Take a Stand and Walk it Out!

women standing at officeLately, there has been more and more published about how sitting for too long can be bad for you. And based on the scientific findings, we office workers should all be concerned.

In several studies it has been shown that the consequences of long stretches of inactivity or sitting down range from increase anxiety, low level of HDL (good) cholesterol, higher levels of C-reactive protein (which can indicate inflammation), and triglycerides (blood fats – not a good thing), and even certain cancers and serious heart conditions.

What can we do?

The good news is that additional studies have been conducted which found that the simple solution is to take more breaks and stick to regular exercise. For some of us that means to start small, such as taking your breaks away from your desk and doing something or when talking on the phone simply standing up for the duration of the conversation.

Build up your exercise regimen by walking briskly every day. Doctors recommend 30 minutes a day for adults. This might seem like a lot for us busy adults who have kids, spouses, a job and the like. But not if you use the time you have – if you have an hour lunch, use the last 30 minutes to walk around your parking garage at work or even an empty conference room. Be creative and think simply…it could save your life!

Good health to you!

Darrin Dewitt Henson – A Lovely Man

I just had to post this.   Darrin Dewitt Henson (best known for the Soul Food TV series) was in my town recently.  He is as nice, personable, and lovely as he seems to be on screen.

Some kids came out and danced for him.  He not only came out to watch them, but he bust a move with them as well!  Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that he has a killer smile and great body to go along with that beautiful personality as well!  Heeey!

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Thanks Darrin!!

 

 

 

 

 

The Problem is Not Your Shoulder – It’s Your Bag

lady with purseBig handbags are the style now and no one loves a great big handbag more than I do.  On top of that, for anyone working in an office of any type, you know you can carry up to no less than three bags at any time – your handbag, lunch bag, and work bag or tote.

Ask any chiropractor and they will tell you that three bags is a lot, especially if they are loaded to the rim.  In fact, in recent years there is a steady rise in cases where shoulder and neck pain are the direct result of the heavy bags we carry.  And men, don’t think this article is not about you.  If you carry work, computer equipment (tablets and/or laptops), and gym clothes in a duffel bag that has no shoulder straps (just the hand straps), you could be putting more stress on your back as well.

One simple solution is to stop carrying the large bags all together.  Yeah right!!  That might work for some, but for us die-hard big bag ladies out there – pun intended – we all know that’s not going to happen!  But what can we do to prevent or lessen pain and stress on our shoulders, back, and neck?

  • Clean out your purse/bag every week.
  • Really think about where you are going and what you will actually need.  Take only that.
  • For those of us who are experiencing pain, take an anti-inflammatory and schedule a massage as needed.
  • And lastly, when you have lightened your load, keep the bulk of the purse close to the center of the body.  In other words, it is better to have a purse or bag on a short strap.

Good health to you!

 

Do I Really Want a Pet?

puppymessSo I am thinking about getting a pet.  I have narrowed it down – I’m a dog person.

Fish are too boring, lizards are too lizardy, and cats are sneaky and stuck up.  That’s how I see it anyway.  But I guess my main concern is how do you keep a clean house and a pet?  I have walked into one person’s house and smelled wet dog even before I crossed the threshold, but on the other hand, I’ve gone to another person’s home and didn’t even know there was an inside pet there at all.  What was the difference?

In hunt for the answer, I found some great information for those of us contemplating becoming dog owners.  These are a few tips that I thought were helpful:

  • Think seriously about the breed you want.  For instance, some dogs shed very little, think Labradoodles and Schnauzers, while others, such as the Akitas and Siberian Huskies, have so much fur they are what the vet world calls “double-coated.”  And remember, April and September are typically the shedding months.
  • Ideally, all breeds should be brushed a few quick times each week.  Better to do it beforehand and a little along versus after fur starts to fall everywhere and only once in a while.
  • To avoid cleanup, it is best to brush your dog outside.
  • On the norm, bathe your dog at least once a month.  Any more would disturb the natural oils in their skin.
  • Keep your dog healthy.  Nothing like cleaning up dog puke.  Yikes!
  • Keep pet food in covered containers.  This will to ward off unwanted pests and rodents.
  • Decide which parts of the house your dog is to share with you.  Be firm about this.
  • Have specific feed times and places.  But if you will be gone all day, leave out water and dry food only. 
  • And lastly, if you have white carpet on your floors and woven fabric on your sofas, you might want to think twice about a dog.  It’s going to be mad crazy to keep clean.  But for those of us with hard wood floors, tile, and leather or vinyl sofas, we have a more doggy-proof home.

In the end it’s like anything else, if you want it, you’ll make the adjustments.  Me?  I don’t know…still on the fence, but at least now I’m more informed.

 

Springtime and Seasonal Allergies

sneezy happy faceIt lands all over our cars – green and powdery.  And then – sneeze, cough, hack!!!  When pollen comes down, the symptoms begin.  Some call this ailment seasonal allergies, doctors call it allergic rhinitis.

These tiny grains called pollen float through the air off trees, grass, and weeds.  If you suffer from allergies, as you breathe in pollen, your body thinks it’s bacteria or a virus, and subsequently, goes into attack mode.  As a result, there is a build-up of the chemical histamine in the blood which makes you itch, your nose run, and other symptoms.

Okay, we got all of that, but what can we allergy sufferers do?

Reduce exposure that may trigger your allergic symptoms by:

  • Staying indoors on dry and windy days
  • Delegate gardening chores and lawn mowing
  • Remove the clothing you have worn outside as quickly as you can
  • Don’t hang laundry outside as pollen will stick to clothing
  • Wear a mask if you have to work outside
  • Check the weather for the pollen forecast
  • If a high pollen count is predicted, start taking allergy meds beforehand
  • Close windows and doors when the pollen count is high
  • Vacuum at least twice a week and clean bookshelves or vents where pollen can land
  • Try an air purifier

There are several over-the-counter products one can purchase as well:

  • Oral antihistamines – this drug relieves sneezing, itching, runny noses, and watery eyes.
  • Decongestants – this drug provides temporary relief to nasal stuffiness.
  • Nasal sprays – sprays ease congestion and may clear clogged nasal passages.
  • Combination medications – such as an antihistamine and decongestant, does the job of both types of drugs in one.

And lastly, since everyone is different, it may take a bit of personal research and testing before you find what’s right for you.

A Wonderful Spring Day

Okay, this post is just celebrate having and enjoying a wonderful spring day.  Not gonna bore you with a lot of words…just enjoy!

Wonderful local art on display…

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Beautiful sunshine casting its rays on our great downtown architecture…

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and last, but not least, great people everywhere you go!

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Can’t get any better than that!

 

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

logo-guideApril is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  This month and throughout the year, the US government encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making all communities a better place for children and families.  By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills and resources they need to care for their children the National Child Abuse Prevention Month helps promote children’s social and emotional well-being and prevent child maltreatment within families and communities.

Research shows that when parents possess six protective factors, the risk for neglect and abuse diminish and optimal outcomes for children, youth, and families are promoted.  The six protective facts are:

Nurturing and attachment

Knowledge of parenting and of child and youth development

Parental resilience

Social connections

Concrete supports for parents

Social and emotional development well-being

April is a time to celebrate the important role that communties play in protecting children.  Everyone’s participation is critical.  Focusing on ways to build and promote the protective factors, in every interaction with children and families, is the best thing our community can do to prevent child maltreatment and promote optimal child development.