Healthy Tips

5 tips to keep allergy sufferers from dreading spring

Posted: April 27, 2018
By: BPT

(BPT) - From flowers poking through the ground to ditching heavy winter parkas, it's easy to look forward to spring. Unless, of course, you have allergies. Then, the path to warmer weather and additional daylight could be marked with watery eyes, sneezing and a runny nose. Makes it hard to be excited, right?

It doesn't have to.

While spring carries its own concerns for allergy sufferers everywhere, there is relief. Now is the perfect time to set plans in place to help ease your allergy symptoms before they begin.

"People think they're doing everything they can to battle spring allergies," says allergist Bradley Chipps, MD, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI). "But many still find themselves under siege from pollen and other allergens that appear once the weather starts to warm up. What they don't realize is that by following a few simple rules they can make life a lot more pleasant, and their allergies more bearable."

As you start your spring allergy planning, keep these five tips from ACAAI in mind. Use them and your spring will be filled with flowers and breezes, not coughing and sneezes.

1. It may not only be allergies. In some cases the symptoms you are experiencing may not be caused by allergies alone but by another complication such as asthma. Research shows two-thirds of people with asthma also suffer from allergies, making symptoms worse during the spring season. If your symptoms include a persistent cough or feeling winded quickly, asthma could be the cause of your trouble. If this sounds familiar, consult your allergist. Your allergist can help identify the source of your asthma and help treat your allergies to manage your symptoms.

2. Take a deep dive for spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is a must for many people, but if you suffer from allergies, it's even more important. Clearing dust and cobwebs can ease your sneezing, but for better results, roll up your sleeves and give your home a deep scrub. A thorough cleaning can eliminate allergens such as dust mites and mold, and clear the air.

3. Start your relief early on. Don't wait for your eyes to begin watering before taking your allergy medicine. Start your medications at least two weeks before the season begins, and they will already be in your system when you really need it.

4. Clean your air effectively. When looking for support to clean the air in your home, don't choose an ionic air filter. These filters require more airflow to operate properly than most homes are able to provide. Instead choose a HEPA room air cleaner rated with a Clean Air Delivery Rate. If you have central air, change your filters every three months and use filters with a MERV rating of 11 or 12 to keep your air as clean as possible.

5. Resist the urge to breathe in fresh air. After months cooped up indoors, you want a fresh breeze, but before you open your windows, beware. Opening windows allows pollen and other debris into your home where they can settle in your carpet or upholstery. As hard as it can be, you're better off keeping your windows closed during peak allergy season. Use your air conditioning to regulate your home's temperature instead.

For people with allergies, spring's annual arrival feels like a mixed blessing. By using the tips above, you can ensure that you have everything you need to make spring great. And you'll do so with less of the coughing and sneezing that can go with it.


Healthy and at home: 5 ways to prevent a life-changing fall

Posted: March 18, 2018
By: BPT

Home sweet home: 5 ways to avoid a life-changing fall 

(BPT) - Most of us who are aging hope to live comfortably and self-sufficiently at home well into our golden years. And, of course, we wish the same for our parents.

The good news is advancements in healthcare and other technology are increasingly allowing aging Americans to live longer at home. The bad news is many are unable to continue to do so once they take a serious fall at home, injuring their hips, heads or other body parts. That's an all-too-common problem: One in four Americans age 65 and older fall each year, and falling once doubles their chances of falling again, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Falls also are the number one cause of fatal and nonfatal injuries among older adults.

"We treat many older patients who lived happily and productively at home until they tripped and broke a hip," notes orthopedic trauma surgeon and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS) spokesperson Lisa Canada, MD. "A broken hip or other fall-related injuries make it difficult for people to live at home again without assistance of some kind and loss of independence. With a little foresight and planning, many of these injuries could be prevented."

Several steps can be taken to prevent debilitating falls from ever taking place. Consider how the following tips may help you or your loved ones hold on to the comforts of home for a longer period of time:

* Recognize your risk. A number of health issues can make you or your parents more prone to falling, ranging from arthritis to neurological conditions to vision or hearing loss. Various medications, the use of alcohol or simple dehydration may also affect your ability to safely navigate your surroundings. But the more you're aware of such possible hindrances, the more you can plan for them.

