Posts Tagged ‘prevention’

On the Job? 5 Cubicle-Friendly Toning Exercises You Can Do At Work

Sitting at your desk or cubicle for extended periods of time can result in back pain and stiffness. Toning exercises can help lessen back pain, especially when the pain stems from a lack of toned abdominal muscles. By doing a few of these simple at-work exercises, you can start to improve your back pain right away.

Below, we’ve outlined five exercises you can do at work to help you stay fit while you’re on the job!

1. Up and Over

The first toning exercise you can do to strengthen your abs and lower back muscles is simple, yet effective. Use your water bottle or something similar to hold in your hands. Grip the water bottle sideways with both hands and lift it into the air. Be sure to pay attention to how you are sitting. Both feet should be flat on the floor, back nice and straight, and abs in. With your arms high in the air, bend to one side as far as you can, using a slow and fluid movement. Repeat for at least ten counts, and then switch to the other side. Try to do three sets as many times per day as you can.

2. Twist and Back

This is another variation of the side toning exercise. Hold your water bottle again with both hands. This time put your arms out in front of you. While holding the water bottle, twist to one side using the same fluid movement as with the up and over exercise. Be sure to keep your feet flat and move only your upper body, not the whole chair. Repeat for ten counts and do at least two sets for each side.

3. Sitting tight

This is a toning exercise that is easy to do any time and can be done several times a day. While you are sitting in your office chair, sit up straight and hold the sides of the chair. Your feet should be flat on the floor. Tighten your glute muscles and your ab muscles, and lean forward slightly. You should feel your muscles working if you are doing it correctly. Do at least twelve counts, and try to do two sets at the top of every hour whenever you can.

4. Lift Your Knees

This is another toning exercise that can be done while you are sitting at your desk. Sit up tall with your back straight and your abs in tight. Your feet should be on the floor and your hands should be holding the sides of the bottom of your chair, next to your thighs. Slowly lift your knees as far up as you can while your back stays straight. This is a challenge and not as easy as it sounds. Do it for as many counts as you can and as many reps as you can.

5. Legs Up

This one will work if you have a mat and room enough to be on the floor. Lay on your mat on the floor with your feet resting on your office chair. Keeping your feet on the chair, perform ab crunches.

There are many ways to stay in shape, even while working at a desk job. Creativity and consistency are key elements to staying fit while at work.

How do you keep in shape at your office? Share your “At-Work” fitness tips in our comment area below.

Raising Awareness on International AIDS Day

World AIDS DayWorld AIDS Day establishes an opportunity for people around the world to stand up, unite and fight against HIV. Resources and programs provide the opportunity for awareness, testing and prevention methods to be shared widely on this day.

Around 1.2 million people are currently living with HIV in the United States and globally an estimated 34 million people have HIV. More than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007 have died from the virus, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.

On World AIDS day we pay tribute to the millions of people living with HIV/AIDS in the United States and around the world, and remember those who lost the fight to the disease. HIV testing can save lives. Through continued commitment to worldwide research and prevention efforts, we can achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation and prevent transmission of the virus to millions of people.

This year’s theme (as is true for each World AIDS Day between 2011-2015) is “Getting to Zero.” The theme highlights the promise of new research and prevention efforts that help stop the spread of HIV with the goal of reaching a world with zero new HIV infections and zero AIDS -related deaths. Recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal young people between the ages of 13 and 24 represent more than a quarter of new HIV infections each year.

Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia has also proclaimed December 1, 2012 World AIDS Day in Georgia.

In recognition and participation of this day, the Georgia Department of Public Health is hosting its first HIV/AIDS Twitter chat on Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 12 noon-1pm. Items of discussion include the AIDS epidemic in Georgia and what’s being done about it statewide.

On, Saturday, December 1st, show your support by getting educated on the virus, get tested and/or by wearing a red ribbon, the international symbol of HIV awareness.

“This Saturday, December 1st, on World AIDS Day, we will come together as a global community to stand with people affected by HIV/AIDS, to remember those we have lost, and to renew our commitment to ending the pandemic once and for all.  We have made great strides in combating this disease, and an AIDS-free generation is within sight.  Here in the United States we are implementing a National HIV/AIDS Strategy and concentrating our efforts in communities where HIV rates are highest, including among gay men, Latinos, and African Americans. We are investing in comprehensive HIV prevention and care, including through the Affordable Care Act, to prevent infection and ensure that all people living with HIV have access to life-extending treatment.  Testing for HIV remains a top priority, and thanks to ongoing scientific advancements, finding out your HIV status has never been easier and treatment is more effective than ever.”  – President Barack Obama, November 29, 2012

Related Resources:

Join Us for Ladies Night Out

ladies night out flyerEmory Johns Creek Hospital is hosting a Ladies’ Night Out Thursday, October 18, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Physicians’ Plaza. Join us for free health screenings, casual conversations with physicians over dessert and coffee, and a chance to win door prizes. In celebration and recognition of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we’ll be hosting a special breast cancer awareness and prevention panel with physicians at 7pm.

