The winter months bring the excitement of the holidays and spending time with family and friends. However; with freezing temperatures, the spread of colds and flu, and more time spent indoors, the winter months can also take a toll on your health and safety. Here are some tips to make sure you stay safe and healthy when the temperatures begin to fall.
Prepare Your Home
The hustle and bustle of shopping, decorating, baking, and attending parties can make the holidays a time of panic and stress rather than a time of peace and joy. Stress can have very negative effects on your health. However, with some simple changes, you can cut the stress and make this time of year the magical time it should be.
1. Prioritize your To Do List.
Having a good idea of what needs to be done can go a long way in reducing stress during the holidays. Once your list is complete, prioritize. Focus first on the most important things. For those less important things, decide how important they are and whether you can do without them.
2. Get some help.
No one ever said you must do it all by yourself. Do what you enjoy, and then get help for the rest. If baking is not your thing, find a good bakery to take on that task. If you dread the task of wrapping gifts, commission a friend or family member to help you out for some extra holiday cash. Get your kids involved as much as possible. It builds memories that they will have for the rest of their lives.
3. Burn off stress with exercise.
When the stress of the holidays gets to you, don’t turn to the fudge. Instead, release that stress with some exercise. Whether it’s jogging, stair climbing, or attending a workout class, choose something you enjoy. Research shows that exercise can improve your mood for up to 12 hours.
4. Give to those less fortunate.
Buy a gift for someone less fortunate, volunteer for a charitable organization, or go visit the elderly. You will find that you can get so much pleasure out of giving to others and brightening their day.
5. Set a holiday budget and stick to it.
No one wants to spend the following year paying off Christmas. That will just add un-due stress to next year. If the budget is tight, make hand-made gifts or consider drawing names for a gift exchange rather than buying gifts for everyone.
6. Get some vitamin D.
Studies show that low vitamin D levels are linked to anxiety and depression. With cooler temperatures and less sunlight during the winter months, it is important to make sure you are getting enough vitamin D. Eat vitamin-D rich foods such as salmon, egg-yolks, or fortified milk. If you do not get enough vitamin D through your diet, you can take supplements to make up for what you are missing.
7. Focus on being grateful.
Take the time to write down the things for which you are grateful. Keep a journal or gratitude jar in which you write about the good things in each day. When you focus on these things, your mood will be boosted, and you will feel less stressed.
8. Resist trying to be perfect.
Don’t obsess over the small things. It really won’t matter if the cookies don’t look perfect or the tree isn’t arranged with precise ornament placement. Let those things go and enjoy spending time with your family. That is what really matters.
9. Turn up the music.
Research shows that hearing music you love can relax blood vessels and increase blood flow. This is good for your heart, and it calms you down. So, crank up the tunes and enjoy yourself!
10. Treat yourself.
Don’t be so focused on everyone else that you forget about yourself during the holidays. Take the time to have lunch with a friend or enjoy a long bubble bath. It will do wonders on your mood.
The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a time when people across the nation work to raise awareness of the disease in the hopes of saving the lives of women.
Did you Know?
Do you remember the carefree days of childhood? Did you think to yourself how great it would be to be an adult? Then you became an adult and got so busy with work and taking care of your family that you forgot to take care of yourself. Sound familiar? You are not alone.
As adults, we are pulled in so many directions. We must make money to support our family. We must keep the children fed and happy. We must keep the home clean. The list goes on and on. In our quest to take care of our adulthood duties, many of us tend to neglect ourselves. We must remember, however, that we need to take care of ourselves first and foremost. Make self-care a part of your daily routine. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Relax and have fun
Life is short; enjoy it. Do something every day that you like to do. Go out and enjoy nature, spend time with a friend, or take up a hobby. Whatever you choose, don’t feel guilty. You deserve to enjoy life to the fullest.
Get plenty of sleep
Most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Lack of sleep can negatively affect your work performance, mood, safety, and overall health. If you get drowsy during the day, your body is telling you to catch more z’s.
Drinking water is essential to a healthy lifestyle. There are numerous benefits to drinking water. It aids digestion, helps increase metabolism, cushions your joints, and improves mental clarity, just to name a few.
Do what works for you. Whether you choose to go for walks, ride your bike, dance, or pump iron, just remember to stay active. Your body will thank you for it.
Watch what you eat
A healthy, balanced diet is key to maintaining good health. It not only affects how your body functions, it also affects how you feel. Diets high in sugar and fat can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
Visit your doctor regularly
Don’t put your health on the backburner. Regular health exams can help find problems before they start or in their early stages when chances for treatment or cure are better. Stay on top of your health, and you will increase your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
Swimming is a great activity – especially in the Oklahoma heat. While swimming may provide a temporary cool down and fun summer activity for the entire family, it also comes with risk.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children ages 1-14 years old, and the fifth leading cause of people of all ages. Here are a few tips for staying safe around water this summer:
Keep Children within Arms Reach
Drowning can occur in as little as 10 seconds – keeping your children close to you at all times is an essential pool safety tip.
Use Inflatables with Caution
Inflatables can be a lot of fun for both kids and adults. However, it’s important to limit the number of inflatables in the pool at one time so you can easily see all the swimmers. It’s also important to stay alert as inflatable toys can overturn easily.
Before heading to the pool, create some easy-to-remember pool safety rules with your children. Teach the importance of never running, pushing or jumping on others around water.
Diving head-first into a shallow pool can result in significant neck and spinal injury. A feet first rule, especially down slides, will ensure that injuries like this are avoided.
