Archive for June, 2012

School’s Out for Summer

It is that time of the year again, summer vacation is finally here. I once read that one of the busiest days of the year for emergency rooms is the first day of summer break. Kids are let free. They go wild after being cooped up for the past nine months. Many become rambunctious, forget about safety and end up in the ER.

The following are summer safety tips for you and your family.

Bites and Stings Did you know that wearing light-colored clothing can help reduce the incidence of bug bites and bee stings? If you plan to spend time outdoor be sure to protect yourself with insect repellant. This does not kill insects but it does reduce the number of bites. Avoid using repellant on your face and hands.

Ticks Did you know tick season can run from April through October depending on where you live? Do a tick check on everyone after spending time in the woods, playing in tall grassy fields, crashing on the beach or while gardening

Playground Safety Did you know that as much as 76% of playground injuries happen at school or local park? Check playground equipment for safety. Surfaces may be too hot or ropes may be frayed or loose. Ground surfaces should be made of protective material such as rubber mats, wood chips, or mulch and it should never be grass, concrete or asphalt. This helps to reduce injury to the head.

Hydration Did you know that by the time you are thirsty, the body is already dehydrated? Help kids avoid becoming dehydrated by reminding them to drink often throughout the day. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends drinking about every 20 minutes if kids are active in sports, about five ounces is right for a kid weighing 88 pounds. Water and sports drinks (drinks that contain electrolytes) are the best options for hydrating kids — avoid sodas, juice and other fruit drinks.

Sunburn Did you know that sunscreen should be applied at least every two hours, after swimming, and frequently during vigorous physical activity? Regardless of age or skin type, everyone needs sunscreen. This reduces the risk of skin cancer dramatically. Apply sunscreen before insect repellant.

Have a fun-filled summer

be well-

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Step Out, Feel Awkward

“Move out of your comfort zone.  You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.”

I feel extremely fortunate to work in the industry I do.  And the facility I work in, I consider a playground.  There are lots of boxes to jump on, balls to throw, ropes to pull, sleds to push and weights to lift.  In addition, there is a plethora of group exercise and mind/body classes to take.  On Tuesday I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a Zumba class with a friend of mine.  For those of you know that me at all, dancing is not my forte.  I entered class with butterflies in my stomach and a smile on my face.  I left the class feeling energized, sweaty and grateful I went.  It may have been the nudge needed to remind me that I need to continually challenge myself.  Step out of the comfort zone.  Feel awkward.  Try new things.

All too often we stay in our safe space.  This limits adventure and excitement in our lives.

Make a fool of yourself.  We often worry about what other people think, and this can hold us back.  Those people who matter, don’t mind and those who mind, don’t matter.

Face your fears.  Allow yourself to deal with a little discomfort.  It could turn into adventure or fun stories to share with your friends/family.

Become comfortable with taking risks.  We know what to expect in our comfort zone.  Practice non-attachment.  Do it for its own sake, not so that you can get a particular result.

Enjoy the unknown.  When was the last time you had that mixture feeling of anticipation and anxiety, the sort that makes your heart flutter and stomach turn?  See if you can bring that feeling back.

Fitness is just one avenue that people can use to step out of their comfort zone.  Taking a dance class. jumping on a box for the first time, and learning how to swim are just a few examples.  Other ways might include exploring a foreign city on your own, attending a lecture on an unfamiliar subject to you, mingling with strangers at a party.

Stretch your limits.  Your life will become more exciting, you’ll build your confidence and maybe bring yourself a little bit of luck.

be well-

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Are you at Risk?

A report came out earlier this week saying that there is a small population of people who are at risk when they exercise.  Of course there is.  There is risk in EVERYTHING we do.  Risk happens when we go swimming in the ocean.  Risk happens when we eat a poor diet.  Risk happens when we are texting and driving.  Risk happens when we sit in front of the computer too long.

The good news is that we can decrease our risk for certain diseases and other health ailments.  Below are five  health issues, a few of their risk factors/causes and ways of prevention.

Heart Disease

Risks Factors-

  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • tobacco use
  • physical inactivity
  • obesity

Prevention

  • eat a healthy diet
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • exercise regularly
  • limit alcohol
  • quit smoking

Stroke

Risks Factors-

  • high blood pressure
  • heart disease
  • overweight/obesity
  • high cholesterol
  • family history

Prevention- 

  • eat a healthy diet
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • exercise regularly

Cancer

Risk Factors-

  • smoking
  • obesity
  • extreme sun exposure
  • some viruses and bacteria

Prevention-

  • regular screenings
  • protection from carcinogens
  • eat a healthy diet

Arthritis

Risk Factors-

  • joint injury
  • age, gender
  • infection
  • occupation

Prevention-

  • eat a healthy diet
  • regular exercise
  • vitamins/supplements
  • hormone replacement

Concussions

Causes-

  • a bump, blow or jolt to the head
  • falls
  • motor vehicle accident
  • assault with an object

Prevention-

  • buckle up
  • wear a proper fitting helmet
  • use nonslip mats in the bathtub/shower
  • use handrails

How do you choose to decrease the risk of obtaining any of these health issues?

be well-

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