* Optimize your health. Take responsibility for staying as healthy and fit as possible by remaining active, drinking enough water, limiting alcohol, avoiding smoking and eating a healthy diet with plenty of calcium and vitamin D. Annual physicals, eye exams and bone density tests are recommended. Make exercise a priority, and choose something that you enjoy to maintain your bone health and coordination.

* Fall-proof your home. Walk through your home and that of your parents to identify and fix possible hindrances such as slippery surfaces, inadequate lighting, cluttered pathways, unsecured rugs, electric cords, loose flooring, etc. Consider installing grab bars in the shower, securing loose rugs with slip-resistant backings and installing bright motion-detector lights. You also might move clothes, kitchenware and other everyday gear within easier reach. The AAOS and Orthopedic Trauma Association offer additional tips in this Falls Awareness and Prevention Guide.

* Wear the right shoes. Limit footwear to well-fitting, low-heeled shoes or slippers with rubber or other non-skid soles. Also watch for untied shoelaces.

* Maintain an action plan. If you live alone, have someone check on you daily. If you do fall, you may avoid further injury by using your arms to protect your head instead of trying to break your fall. If possible, fall on your side or buttocks and roll slightly. If you can't get up after bracing yourself on a wall or furniture, call a friend, relative or 911 for help. Finally, consider wearing a medical alert device 24-7; you never know where and when you'll need emergency help, and your cell phone may not always be available.

Many aging Americans are able to enjoy long, productive lives in their own homes instead of turning to other accommodations. Increase your chances of making that happen for you and your parents by taking steps to plan for and avoid an injury-producing fall. Find more tips at orthoinfo.org/falls.


5 Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season

Posted: February 7, 2018
By: Norburg Chiropractic

With flu season in full swing, here are a few tips to help keep you healthy. However, if you do begin to experience symptoms of the flu, please see your doctor.

 

  1. Give your body every advantage for fighting off the flu by getting enough sleep every night. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep per day. Studies show that a lack of sleep can leave your body more susceptible to a virus if you are exposed.

  2. Stay hydrated and fueled with good nutrition. Nutrient dense whole foods like leafy greens and lean meats like grass-fed beef and salmon provide high levels of vitamin A, C, Zinc and magnesium. Fresh fruits and citrus provide lots of vitamin C. Drink up! Fresh fruit juice, bone broth, and herbal teas are all great ways to add immune- boosting nutrients to your daily routine. Drink plenty of water. A good rule of thumb is to drink ½ to 1 ounce of water per pound of body weight.

  3. Limit your exposure. Wash hands regularly and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If you are sharing your home or workspace with someone who is sick, wipe down shared surfaces frequently.

  4. Treat your senses with aromatherapy. Thyme, Rosemary, Clove and Cinnamon are excellent essential oils for cleansing the air when used in a diffuser. Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Lemon and Chamomile support respiratory health and can help fight symptoms of cold and flu. Lavender relieves stress, fatigue and headache.

  5. Add some Elderberry syrup to your daily routine. Elderberry has been used for medicine since Hippocrates and recent scientific research has provided evidence for many of the early claims, including immune-boosting properties.


Focus on Fun: 5 Easy Tips for a Relaxed Thanksgiving

Posted: November 13, 2017
By: BPT

 

(BPT) - While Thanksgiving is supposed to be a heartwarming time for appreciating family and friends, it’s no secret the traditionally food-filled holiday can be less than relaxing for those making the preparations.

In fact, studies show 71 percent of Americans feel stressed rather than overjoyed at some point during the holiday season. But psychologists say a key element in warding off that stress is to identify what’s likely to test your nerves, then make plans to work around it.

“From conflict with family to endless pressure to conform to a mythical 'ideal' approach to the holidays, many people find themselves overwhelmed at the holidays,” writes psychiatry professor Dr. Joel L. Young in Psychology Today. “If you're among their number, you're not alone. Changing the way you approach this stressful season can help you move past the chaos and pressure.”

