drinks have more calories than a fast-food burger. Sip beer or wine instead.

Even when you steer clear of the hors d’oeuvre table, holiday parties really have a way of messing with your diet. That’s because alcohol comes in just behind fat in its number of calories per gram. Whereas one gram of carbohydrates contains four calories, one gram of alcohol has seven. Just one serving of 80-proof liquor has nearly 100 calories — and that’s without the addition of mixers, the real diet wreckers. Margaritas, piƱa coladas, Long Island iced teas and mai tais can all contain between 500 and 1,000 calories, depending on how big the pour. If you’re watching your calories, opt for beer, wine or cocktails with a splash of juice or soda water. Even if you’re not on a diet, drinking in moderation is always a smart and healthy idea.

Health Tip

Make sleep a priority when you’re expecting. Skimping on sleep — or getting too much — when pregnant may lead to high blood pressure.

Getting enough sleep in early pregnancy can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure or preeclampsia in the third trimester. Fewer than five hours of shut-eye or more than 10 were linked to elevated blood pressure readings later in pregnancy. High blood pressure during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mom and baby. Complications of high blood pressure during pregnancy, also known as preeclampsia if accompanied by protein in the urine, include lack of blood flow to the placenta, resulting in less oxygen and nutrients to your baby. This could lead to low birth weight, slow development and preterm birth. Because moms-to-be tend to need more rest, aim for eight to nine hours of sleep a night. To do so, establish a regular bedtime schedule, allowing yourself time to unwind before bed. That means no laptops, BlackBerries or TVs in the bedroom. Regular exercise during the day can also help promote better sleep.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Health Tip

Keep your kids hydrated. Research shows most children aren’t getting enough fluids. Skip the sweetened beverages and drink H2O instead.

Where do your kids get most of their liquids from? A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition shows that most children aren’t getting the minimum amount of water recommended by the U.S. Institute of Medicine, and that the fluids they do ingest are derived largely from sweetened beverages and moisture-packed foods. Even mild dehydration can lead to fatigue, muscle weakness and decreased mental capacity. Give them water or milk at meals, and have them sip water throughout the day.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Health Tip

Watch your calories between Thanksgiving and New Years. When the holidays are over, most people don’t lose the extra weight they’ve put on.

Ever wonder where those extra few pounds that creep up on you every year come from? Research shows that most weight gain occurs in the six weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. And most people don’t lose that extra padding during the remainder of the year. While the amount of weight people tend to put on during the holidays averages about a pound, overweight and obese people are likely to put on more. According to the study, conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), after one year, research subjects weighed an average of 1.5 pounds more than they did at the beginning of the study. Because the weight gained during November and December accumulates year after year, researchers say holiday weight gain should be viewed as a major contributor to obesity later in life. Instead of viewing it as a time to splurge, eat what you want in moderation. And don’t let your crazy holiday schedule keep you from going to the gym.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Overweight people at risk for type 2 diabetes can reduce their risk by losing even a few pounds.

According to CBS News, the number of people with diabetes in the U.S. has risen by 136 percent since 1980. Eight percent of us are currently living with diabetes, while another 25 percent have prediabetes. Characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood, diabetes is a chronic condition that can lead to serious complications, including heart disease, vision problems, poor circulation, nerve damage and stroke. At age 45, everyone should be tested for the disease. Anyone who is overweight and physically inactive should also be tested, regardless of age. Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable by living a healthy lifestyle. That includes maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly and choosing whole grains over refined carbohydrates.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Health Tip

The flu is particularly dangerous to kids under 5. If your child is over the age of six months, make sure he or she gets the flu vaccine.

For the first time, U.S. health officials are recommending that all children over the age of six months get the flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu is especially dangerous to children under the age of 5. Children with chronic health problems like asthma and diabetes are at an even higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Because of the H1N1 pandemic last year, child mortality rates were nearly three times higher than any other flu season. Luckily, this year’s flu vaccine protects against the 2009 H1N1 and two other influenza viruses. Take care of yourself and your little ones by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.

Tips for an Active Thanksgiving

Participate in a local Turkey Trot or 5K

Walk the dog at a quick pace once, or even twice a day

Consider walking to do an errand at a nearby store

Take a fitness lap by walking in the mall before you shop

Toss the football or Frisbee with friends or family

Follow along with a cable television exercise program

Get the basketball out and play "horse" and just have fun

Golfers, skip the cart rental and walk the course

Go sledding, snow shoe walking, or skiing in your winter wonder land

Ice skate at the mall, local hockey rink, or outdoors

Bicycle with a family member who gets a new bike for the holidays