Posts Tagged ‘tips’

Top 5 Gifts for Dad, even after Father’s Day

Summer is right around the corner which leads to the perfect opportunity of getting and staying healthy. Partaking in activities to stay healthy is extremely therapeutic and a complete bonding experience, especially, when you have great company. So why not incorporate Father’s Day and the gift of health and appreciation year round?

Below, we’ve highlighted the top 5 (healthy) gifts for Dad.

Get Involved
Everyone loves a shopping spree; why not take dad for a nice stroll around the mall, a shopping plaza or grocery shopping. Window shopping can also be fun too, with exceptional company.

Reduce Stress
Great stress relievers are often ones that allow you to place focus on other things and/or other tasks. Why not grab dad and start on a fun handy man project, develop story-time together or participate in a fun debate.

Get Fit
Go for a walk, play a game even consider horseplay (be careful of course). Day to day movements can even be amped up a bit to provide a great cardiovascular workout.

Heart Healthy
Why not treat your wonderful Pops to a nutritious breakfast in bed. While you’re at it, plan your day to include some active fun.

Get Checked
It’s extremely important to get regular, health screens. Although, it’s dreaded by most, why not take your dad with you! It would cut the wait time in half and provide great support during the visit.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality lists the following as top health screen choices for males.

• Cholesterol Check. Have cholesterol screened at least every five years, starting at age 35. Have it done at age 20 if you smoke, have diabetes, or have a family history of heart disease.

• Blood Pressure. Have it checked at least every two years.

• Colorectal Cancer Tests. Begin testing at age 50.

• Diabetes. Have a test done if male has high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Prostate Cancer Screening. A doctor should be consulted about the risk and benefits of performing the prostate-specific antigen test, or the digital rectal exam.You can find more information about prostate cancer screening by Dr. Viraj Master on the Advancing Your Health blog site.

For more information on how to keep your Dad healthy and male health screening test visit the Agency for Research and Quality and Emory Healthcare’s, Advancing Your Health blog about Prostate Cancer Screening.

10 Examples where Healthy = Cheap when Dining Out

eat healthy to save money dining outAccording to the Bureau of Labor, Americans spent 2.6% more at restaurants in September of this year than last year, but at the same time, the price of food at supermarkets is up 6.2%. Dining out doesn’t have to be bad for your health or your wallet. Below you’ll find our top 10 ways you can lower cost and boost your health when eating out:

Drink Water – soda, juice and alcohol all add money and calories to the bottom line. Eating out is a great time to prioritize getting your daily fill of water (~2L for women, ~3L for men) while cutting costs. For more on why hydration is so important, check out our h2O 101 blog.

No Dessert – skipping dessert when you’re eating out has positive implications for both your waistline and your wallet. Reducing or eliminating simple sugars from your diet is a good way to lower your risk for excess weight gain, diabetes and heart disease. Furthermore, baked goods served in restaurants can contain loads of trans fats, which have a negative impact on your cholesterol and your heart.

Steamed Rice instead of Fried – when you’re eating out at an Asian restaurant, especially those that offer hibachi grilling, you often get to choose between steamed and fried rice. This is a perfect opportunity to save between $3-$5, and cut about 300 calories.

No Extras (dressing, bacon, etc.) – We all love extras. Adding bacon to a burger, or extra ranch dressing to a salad can add lots of flavor, but these extras can add dollars and lots of empty calories to your meal.

Split Big Meals – Portion size is at an all-time high in America. If you have a hankering for steak and potatoes, or are craving something that’s only offered as a big entree, split your meal! Saving half your money and half the calories every time you eat will add up quickly!

Eat More at Lunch – When you eat your largest meal of the day earlier, your body has time to process the nutrition you consume more effectively than if it were eaten a few hours before bed. When choosing when to eat out, opt for making your dining out experience a lunch time one. Lunch menu items are often drastically cheaper than the same items on the dinner menu. Do yourself a favor by eating earlier for less.