Think about how the following suggestions can keep your Thanksgiving more joyous than jumbled.

Keep it real. Examine whether you have unrealistic expectations about how the holiday should be spent, what it should represent and how guests should behave. Instead of focusing on what it “should be,” appreciate it for what it is. You’re dealing with human beings with human emotions, and as such you can’t expect everyone to bond like glue and equally appreciate each aspect of the celebration.

Begone, bothersome meal prep. Entertaining can be challenging enough without feeling obligated to whip up a delicious meal from scratch. Make the holidays easier and less stressful on the entire family this year; that means no recipe hunting, no ingredient shopping and no worries about roasting that whole turkey to plump perfection (the No. 1 Thanksgiving stress inducer). Order ahead and pick up traditional holiday favorites like entrees, sides and pies from the Holiday Experts at Boston Market in-restaurant on or before Thanksgiving; have dinner catered; or even have a complete Thanksgiving meal delivered to your doorstep in time for the holiday, featuring whole roasted turkey, boneless ham or roasted turkey breast. Forget something at the last minute? Boston Market restaurants are also open on Thanksgiving Day for any holiday revelers with a taste for a Family Meal, whole pies or hot side dishes.

Start a new tradition. Thanksgiving can be exhausting, so it’s the perfect opportunity to commit to taking some time for yourself before your company arrives. Whether you take a walk around the block peacefully by yourself or enjoy a cup of coffee while watching the parade in bed, carving out a little extra time to focus on yourself can ensure you start the day, and holiday, on your terms.

* Fire up, Team Thanksgiving! The holiday should be a group effort, not an overwhelming chore for one or two people. Politely and cheerfully assign a serving crew, a clean-up crew and an entertainment committee, or perhaps ask guests to bring drinks, desserts or late-night snacks. When it comes to cleaning beforehand, you might also consider hiring younger family members seeking holiday spending money.

It’s all about the fun. Post-feast, laying around watching the big game may be just the ticket. But great memories and/or traditions are more likely to be made if group activities are available. Consider playing board games or cards, watching meaningful movies, staging family sporting events, crafting, having a musical jam session or making and decorating holiday cookies together.


7 Tips for Fibromyalgia Relief

Posted: November 13, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

 

Maintaining flexibility and an active lifestyle can greatly benefit patients suffering from fibromyalgia. Here are some simple tips to help ease symptoms of fibromyalgia.

  1. Exercise. According to the National Institute of Arhritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, exercising regularly is one of the most effective ways to treat fibromyalgia. Walking is considered one of the best exercises for fibromyalgia sufferers as it safely increases oxygen levels in muscles and decreases pain and stiffness. Exercising in a pool is also a safe and effective way to receive the same benefits.

  2. Stretch. Gentle stretching and relaxation exercises can greatly benefit fibromyalgia patients. Take care to move gently, never stretch to the point of pain, and hold stretches for one minute to receive the greatest benefit.

  3. Strengthen. Strength training can reduce pain and improve overall fitness. Keep the intensity low and start off light. As little as one to three pounds can make an impact by reducing pain and tender points and reducing depression.

  4. Nurish. Eat a well-balanced diet thats aimed at energy. Avoid sweets which provide only a quick energy boost followed by a crash. Instead combine proteins or fats with carbohydrates. Choose fresh, whole foods that are high in fiber. Good sources include: avocado, broccoli, beans, tofu, oatmeal, dark leafy greens and almonds.

  5. Magnesium. Low magnesium is often associated with symptoms of fibromyalgia. Eat magnesium rich foods and relax in an Epsom salt bath a few times per week to increase magnesium levels.

  6. Massage. Massage therapy can improve chronic pain and fibromyalgia symptoms. Deep relaxation reduces stress, pain, and muscle tension.

  7. Essential Oils. Essential oils can have many benefits and can be diffused for aromatherapy or added to the bath. Lavender can serve many purposes for pain, inflammation, relaxation and headache relief. Peppermint is good for fighting fatigue, improving circulation and pain relief. For stress relief, try frankincense, ylang ylang, or bergamot.