Registration is encouraged but not required. Call 678.474.8200 to register. This event is presented in partnership with the Junior League of Gwinnett & North Fulton Counties.

Also, be sure to check out some of our upcoming informational seminars and the awareness events being offered by our family at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University.

Bariatric Surgery
October 16 and November 7, 8, 14 and 20, from 7 to 9 p.m. Suite 109.

Childbirth Preparation Class

Classes are held as a four-week series on Thursdays or one full-day class on Sunday, October 14, Saturday, November 10, and Sunday, December 2. The next four-week series begins October 25. Meeting Room 3.

Breast-feeding Class
Classes are held every three weeks on a Saturday. Fall classes will be held October 20, November 17 and December 8, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meeting Room 3.

Related Resources

Indoor Tanning & Tanning Beds – the Bad, the Ugly and the Uglier

Indoor Tanning & Skin CancerOne in five Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. It is the most common of all cancers and accounts for nearly half of all cancer cases in the United States. More than 2 million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer are found in the U.S. each year. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, will account for 70,230 new skin cancer diagnoses in 2011, according to the American Cancer Society. Now, let’s juxtapose these numbers with the fact that nearly 30 million people tan indoors in tanning beds in the U.S. every year and 2.3 million of them are teens. Furthermore, on an average day, over one million Americans use tanning salons1.

So, just how bad are tanning beds and does the increase in their use correlate with the increase in melanoma incidence rates over the last 30 years? Findings released in 2009 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, an affiliate of the World Health organization, demonstrate that indoor tanning beds and tanning devices are more dangerous than we previously thought, and as a result, the IARC moved UV tanning devices such as tanning beds from their Group 2A category, “probably carcinogenic to humans,” to their Group 1 list of the most dangerous cancer causing agents. Inclusion of a cancer causing agent or substance is listed in the IARC’s Group 1 means that agent or substance is definitely carcinogenic to humans. Other agents listed in Group 1 include plutonium and cigarettes.

As is mentioned above, 2.3 million of the people using indoor tanning beds and devices in the U.S. are teens. Because skin cancers such as melanoma can take a substantial amount of time to develop, along with moving tanning devices into their Group 1 category, the IARC also now recommends banning commercial indoor tanning use for people under the age of 18 in an effort to lower their risk for developing skin cancer later in life.

Back in 2006, the IARC took its efforts to identify the impact indoor tanning can have on skin cancer risk a step further by evaluating 19 studies conducted over 25 years that looked at the relationship between indoor tanning and skin cancer. Findings from this evaluation reveal:

  • there is an association between UV-emitting tanning devices and ocular melanoma (cancer of the eye)
  • there is an association between indoor tanning and both squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma, two dangerous forms of skin cancer
  • the DNA damage caused by UVA and UVB rays can lead to skin cancer in laboratory animals. Most indoor tanning beds and devicese emit UVS rays.

But, the most notable finding from their evaluation is a scary one– the risk of developing melanoma skin cancer increases by 75% when indoor tanning device and tanning bed use starts before the age of 35.2

Hopefully these numbers and findings are enough to make you reconsider using tanning beds this summer and in future years. As the research continues to pour in, it becomes more and more clear just how dangerous indoor tanning (and outdoor tanning, for that matter) are.

For more information on tanning beds and the risks associated with their use, visit: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm186687.htm There you can also find guidelines for how to reduce your risk for skin cancer in you do decide to continue tanning indoors. But we encourage you to change your tanning habits and prioritize your health! If you’re seeking a golden bronze glow, why not try self-tanning lotions? What else do you recommend for lowering risk for skin cancer or alternatives to tanning? Let us know in the comments area below!

1: http://www.skincancer.org/Skin-Cancer-Facts/
2: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm186687.htm

Top 5 Skin Protection & Skin Cancer Prevention Tips for UV Safety Month (and year round!)

