Healthcare Blog

Posts tagged "health"

Undiagnosed Diabetes?

Did you know that 8.1 million diabetes cases out of the 29.1 million people that have diabetes don’t know it? That’s Diabetes9.3% of the U.S. population that have the disease. The 8.1 million could be harming their body while continuing to leave their blood sugar levels out of control.

Untreated diabetes takes a toll on your heart and blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves, as well as your gums and teeth. Unfortunately the symptoms are so minimal at first that it is hard to detect. With type 2 people often don’t know until there are problems from long term damage already caused by the disease. With type 1 symptoms come on faster and are much more severe. Early symptoms can be slow healing sores or cuts, pain or numbness in feet or legs, unplanned weight loss, as well as nausea and vomiting. Common symptoms for both types are hunger and fatigue, peeing more often and being thirstier, dry mouth and itchy skin, and blurred vision.

There are ways to keep your blood sugar under control and to stay healthy though. Here’s a list from Today.com:

  • Monitor your blood glucose levels
  • Take medication as directed by your doctor
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise! Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week.
  • Keep a food record
  • Quit Smoking
  • Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all!)

These things along with eating a healthy diet are essential. Often times there are simple things that you can do in your diet that make what you are already eating healthier. Try exchanging croutons on a salad for toasted walnuts or instead of the ranch dressing try a vinaigrette. There are several small changes like these that can effect your blood sugar levels. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above you should consult a doctor and if you aren’t it’s never a bad time to start eating healthier and adding exercise to your daily routine.

Read the full Today article HERE

 

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,

Workplace Healthy Snacking

healthysnackWhether you are a morning person or not I don’t know, but either way the morning tends to get away from those of us that head off to your typical 9-5 job. I am not a morning person and am lucky to get in a cup of coffee before running out the door. Starbucks knows me by name and my choices for breakfast are often a jar of caffeine rather than something of sustenance. Without a full meal I need to turn to healthy snacking instead.

A few keys to maintaining a healthy lifestyle are eating throughout the day with your first meal being right when you wake up or close to it and remaining hydrated. The thought of eating in the morning repulses me and I often don’t find myself hungry until lunch, but then I’m too busy and I look up and it’s already 5 o’clock with nothing having been consumed. Coffee is basically brown colored caffeine infused water though, so I’m good on at least half of this equation.

Bad habits all around, and I know that, so where do my habits need to change and what can be implemented to make changes? Preparing meals ahead of time is one way to remain on track, keeping a food journal is also beneficial, and accountability. Small frequent meals throughout the day help to curb hunger and give you the boost of energy you need to continue on with your tasks. Even a handful of almonds suffices as a “snack” to keep your metabolism on the up and up instead of the sedentary state mine is currently in for only eating a few peppermints nabbed from the bowl at our reception desk.

Habits start in the initial decision to make a change then develop from there. Do you consciously eat healthy throughout your workday or do you struggle with this like I do? Would you try meal prepping to stay on track? Read some tips on the Cooking Light website for healthy workplace snacks.

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in Active Lifestyle, All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,

Core Strength is the Center of it All

Core-Abdominal-MusclesWhen it comes to exercise we all want a quick fix and to snap our fingers and see results, but results take time. Exercise is not just about lifting weights or heading to the gym and running on a treadmill. Exercise is a science and core strength is at the center of it all. When we base our strength at our core we are protecting ourselves. The core is made up of several different muscle groups and those lovely rippling abdominal muscles you see are the last ones that should be worked. So which ones should we be working first?

Lets take a look at each different group of muscles that make up our core. The Transverse Abdominis are the deepest muscles and lie just under your obliques and wrap around your spine. The Multifidus Muscle rests deep in the spine and stabilizes each joint enabling each vertebra to work more effectively. The Internal Obliques lie just under the external obliques running in the opposite direction. The upper layer are the External Obliques located on both the side and front abdomen and rest on the internal obliques. The Rectus Abdominis extend along the front of the abdomen and are often referred to as the “six pack”. The Erector Spinae run from your neck to your lower back. So now that you see that the core is not just that lovely six pack what is the importance of strengthening all of these muscles.