Teach Your Kids to Swim
All children should learn to swim. Invest in swimming lessons to ensure your children are taught pool safety from an early age.
Instruct Your Children to Never Swim Alone
Children should always swim with an adult for safe supervision. Older, more experienced swimmers should also swim with a partner as well.
Know what to do if an emergency arises – find the time to learn CPR. Keep emergency numbers and a phone close to the pool to call for help in the unlikely event of an emergency.
July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and there’s no denying it's hot outside! We all love to take in the warm summer rays, but it’s also important to protect ourselves in the process. Learning the answers to the questions below will help bring you one step closer to enjoying the sun safely.
What is UV, and is it harmful?
Utraviolet (UV) is an electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength from 10 nm to 400 nm and is not visible to humans. Prolonged exposure to UV radiation may result in damage to your skin, eyes, and immune system. Long term exposure can lead to skin damage and premature skin again, eye damage and possibly even skin cancer and cataracts.
Is UV protection necessary?
Yes! Sun protection should not just be thought about when you plan to work in the yard or spend a day at the pool. Exposure to UV radiation happens every time you are in the sun and adds up day after day. It’s good to make a habit of protecting your skin from the sun every time you are in it. People who especially need UV protection if they have one or more of the following risk factors:
How do you protect against UV?
While outdoor activities are a key part of a healthy lifestyle, it is also important to take precautions when it comes to the harmful UV rays of the sun.
When you are sick, you have no choice but to think about your health. Preventative care must be planned ahead of time, even when illness is not staring you in the face. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is especially true when it comes to preventative health care. Maintaining or improving your health is important – and a focus on preventative care, can help keep you healthy.
Early detection and treatment can significantly reduce the chance of suffering, disability and financial hardship in the near or distant future.
Allied Medical Centers have joined with SmartBeat to offer an insurance-covered, preventative care program that reveals your likelihood of experiencing life-threatening health problems. To qualify for testing, you or a family member must have a history of one or more of the following: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart attack, stroke.
Most health plans will pay for one wellness or preventative exam per year. SmartBeat is a preventative care and wellness testing program that is paid for in full by insurance.
Testing includes an EKG, lung function testing, blood vessel health testing, pictures of the back of your eye that look for glaucoma, early warning of possible stroke, signs of diabetic eye damage, early signs of possible blindness, also lab tests, and ultrasound exams of your carotid (neck) arteries, aorta (the large artery that carries blood to your lower body), and your heart.
Study after study shows that primary and preventive care greatly reduces future health care costs, as well as increasing patients’ health. Put your health first, and contact Allied Medical Centers to arrange for your testing.
Approximately 4 in 10 adults have high blood pressure, which often goes undiagnosed. It is the number 1 cause of stroke and heart failure and the number 2 cause of heart attack. Living a healthy lifestyle can help keep your blood pressure in a healthy range and reduce your risk of high blood pressure-related health problems in the future. Here are 6 ways to prevent hypertension:
Maintain a Healthy Weight. People who are overweight should try to lose weight, and people of normal weight should focus on maintaining. If you are overweight, losing as little as 10 pounds can help prevent high blood pressure.
Eat a Balanced Diet. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, especially those rich in potassium, can help keep your blood pressure under control. Also, make sure to limit your intake of excess calories, fat and sugar.
Cut Back on Salt. For many people, eating a low-sodium diet can help keep blood pressure normal. You can cut back on salt by avoiding high-sodium packaged and processed foods and not adding extra salt to meals.
Exercise Regularly. Physical activity is crucial for preventing hypertension. The more exercise you get, the better, but even a little bit can help.
Limit alcohol. Drinking too much alcohol can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and only 1 for women.
Monitor Your Blood Pressure. Make sure that you have your blood pressure checked regularly. High blood pressure often occurs with no symptoms, so only blood pressure readings will tell you if your blood pressure is on the rise
Pain is invisible – there is no way for others to see it or touch it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a big problem. About 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and it costs up to $635 billion yearly in medical care and lost productivity. It can take over a person’s life, but it doesn’t have to. There’s no magic pill for treating chronic pain, but learning to manage it can help create a happier and healthier life.
With chronic pain, the goal of treatment is to reduce pain and improve function, so the person can resume day-to-day activities. Patients and their healthcare providers have a number of options for the treatment of pain. Some are more effective than others. Whatever the treatment plan, it is important to remember that chronic pain usually cannot be cured, but it can be managed. The following treatments are among the most common ways to manage pain:
Don’t let pain control you. Let us diagnose and treat your pain so you can enjoy a happy and healthy life!
Spring is in the air, and with it comes the sneezing and itching for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. Runny nose, stuffy nose, congestion, and drainage are all signs of allergies. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is time to begin treatment if you haven't already. Treatment for allergy symptoms ranges from over-the-counter medications to allergy shots. In the meantime, here are 5 tips to keep allergy symptoms at bay:
Shower at Night. Showering at night washes off all the pollen from skin and hair at night, and can make for a much more pleasant night of sleep.
Stay Inside in the Morning. Pollen counts are highest in the early morning, between 5 and 10 am. By avoiding outside exposure during this time, allergy sufferers will have a much easier time dealing with symptoms.
Keep Indoor Air Clean. Make sure house and car windows are closed when pollen counts are high. Using air conditioning in the care and at home will help filter pollen out of the air.
Avoid Some Foods. Eating raw and fresh fruit may worsen allergy symptoms for people with severe pollen allergies.
Dress Appropriately Outdoors. Wearing a wide-brim hat and sunglasses can help keep pollen out of eyes