UV Safety

Over the past 31 years, more people have had skin cancer than all other cancers combined. Perhaps even more alarming– 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime. The main cause of skin cancer is exposure to UV radiation from the sun. With summer heat at its peak and because July is UV Safety Month, we’ve put together some tips to help you stay safe(r) when in the sun.

There’s No Such Thing as a Safe Tan

A recent article appearing in HealthDay confirms what those around the medical field have known for quite some time– there is no such thing as a safe tan. During summer months attendance at tanning salons skyrockets with people attempting to achieve a golden “base tan” to build on throughout the summer. But the notion of a base tan being a safe and affective way to achieve a bronze summer glow is simply false. “Tanning beds have become a particular hazard. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified the devices as within its highest cancer risk category — basically as potentially carcinogenic as cigarettes,” the article notes. And as Dr. James Spencer, a member of the American Academy of Dermatology board of directors adds, “The bottom line is excessive UV exposure increases your risk of skin cancer, whether you are indoors or outdoors.” So if you’re seeking a golden bronze glow, stay away from the tanning salon and if anything, take a step into your local pharmacy or grocery story where you can purchase temporary and topical bronzing creams and lotions.

Protect Yourself – “Slip! Slop! Slap! And Wrap!”

The American Cancer Society has a cool awareness campaign around UV safety to help you keep top of mind 4 easy steps you can take to protect yourself from damaging UV rays.

  • Slip on a shirt
  • Slop on sunscreen
  • Slap on a hat
  • Wrap on sunglasses

These 4 simple steps will help keep you protected from harmful UV radiation.

Assess Yourself

Check your skin regularly (at least monthly) for growth of new moles and changes to existing ones. New moles, moles that have changed in color or texture (i.e. darken or become raised), moles thath ave grown and changed in size, and sores that won’t heal are all changes you’ll want to keep track of and possibly have checked by your doctor. The National Cancer Institute has some great resources and advice on how to check your skin for potentially harmful developments.

Avoid the Obvious

A little common sense will go a long way when it comes to UV safety. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, particularly during peak hours (10am-4pm) and as you read above, stay away from tanning beds. When possible, it’s also a good idea to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun when near water, snow, or sand, all of which reflect the sun’s rays and can increase chances of burning.

Know Your Skin Cancer Risk

Any person can get skin cancer, but the risk is higher for groups of people with lighter coloring. In general, if you have blond or red hair, blue or green eyes, and white or light-colored skin with freckles, you may be at a higher risk for developing skin cancer. Furthermore, if you have a family history of skin cancer, are frequently exposed to the sun via work and/or play, or have a history of sunburns or regular indoor tanning, you could also be at a higher risk. For help assessing your risk for skin cancer, check out the CDC’s information on skin cancer risk factors.

What else? Did we miss anything? What do you do to stay sun safe and how do you encourage your friends and family to do the same? Let us know in the comments below!

Top 5 Ways to Get Back to the Basics for Better Health

Back to Basics for Better HealthThere’s a lot of hype around health care. For example, there’s been tons of recent chatter around fad dieting and the potential for trendy yo-yo diets to have negative health impacts. Recent news stories have also frightened many about the potential for cell phones to cause cancer. Obesity is at an all time high, with over 34% of Americans now considered to be obese, according to the CDC. Not to take away from any of these issues or the hype around them, but what happened to the basics? What happened to focusing on living healthy, happy lives and taking proactive steps to make this a reality? All too often, it seems, we get caught up in health hype and forget to prioritize healthy living. With that said, below you’ll find some of the easiest ways you can prioritize your health and wellness.

     

  1. Breathe Deeply

  2. Breathing is the only bodily function that we do both on a voluntary and involuntary basis. It is also the key to lots of immediate health benefits. Abdominal, or diaphragmatic breathing can have a tremendous impact on stress levels, and according to the AMSA1, can also help prevent infection of the lung and other tissues and improve the venous return of blood back to the heart.

  3. Nap

  4. As a culture, Americans are becoming more and more sleep deprived. There are countless negative side effects of sleep deprivation, but an easy remedy for most of them– napping! Alertness and physical performance can be improved by napping, and so too can our psychological well being. Remember, no matter how busy you are, sleep is not a luxury, it is a priority.

  5. Drink More Water

  6. We recently did a blog post on hydration and benefits one can realize via sufficient hydration. Weight loss, younger and fresher looking skin, increased mental and physical energy, and disease prevention are just a few of the many benefits of staying hydrated. Learn more on hydration and its benefits and the harms of dehydration.

