Archive for the ‘healthy lifestyle tips’ Category

Five Tips to Survive Spring Allergies

Our southern Illinois spring feels like a Katy Perry song. It’s hot and it’s cold. With the recent fluctuations in temperatures, folks suffering from sinus and allergy issues are taking a bit of a hit.

There are plenty of things you can do to avoid the sneezing and wheezing associated with the condition. SIH Medical Medical Group Allergist and Immunologist, Jeff Lehman, MD, recommends over-the-counter options. If those don’t work, a prescription, or even allergy shots, may be needed.

Meanwhile, a few lifestyle modifications can also help you find relief and enjoy spring. Here are five tips from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology:

  • The feel of cotton – For allergy suffers, not all clothing materials are created equal. Research shows that when synthetic fabrics rub against one another, they create an electrical charge that attracts pollen, which, as it turns out, is also electrically charged. Natural fibers such as cotton also breathe better, so they stay drier and less hospitable to moisture-loving mold.
  • Adjust your workout routine – After months indoors, you can’t wait to exercise outside. However, exercising causes you to breathe more deeply and inhale the pollen that affects your allergy symptoms. If you’re planning a vigorous workout, try to stay indoors and if you’re planning on taking a casual walk, take a nondrowsy antihistamine before you go. Exercise outdoors when pollen counts are at their lowest – before dawn and in the late afternoon or early evening.
  • Garden smart – Think your spring allergies are going to force you to quit gardening? Think again. Taking an antihistamine about half an hour before you head outside will help. You should also wear gloves and a NIOSH-rated 95 filter mask if your tasks including digging in the dirt, which can stir up pollen. Avoid touching your eyes, and be sure to wash your hands, hair and clothing once you go back indoors.
  • Take something a little stronger – Over-the-counter intranasal steroids (nasal sprays) as well as non-drowsy antihistamines and decongestants can be beneficial for those suffering from mild allergies. However, people suffering from more severe allergies will benefit from seeing an allergist. Many severe allergy sufferers find relief in immunotherapy – allergy shots that help the body build resistance to the effects of the allergen. While there is no cure for the more than 50 million Americans suffering from allergies, immunotherapy is known to modify and prevent disease progression.
  • Eliminate uninvited guests – You can make your spring allergies more bearable by limiting your exposure to indoor allergens. Vacuum your furniture, leave your shoes by the door, shower frequently, cover your floors with washable throw rugs and use a dehumidifier to limit your mold exposure. All of these steps will help, and look for a good air purifier with a HEPA filter.

Women—No health issue should be off limits with your physician

You are the glue that holds it all together—working, carpooling, social event scheduling, grocery list making and a major advocate of clean laundry! It’s important to remember that in between all of these things, you need to take care of your health too!

Do you answer “yes” to any of the following questions?

  • Does lower back or pelvic pain keep you from picking up your children or grandchildren?
  • Does incontinence make you worried about laughing or coughing?
  • Does swelling make your arms feel heavy or do you have difficulty with putting your rings on?

Maybe it feels too personal, but don’t just suffer in silence! Talk with your physician about women’s health rehabilitation. Outpatient therapy is available at Rehab Unlimited locations throughout southern Illinois.

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Why Therapy?

Our therapists work with you to develop an individualized plan that gets you back to your primary focus of living life to its fullest without those nagging issues interfering with your day. Our therapists are trained in a variety of physical therapy methods, stretches, strengthening exercises and other techniques to assist you. Physical therapy and exercises are noninvasive, non-surgical way to relieve pain and promote a normal, active lifestyle.

Women’s Health Rehabilitation can help women of any age who are experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Bladder pain
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Cancer-related fatigue
  • Lymphedema (swelling in the arm or chest)
  • Painful intercourse
  • Pelvic pain or lower back pain
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Scar pain or tightness

Despite what some may tell you, there is help for these issues! You’ve already got a lot on your plate so stop suffering and get help today! Learn more here

What’s New in the 2016 Well-Fed Heart Booklet?