Take it Home – If there’s more food on your plate than you’re hungry for, don’t eat it all. A recent study compared the eating habits of those in France vs. Americans and found that lower obesity and heart disease rates among the French may be because they know when to stop eating. Americans rely more heavily on visual cues than their own bodies’ signals to tell them when to stop eating, a trend that may correlate with our rising obesity rates. If there’s more on your plate than you’re prepared to eat in one sitting, listen to your body and wrap it up and take it home. You’ll get more bang for your buck and will support your body’s natural circadian rhythm by not weighing it down with excess food late at night.

Get it in a Salad – Ever noticed that restaurants often offer almost the same meal as both a salad and an entree? You could opt for the grilled chicken (with potatoes, bread, fries, etc.) for $15, or the grilled chicken salad, for $10. You could opt for the buffalo shrimp po boy for $11, or the buffalo shrimp salad for $9. Either way, you’re usually getting about the same amount of protein, but when you opt for the salad, instead of filling up on heavy carbs, you support that protein with loads of vitamins and minerals, and often, save some money in the process.

Substitute – Many restaurants will let you swap out a side for no extra cost. Fruit instead of fries or grits? Salad instead of a baked potato or pasta salad? When you have the option, swap your side for a lighter and healthier one than the standard option. This is a great free way to make every meal more healthy.

Think Local – food that’s available to restaurants locally is fresher and also often cheaper, since restaurants don’t have to incur added costs for shipping. Favorite local dishes are also often cheaper, because restaurants must compete with others in the region serving up the same dish (i.e. – clam chowder in Boston, gumbo in New Orleans, etc.). Go local for increased freshness and lower prices.

Any other examples you can think of? Share them with us in the comments below!

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!

Top 5 Tips to Beat Pollen Sensitivity This Spring

pollen allergy season

*Update*: On March 19, 2012, the pollen count in Atlanta was 8,164, breaking the old record of 6,013 set in 1999.

With today’s pollen count at a startling 2258, we thought it a good idea to share with you some tips for beating sensitivity to pollen as best you can this Spring. Over 35 million Americans are sensitive to pollen, if you’re one of them, this list should help:

Know the Pollen Count

Here’s a great website for residents of the Atlanta, GA area to check the pollen count, which changes daily – http://www.atlantaallergy.com/pollenCount.aspx Staying on top of the pollen count makes it easier to take proactive steps to avoid sensitivity before it starts. As a general guide, here are the ranges for pollen count levels:

  • Low: 0-14
  • Moderate: 15-89
  • High: 90-1499
  • Extremely High: 1500+

Exercise in the Evening

Pollen counts are highest in the morning, but because pollen travels freely on warm, dry and breezy days, pollen levels can often peak midday. If you exercise outdoors, plan on doing so in the evening, after 5 p.m. during days with high pollen counts. For your safety, please be sure to exercise with a partner.

Wear a Mask When Doing Yard Work

If you’re sensitive or allergic to pollen, it is not ideal to also be responsible for yard work. But if you must, wear a mask. You can pick one up at your local hardware store or pharmacy. Try doing yard work very early in the morning, while there’s still dew out, or in the later afternoon/evening, once pollen levels have subsided.

Proactively Treat Your Allergies

If you are allergic or particularly sensitive to pollen, there are plenty of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines available to help you control your symptoms.

You should consult your allergist for the medication and treatment plan that’s best for you, but getting your symptoms under control before they have the opportunity to get out of hand is wise during pollen season.

Protect Your Home, Your Car & Your Body

Keep doors and windows to your residence and car closed as much as possible when the pollen count is high. Pollen particles are no wider than a single strand of human hair, and they can easily pass through holes in window screens. Also, if particularly sensitive, change clothes and shower after returning home to remove pollen from your person and to avoid spreading it throughout your home.

If you’re interested in sinus, nasal, and allergy treatment at Emory, you can visit our Sinus, Nasal & Allergy website. Have any other ideas for how to limit pollen sensitivity this Spring? Feel free to share and leave them in the comments section below!