  7. Think Visually When it Comes to Your Plate

  8. ChooseMyPlate.govAs was mentioned above, it’s easy to get caught up in health hype. One easy way to prioritize health from a nutritional standpoint is to focus on color. In general, the more colors on your plate (not via food coloring), the better. Did you know that white produce, such as garlic, parsnips and brown pairs have respiratory, heart & health benefits? Or how about that red produce, like tomatoes, watermelon, and beets can help lower risk for prostate cancer and cardiovascular disease? For a boost to your health, think in color! Additionally, the dreaded food pyramid, which most of us never used and certainly couldn’t remember, has been updated! Now, you can simply visualize your plate to help you determine how much protein, dairy, produce, and grains you need in your daily diet!

  9. Laugh & Smile…Genuinely

  10. When you were in school, a friend or parent may have advised you to smile while walking into a test to improve your performance. It is true that smiling releases endorphins and can boost your mood, but according to more recent evidence, the smile must be a genuine one. This is good news for you! It means that just by surrounding yourself with people, places, and things that make you happy, your health could be improved. According to recent studies, smiling boosts positive emotions, and “those who experienced high levels of positive emotion were able to recover from a heart attack more quickly.” Furthermore, research conducted in Australia demonstrated that “those who genuinely smiled for a group photo had greater well-being and were healthier, even 30 years later.”2 So smile, it does a body good. And as for laughter? Laughter can improve blood flow, increase infection fighting antibodies, and even burn calories. I don’t know about you, but if happiness can be used to improve my health, I’m by all means going to prioritize smiling and laughing more regularly.

These are just a few of the simple ways we can improve our health. What else? What do you do to decrease stress and improve your emotional and physical well-being? Share your ideas with me in the comments below!

1http://www.amsa.org/healingthehealer/breathing.cfm
2http://mentalhealthnews.org/a-genuine-smile-found-to-improve-health-happiness/84834/

H2O 101 – Stay Hydrated & Beat the Heat!

Health Benefits of WaterMaking up more than 60% of our total body weight, water is clearly a critical component to our health and well being. With peak Summer heat right around the corner, we thought we’d take a moment to share some water related tips and benefits to help you stay hydrated in the heat.

Dehydration

Dehydration is the number one cause of day time fatigue, but how do you know when you’re dehydrated? By the time you feel thirsty, you’ve already lost between 1-2% of your body’s total water content!

Signs and symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, dry eyes, muscle cramping, constipation, fatigue, and headaches, to name just a few. However, there are steps you can take to make sure you don’t become dehydrated.

Tips for Staying Hydrated:

  • Use Helpful Tricks/Rules to Keep Hydration Top of Mind - it is recommended that women intake between 2-2.7 liters of water a day, while men should consume between 3-3.7 liters per day. Not all of us think in liters so a good way to remember is by following the 8×8 or 10×10 rule, i.e. women should drink at least eight 8oz glasses of water per day, and men should try aiming for ten 10oz glasses.
  • Know Your Lifestyle - If you workout heavily and/or often, live in a hot climate or are out in the heat frequently, or even if you’re pregnant and/or breast feeding, all of these circumstances require a larger water intake each day.
  • Eat More Fruits and Veggies – You may not realize it, but many fruits and vegetables are packed with h2O. Furthermore, many of them include key nutrients that allow your body to better absorb and use the water you’re drinking.
  • Keep a water bottle (or mug, canteen, etc) within reach – The more you make drinking water something that requires extra effort (i.e. getting up to grab cup after cup), the less likely you are to drink enough of it. Keep a large sized water bottle or container of some sort nearby and within reach at all times. If it’s in front of you and easy to grab, you’re much more likely to drink it!
  • Put Down the Soda – They do contain water and there isn’t hard evidence to suggest they dehydrate you, caffeinated or otherwise, but when you consume sodas, you are drinking fluid, and therefore, feel like your thirst is being quenched. Because of this, many Americans end up unintentionally substituting soda for water, and not consuming enough water as a result.
  • Mix it Up – If you reduce your soda intake and don’t feel like you have enough fun in your beverage repertoire, mix it up! You can incorporate flavored waters or sparkling water, or try adding a slice of lemon, lime, or even orange to your standard purified water.