Mediterranean, Mediterranean, Mediterranean! This year’s booklet is all about adapting this lifestyle and explaining that the Mediterranean way has a host of well-researched benefits including reduced chronic diseases such as heart disease, less depression, graceful aging and less cancer risk.

Risk factors. This year we discuss the interrelationship between pre-diabetes, the metabolic syndrome and chronic diseases previously discussed, like coronary artery disease, vascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes and stroke.

Mediterranean meets the Heart-Healthy Plate. Learn the foundations of the Mediterranean lifestyle and get real-food suggestions on how it translates onto your plate. We focus on plant-foods and seafood but still incorporate dairy, eggs, poultry and meats as well.

Simplifying fats. Who can remember the differences between saturated, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats anyway? We focus on increasing omega-3s and other healthy fat sources that put the science into reality.

Beyond decreasing sodium. Learn the role of potassium and magnesium rich foods.

The food label gets a face-lift. With the new proposed Nutrition Facts Label changes, the food label is updated to reflect the changes. The dietary cholesterol guidelines were deemed unnecessary by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology more than two years ago. We deleted cholesterol and added potassium.

Phase In, Phase Out. What can you phase in to your kitchen cabinets or refrigerator, and what can you phase out?

Simplified Food Journal. We know you’re busy, so we simplified a food journal and the meal planning pages for you.

Uses the Oldway’s Mediterranean Pyramid.The recipes in this guide take you up the food pyramid starting at its base with community; then featuring several recipes from the plant base, a couple from the fish and seafood section and just one egg, dairy and meat recipe to keep things in a proportional pattern.

We can put your guide in the mail right away. Click here to get your 2016 Well-Fed Heart Booklet.

*The Well-Fed Heart is a customized communication from Health Marketing Solutions, Inc.

How to Have a Healthy Halloween

No tricks here! Try these tips from the American Heart Association to make your Halloween festivities a little healthier for your family, party guests and all those trick-or-treaters.

For the Trick-or-Treater

Worried you’ll have leftover Halloween candy until long after Valentine’s Day? Using a smaller bag will help, but sometimes kids STILL end up with a ton of extra sweets. Here are some ideas of what to do with the leftover candy:

  • Keep enough candy for one piece a day for one or two weeks (long enough for the excitement to wane). Throw away, donate or repurpose the rest.
  • When your child asks for a piece of candy, make sure to pair it with a healthy snack: an apple, a banana, some nuts, or celery with peanut butter.
  • “Buy back” candy from your child with money or tokens they can trade in for a fun activity: a day at the zoo, an afternoon playing at the park, going ice skating, or a day at the pool.
  • Some dentists’ offices have buy-back or trade-in programs, too.
  • Save it for holiday baking.
  • Donate excess candy to a homeless shelter or care package program for troops overseas. A familiar sweet treat from home can be comforting at the holidays.
  • Save it to fill the piñata at the next birthday celebration or give out with Valentine cards.
  • Use it in an arts and crafts project or to decorate a holiday gingerbread house.
  • Throw it away! And don’t be tempted by the half-priced candy after Halloween!

For the Party Host

  • Up the fright factor. Serve healthy snacks dressed up in the Halloween theme. There are lots of creative ideas being shared online at this time of year!
  • Play with food. Incorporate healthy foods into activities, such as decorating oranges like Jack-O-Lanterns, making banana ghosts, and bobbing for apples.
  • Keep ‘em moving. Include plenty of physical activities, like a zombie dance party, three-legged monster race, spider crawl or pumpkin toss.
  • Rethink your drink. Don’t forget that cutting back on sugary treats includes soda and sugar-sweetened beverages. Make a festive Halloween punch from sparkling water and a splash of 100% orange juice, garnished with plenty of orange slices and black grapes or blackberries.

For the Stay-At-Homer

You don’t have to pass out candy on Halloween. Start a new tradition on your street and give out healthier treats or non-edible items.

  • Snack-sized packages of pretzels, popcorn, trail mix or nuts
  • Sugar-free chewing gum
  • Glow sticks or small glow-in-the-dark toys
  • Stickers or stamps
  • Plastic spider rings or vampire teeth

Read more ideas and view the full American Heart Association article.