How much juice should kids drink? What you need to know about juice and serving size

Posted: October 15, 2017
By: BPT

(BPT) - Selecting beverages for your children can be tricky. What should they be drinking and how much should they drink? Dr. Lisa Thornton, pediatrician and mother, breaks down new juice guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and answers questions about 100 percent juice in the diet.

My kids like to drink juice, but I don’t know how much to serve them. Do you have any suggestions?

Like the whole fruit it is squeezed from, 100 percent juice is both delicious and nutritious. It is filled with important vitamins and minerals like potassium, folate and vitamin C, which make it a great beverage to serve your children. A serving of 100 percent juice is also a good option to help children meet their daily fruit serving recommendations.

In regards to portion size, follow the guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Children ages 1-3 can have up to 4 ounces of juice a day, kids ages 4-6 can drink up to 6 ounces a day and children 7 and older can have up to 8 ounces per day. These new guidelines were put into place to help parents manage their children’s intake.

Should I be worried about juice and weight gain? 

Balance is the key to good health for people of all ages, from age 1 to 100. Guidelines and recommendations are put into place by experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to help guide you to make the best decisions about the foods and beverages you serve to your family.

Scientific studies that analyzed the juice consumption of children and adults found that when juice is consumed in appropriate amounts, there is no association between drinking juice and obesity. If you are worried about the impact of individual foods on your child’s weight, consult with a professional, such as a nutritionist or pediatrician.

Does drinking juice impact fruit consumption? I’m concerned that if I serve my children juice, they will be less likely to eat fruit.

Actually, nutrition research shows just the opposite. Children who drink juice tend to have overall better quality diets than those who do not drink juice. This means they eat more whole fruit, less saturated fats and have less added sugar in their diet.

Drinking juice shouldn’t replace eating whole fruit in the diet; it should complement it. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, 100 percent juice is part of the fruit group, which consists of all forms of fruit — fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent juice. More than 75 percent of Americans do not eat the recommended amount of fruit; one serving of fruit juice can help to supplement your family’s intake.

Making decisions about what to feed your family shouldn’t be stressful or difficult. Consult with your physician, pediatrician or nutritionist if you are confused about what foods and beverages you should be serving your loved ones. For more information about 100 percent juice and how it fits into an overall balanced diet, visit Juice Central. Juice Central is your source for the latest information about juice, including healthy lifestyle tips, recipes and nutrition science.


6 Tips to a Happy Neck

Posted: September 4, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

  1. Stay hydrated. The discs between the vertebrae require water to maintain their structure and resiliency.

  2. Keep flexible. Regular stretches targeting the muscles of the neck can help reduce pain and stiffness. Check out these simple stretches.

  3. Practice good posture. Maintaining proper spinal alignment throughout your day can help with pain management and reduce risk of injury.

  4. Take frequent breaks. Whether working at a computer, reading, watching tv or even using your phone; make sure you allow yourself ample opportunities to move about.

  5. Be supportive. Be sure to use a pillow that offers comfortable support for your head while maintaining proper spinal alignment during sleep.

  6. Add magnesium. Magnesium aids in the healthy function of muscles, assisting with the contraction and relaxation of muscles. A magnesium rich diet includes fresh fruits and vegetables, beans and whole grains. Magnesium can also be absorbed through the skin by soaking in an epsom salt bath.


How to Build Healthy Habits for the School Year and Beyond

Posted: September 3, 2017
By: BPT

(BPT) - Bells are ringing across the country as kids settle into classrooms for a year full of fun, friendship and plenty of learning.

While exciting, adjusting to new school schedules is a hectic time. Healthy habits are often forgotten as the focus shifts to studies, assignments and extracurriculars.

"Parents and caregivers can make a big difference in helping kids lead a healthy lifestyle during the back-to-school season and beyond," says Deanna Segrave-Daly, a mom and registered dietitian. "A few proactive steps can set kids up for success in and out of the classroom."