Health Benefits of Staying Hydrated:

We hope the tips above give you a few new ways to keep h2O top of mind. There are countless reasons to make hydration, and staying hydrated, a priority. To name a few…

  • Lose Weight – up your water weight and lose weight? Yes, you read right. Water is vital in flushing the by products of the fat breakdown process from your system. Staying hydrated aids in the weight loss process in this way, and by helping you feel fuller without the calories.
  • Fresh, Younger Looking Skin – Without water, your skin can become dry, wrinkled, and lose lots of elasticity.
  • Mental Energy – The brain is approximately 80% water. Staying hydrated helps you maintain mental energy while avoiding fatigue and headaches.
  • Physical Energy – Water plays a vital role in the body’s ability to flush toxins. Organs have to work harder when you don’t have enough water, thus, causing fatigue. Water also helps regulate your internal temperature, which means when working out, if you’re hydrated, you won’t put as much of a burden on the rest of your body to help in this process.
  • Prevent Sickness…& Cancer? Proper hydration helps reduce the risk for catching ailments such as the flu, arthritis, and even cancer. From a digestive perspective, for example, studies have shown that proper hydration reduces the risk for colon and bladder cancer.

If you have additional tips or ideas for staying hydrated that you want to share with our readers, please do so in the comments below!

Less is More to be Thankful For

For many of us, Thanksgiving is one of the most meaningful and special holidays of the year. We all get to spend time with our family and loved ones, gathered around a table, sharing stories and reconnecting. Thanksgiving also brings around some of the best (and most!) food of the year. We often over indulge during the holiday season, which is the reason many of us vow to make New Year’s resolutions to lose the winter weight. But, Thanksgiving dinner doesn’t have to be unhealthy.

We’ve prepared a line-up of Thanksgiving recipes that bring as much nutrition as they do flavor and variety to the table. Check out or Thanksgiving dinner menu below, full recipes for each item are available on our website by using the links below:

Pomegranate Berry Cup RecipeDessert – Pomegranate-Berry Crème Cups

Both pomegranates and fresh berries bring lots of antioxidants and nutrients to any dessert, the benefits of which range from fighting cancer to preventing heart disease. Try our Pomegranate-Berry Creme Cup recipe in place of one of the traditional Thanksgiving pies to save calories and add a dessert to the menu that’s as tasty as it is nutritious!

Cornbread Crusted Turkey RecipeMain Course – Cornbread-Crusted Turkey

This recipe is great for Thanksgiving, but also consider incorporating it into your dinners year round! It calls for healthier ingredients such as low-sodium chicken broth and skinless turkey fillets to cut down fat and excess salt. It also includes carrots and sage for an extra boost of flavor. Try incorporating other healthy vegetables such as sweet potato.

Healthy Cornbread RecipeSide dish – Good-For-You Cornbread

This healthier twist on the classic cornbread recipe means you can have your comfort food and eat it too! With only 178 calories per serving, you don’t have to feel guilty about adding this good-for-you cornbread as a Thanksgiving side item.

How Losing 5lbs Can Help You Win Back Your Health

As Dr. Stuart Berman tells it to CNN, an out of shape and overweight doctor is sort of like an accountant who can’t balance his own checkbook. Although previously a practicing pediatrician and now working in the public health sector, like many of us, Dr. Berman recently realized he had lost some control of his physical health. With his weight and vital numbers above what they should be, Dr. Berman was at a higher than normal risk for developing chronic illnesses such as heart disease. Before the problem spiraled out of control, Dr. Berman decided to seek a plan for prevention by joining the Emory HeartWise℠ Risk Reduction Program.

Emory’s own Dr. Laurence Sperling, a preventative cardiologist involved with the HeartWise℠ program was also featured in CNN’s piece offering insight and advice into the importance of maintaining a healthy weight. “Extra weight can increase the chances of developing some of the traditional heart risk factors like high blood pressure and diabetes,” notes Sperling. Dr. Sperling also advises that men who notice they’re putting on extra weight “reassess their risk for heart disease and make a plan for prevention.” A small weight loss of just 5lbs can make a huge difference.

Stuart Berman, the doctor who participated in the program, saw better than 5lb results. After working with the HeartWise℠ program to create a plan that included regular exercise and watching what he ate, Dr. Berman was able to lose 60lbs. While that number is extremely impressive, for most people, even a moderate weight reduction can substantially lower the risk for chronic illness.

If you’re in a similar situation to the one Dr. Berman recently found himself in there are preventative steps you can take to reduce your risk for these chronic illnesses such as heart disease. Getting two and a half hours of moderate exercise a week and controlling your portions are great first steps. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to prevent heart disease and other chronic illness, visit our Center for Heart Disease Prevention website.