everyday activity

Importance of Activity

Activity is important for all humans. We thrive when we are more active.

It is so easy to just sit. We sit at work, in the car and at home. Our bodies change shape and size due to this sitting. Even easier is eating foods that are considered “junk” such as pop, potato chips, fast food, etc. (which all sound great to me right now). How in the world are we suppose to get more active when there is all this eating and sitting to be done!?

Here are some things you can do throughout your day to make the sitting less harmful.

1. Stretch: Stretching is a great way to wake up the body and will improve flexibility over time.

2. Drink more water: Drinking water can help you lose weight! Make sure you are drinking plenty of water in the mornings. After 8 hours of sleep the body craves water!

3. See your doctor: Before you get into any lifestyle change it is best to talk with your primary care physician (pcp) to see if you are healthy enough to do what you’ve planned. Your pcp can also give you some ideas on what you can do if you are limited based on their findings.

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Winter Sunshine

So it is March and winter is still here! Over the long winter months we stay indoors more and are not getting as much activity as we would be getting in say…summer. This, in turn, leads to decreased amounts of sun exposure. Which cuts your risks for skin damage from the sun, but increases your risk for low levels of vitamin D. Low vitamin D can lead to many problems. Here is a great site for learning about some of these possible problems that are caused by low vitamin D levels.

Winter in Michigan can be hard on us all. Make sure you are aware of vitamin D! Talk to your primary care doctor about if getting your vitamin D levels checked is right for you.

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Is dieting the right way to lose weight?

I’m sure you are thinking that this is a dumb question. “Is dieting the right way to lose weight?”

Well I think it is a good question. With a lot of Americans overweight there has to be something wrong with the way a lot of us eat. Some of us eat too much, or choose poorly on foods. We don’t get enough fruits and vegetables.

A large group of Americans think the way to fix there weight issue is to cut out foods. This is a good way in theory and may people do lose weight this way. However, I would like to propose that you should keep your diet and instead observe everything you eat. Ask yourselves more questions like am I really hungry? Do I want to eat this? Am I just eating because I’m mad or upset?

This is the concept of the book Super Brain by Deepak Chopra, MD and Rudolph E. Tanzi, PhD

Instead of dieting observe yourself and what you are eating and after this observation you will start making the choices that are right for you.

Happy eating!

Stressful Monday’s

Stressful Monday’s seem to keep coming every week? Try some of these tips.

  1. Get more work done on Friday – One of the reasons you maybe stressed on Monday is that you didn’t get enough done on the previous Friday. Friday afternoons can be very important to wrap up the week and get ready for the next. Make sure you are using this time (3 to 5 p.m. on Friday’s) to get ready for that coming Monday and get organized!
  2. Sleep – You may have changed your sleeping pattern over the weekend. Which can lead to sleepiness on Monday. Make sure you keep your same sleeping pattern on the weekends as you do during the week.
  3. Diet – Fatty foods and sugary drinks are the norm for most Americans in the morning. Try to change your diet habits slowly over time to lean more towards fresh fruits, vegetables, and water.

Hope some of this helps you guys to combat these stressful Monday’s!

Do we need a Humidifier?

Do you wake up with dry skin and a sore throat in the winter? Your problem may not be just allergies; it could be caused by lack of moisture in the air.

In the winter months the air becomes dry causing symptoms such as dry skin and sore throats. The best way to fix this problem is to use a humidifier.

Humidifiers put moisture back into your air causing some relief to your dry skin. However it is very important to make sure that you clean your humidifier regularity, click here, for instructions on how to do this properly.

Until next time stay warm!

Holiday-Stress

Holiday Stress is a Good Thing

The holiday season is in full swing, you have a list of 50 things to do; so where do you start? Do you feel so stressed that you can’t even begin to start checking things off without having a panic attack?!?

Feeling stressed is a common problem around this time of year. Through this blog post we would like to help give some education on how to combat these “stress attacks”.

When you are having feelings of stress creeping up don’t ignore your feelings, this is common place and leads to the stress being pushed down deeper creating the opposite of what you want, some relief! Ask yourself questions like why am I feeling stressed out right now? Is the thing I’m stressing about really that important?

Questions and reflection on ones self is very important when fixing the problem of holiday stress. The reflection will help you learn more about your “stress triggers”. After discovery of these triggers one can start to make changes to avoid the triggers, or realize you have triggered your stress, and, after observation, you can stop it from becoming worse.

Maybe holiday stress is a good thing. It gives the opportunity for people to look more at themselves and observe their own “stress triggers”, and apply their own self reflection on stress. It is a great time of the year to learn about yourself!

Listen, question, and reflect and you will be well on your way to a happy new year.

Happy Holidays!

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Pain in the Neck!

Stress…we all know it is bad for us. In fact, stress can increase your risk for the following diseases…

  1. Heart disease
  2. Obesity
  3. Diabetes

Also, it can lead to more health problems including headaches, hypertension, depression & anxiety, accelerating aging, etc. 

How can we deal with this sometimes overabundance of stress at work?

 There are a lot of common answers to this question including, eating, drinking caffeine, moving around, taking a 5 min break, reading, talking with their coworkers, but are these all good habits? It is very interesting that everyone has a different way in which they operate. Something that is good for you may not be good for others and vice versa. We can solve this problem by using science! 

Trial and error is the best way to find out what works for you while you’re at work. First you will have to make a list of your habits. For example your habits may be in this order eating candy, drinking coffee, taking a short breaks, and reading at lunch. These are all very common things that individuals do to ease their stress. A good start would be to change some of your behaviors slowly and have a positive mental attitude (PMA). 

In conclusion, try to find out what is best for you! Trail and error is the only way you will find the most effective solution. Also, by talking to your co-workers you will get new ideas to try.

References

Griffin, R. (n.d.). 10 Stress-Related Health Problems That You Can Fix. Retrieved November 4, 2014, from http://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/features/10-fixable-stress-related-health-problems

Being Active

We all know that being active in life is good for us. A human being was not meant to sit on the sofa all day eating Cheetos; However awesome that may sound.

We are beings that need movement but how do you move when you are busy 24/7 with office work. The answer is simple make it a priority at the top of your list.

I find it to be easier to list out your priorities then make it into the order you have it now. I’m sure it isn’t what you thought it was. Now revise that list and make it into what it should be. Physical Activity must be in your top 5 to start to get on track with your health.

It will not be easy but what is in life that is worth having? So grab some paper and start your journey to a healthier you!

An Apple a Day

We all know the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” with fall coming and fresh apples from Michigan orchards ready for the picking this is the best time to eat apples. However, I was thinking is the above saying true. I asked our Assistant Medical Director, Dr. Christina Helms, MD this very question.

“The saying is true! Yes, apples are full of fiber which is good for your GI, also they are full of vitamins.” -Dr. Helms

Finally an answer to my question. So, apples are good, but how about flu shots? I asked Dr. Helms why should a healthy adult get their flu shot this year?

“It can prevent the flu. The flu can get you sick enough that you will have to stay home for multiple days most of that time you will be resting. Getting your flu shot can help you avoid the sickness itself.”

Thanks Dr. Helms!