Segrave-Daly offers six easy ideas you can try to help encourage your kids to build healthy habits that last a lifetime:

Prioritize sleep

Sleep is something families often sacrifice due to busy schedules. Remember, kids need significantly more sleep than adults to support their rapid mental and physical development, according to the National Sleep Foundation. School-age children should strive for nine to 11 hours of sleep each night. Establish a nighttime routine and prioritize sleep every night.

Eat breakfast

We all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day — especially for our kids. Help them jump-start their day with a quick breakfast of healthy foods like fruit, eggs and whole-grain cereal. For those busy mornings, grab fridge-free, GoGo squeeZ YogurtZ, made with real low-fat yogurt and fruit, for a wholesome option they can easily eat in the car or bus with a banana, toaster waffle or whole-wheat toast.

Encourage exercise

Kids should do at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hopefully some of this physical activity can take place during the school day, but there are lots of easy ways to build healthy activity into daily life at home. Make a habit of going on a family walk after dinner (a great chance to unwind and reconnect) or challenge kids to bring their books up the stairs or to another room one at a time. Take 10-minute “dance party” breaks during homework or see who can jump rope the longest.

Manage screen time

It's important for families to be mindful of screen time for kids. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends kids ages 2-5 limit screen use to one hour per day of high-quality programs. For children 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media and monitor the types of media used.

Snack well 

Kids love to snack, and it’s important to keep nutritious options on hand for when hunger strikes — it helps them avoid emergency vending machine stops. Stock your pantry with healthier snacks like GoGo squeeZ applesauce pouches. These fridge-free pouches, made from natural ingredients, are easy to grab on the way to soccer practice, music lessons or the playground. They’re also an easy lunchbox addition!

Adjust the attitude

Mental wellness is part of overall wellness. Keep in mind the power of a positive attitude toward education. Encourage kids to look at issues from different angles, appreciate diversity and be resilient. Have conversations with children and truly listen to their concerns to build trust and solve problems.

Finally, it's the adult role models in a child's life that really set them up for success.

"If you model healthy habits, your child is likely to follow your lead," says Segrave-Daly. "Try to routinely eat well, sleep well, exercise and have conversations about the good and bad parts of your day. Your kids are paying attention even when it seems like they aren’t!"


Tips for Headache and Migraine Prevention

Posted: April 30, 2017
By: Norburg Chiropractic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Avoid foods that are likely headache and migraine triggers such as: aspartame, alcohol, overly processed foods, food additives (for example: MSG and nitrates), aged cheeses, and soy-based foods.

  2. Develop a regular sleep routine to ensure sufficient rest. Eight hours a day is recommended. Too much or too little sleep can contribute to headache.

  3. Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water and avoid highly caffeinated drinks and sodas. Avoid dehydration by getting at least eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day.

  4. Don’t go too long between meals and do not skip meals. Headache sufferers should eat meals in smaller portions and spread them throughout the day. Eating 6-8 times daily in small portions as opposed to 3 larger meals.

  5. Cut back on caffeine. Though caffeine can be beneficial in treating headaches, especially migraines, daily consumption of caffeine should be limited to 1 or 2 caffeinated beverages per day.

  6. Reduce or eliminate processed foods. Eat plenty of fresh fruit and veggies, fatty fish (like salmon), almonds, and proteins in moderation. Aim for at least 50% of carbohydrates to be whole grain.

  7. Manage stress with exercise, yoga, or deep breathing. Take up a hobby and spend time outdoors.Maintain good posture and move about during the day. If you are stuck at a desk all day, set an alarm on your phone or watch to help remind you to get up and move around some every hour.

  8. Keep a headache journal to help you discover your body's headache triggers and what helps or hurts in headache prevention for you.
  9. Maintain good posture. 

  10. If you are stuck at a desk all day, set an alarm on your phone or watch to help remind you to get up and move around some every hour.

 

Resources: http://www.everydayhealth.com/headache-migraine/headache-prevention.aspx

https://americanmigrainefoundation.org/understanding-migraine/diet/

 


Trying to quit? Tips from former smokers can help you succeed

Posted: March 31, 2017
By: BPT

(BPT) - Since the Surgeon General released the first report on smoking in 1964, the smoking rate among adults has decreased from 42 percent to 15 percent. Though great strides have been made, more than 36 million adults in the United States continue to smoke cigarettes, claiming nearly half a million lives a year and leaving 16 million others to live with an illness or disease caused by smoking. There are now more former cigarette smokers than current smokers in the United States, and more than half of all people who have ever smoked have quit, according to the CDC.

If you're still smoking and would like to quit, you're not alone. Nearly seven out of 10 cigarette smokers want to quit for good. Although each person's journey to a tobacco-free life is different, knowing what's worked for others could help you find what works for you. Participants from CDC's Tips From Former Smokers(TM) campaign share what worked best for them in their journeys to quitting smoking.

Choose a quit date and support team

Tiffany Roberson, 35, of Louisiana started smoking when she was just 19, despite having watched her own mother, a smoker, die of lung cancer. Over the years, Roberson tried to quit multiple times but struggled to stay quit for good. When her own daughter turned 16, she was inspired to try again. This time, a combination of tactics helped her succeed.

* A nicotine patch helped control her cravings. She chose it because it was discrete and easy to use.

* She chose a quit date. To avoid the temptation to smoke, she stayed busy on that day.

* She told her daughter and another relative she was quitting so she would be accountable for staying smoke-free. Her relatives supported her with a daily text of encouragement, noting the day of her progress-"Day 2 without smoking" and, eventually, "Day 365 without smoking."

* During work breaks, she drank water instead of smoking.

Create accountability

Beatrice Rosa-Swerbilov, 40, from New York tried her first cigarette at just 7 years old, and became a regular smoker at age 13. Although she had tried many times before, she quit for good after her 11-year-old son wrote her a letter asking her to quit smoking. Here are her success strategies.

* Avoiding triggers-things or situations that made her crave a cigarette. For example, going out for drinks with friends was a trigger, so Rosa-Swerbilov gave up doing that for a while.

* Creating accountability for herself by telling everyone that she was quitting. Her hope was that if someone did see her smoking, they would say "Oh, I thought you quit," thus holding her accountable for her decision to quit smoking.

Manage stress

Amanda Brenden, of Wisconsin, began smoking in fifth grade and was a daily smoker by age 13. She would duck outside during the day - even during Wisconsin winters - to smoke. By college, she was smoking a pack a day. When she got engaged and found out she was pregnant, she tried to quit, without success. The stress of being a pregnant college student drove her back to cigarettes. Her daughter was born two months premature and today still struggles with asthma. Breathing problems like asthma are common in premature babies.

* Stress was a trigger for Brenden, as it is for many smokers. In a smoking cessation class, she learned stress reduction techniques. She also relied on support from her family.

* When Brenden feels frustrated, she exercises to release her negative energy rather than reaching for a cigarette.

Substitute positive for negative 

James Fulton, 40, of New York, began smoking at 14 to emulate his father, a smoker who was well-respected in their community. When decades of smoking began to affect his health, Fulton created a plan for quitting that included replacing negative behaviors with positive ones.

When he felt a craving for a cigarette, he used a nicotine patch or chewed sugar-free gum. He's learned to rely on exercise, becoming an avid cyclist and swimmer.

Rebecca Cox-MacDonald, 57, of Texas, also found exercise to be helpful in quitting. Surrounded by a family of smokers, she started smoking as a teenager. Multiple events inspired her to try quitting a final time; her father died of a smoking-related illness, she watched the health of other relatives who smoked deteriorate, and she developed severe gum disease-a risk for smokers-that required her to get bone grafts and dental implants.

She quit and committed to a healthier lifestyle that included regular exercise like running and getting treatment for the depression that had been a major factor in keeping her smoking.

The CDC's Tips From Former Smokers campaign brings together science-backed health information and quitting tips drawn from the real-life experiences of former smokers. For more information about how you can quit smoking, including tips from successful former smokers, visit the CDC's Quit Guide online.