One of the largest reasons is for protection. When the core is strong is allows you body to be rooted in its strength and can build upon that strength. In a way you can think of your core as the roots of a tree. The stronger and deeper those roots the stronger the entire tree. Much like that trees growth originating from the root so does our movement. When we move each extremity we are originating that movement in our core. Best Health Mag says, “a simple but effective exercise for building core stability is to draw in the abdominal muscles (think about your belly button pulling away from your pant line), hold for five breaths, and then relax. Repeat 10 times and is recommended 10 times a day.” This exercise is one that is practiced in yoga as well. Going into the deeper abdominal muscles first before the “six pack” is even thought of results in a better overall exercise regime.

Do you strengthen all of your core muscles or do you focus on the “six pack” abdominal’s the most? Now that you know the benefits of strengthening your deeper core muscles will you focus on those muscles now? More benefits of strengthening your deeper core muscles are on BestHealthMag.com HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in Active Lifestyle, All Posts and tagged , , , , ,

Sleep, How Much or How Little?

The truth is there is no exact science to say exactly how much or how little sleep we should be getting. There is a recommended 8 hours, but that differs up or down depending on age, and is really just a recommended median in a window of time rather than an exact number. The National Sleep Foundation put out a chart to show it’s recommendations:

Sleep
It is often hard once we lay our heads on the pillow to wind down and to enter into the first stages of sleep. We get too distracted with external lights and electronic devices that it takes more time to unwind. There are four stages of sleep. The first being a very surface phase which people can be easily woken from. In stage two eye movement and brain waves start to slow, in stage three we enter what is called a delta or very deep sleep, and lastly Rapid Eye Movement or REM is the final stage. In REM we start to come out of the delta sleep and the cycle starts again.

An article on Sleepdex says, “Infants spend almost 50% of their time in REM sleep. Adults spend nearly half of sleep time in stage 2, about 20% in REM and the other 30% is divided between the other two stages. Older adults spend progressively less time in REM sleep.” This parallels the information from the NSP that shows a gradual scale from infancy to adulthood lessening the amount of recommended sleep.

All of these results are from studies and tests that were done, but I think the real results come from listening to our own bodies. There are nights when five hours suffice and others when twelve hours are perfect. In truth there is no exact number for just how little or how much sleep we need. How many hours do you get a night and do you consider it enough? Read more on the National Sleep Foundations website HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , ,

How are Health Insurance Subsidies Determined?

Each year during open enrollment individuals are able to see if they are eligible for health insurance subsidies to help supplement their health care costs. The determinations are based on projected adjusted gross income (AGI) for the year compared to the cost of the second lowest silver plan in an individuals state of residence. These two factors along with how many individuals are in the household will determine eligibility to receive assistance.

The only way to receive assistance is to enroll in either your state based exchange or on Healthcare.gov. Documents are required to verify the income that you are claiming is in fact correct. If you qualify for an Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC) you may choose how much advance credit to apply to your premiums each month, up to a maximum amount. If you choose to only take a portion of the advanced credit allowed you’ll get the difference as a refundable credit when you file your federal income taxes.

Currently health insurance carriers are submitting their rates for 2016. The rates will either be approved or rejected by the administration and the second lowest silver plan rates will be determined for each geographical area. When receiving a subsidy you have to make sure to report any changes to your circumstance that may change your subsidy eligibility. This will prevent paying a tax penalty at the end of the year. Did you receive a tax subsidy last year? How was your experience with enrollment?

The Kaiser Family Foundation provides a calculator to see if you are eligible for a subsidy, but is currently set with 2015 premium rates until the 2016 second lowest silver plan rates are determined. Remember Open Enrollment Starts November 1st. Check to see if you are eligible to receive assistance HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Did You Know?, Health Insurance and tagged , , , , ,

Are 8 Glasses of Water Really Good For You?

There have been countless times and countless things I’ve read that say to drink 8 glasses of water a day. So lugging around my water bottle and constantly running to the little restroom has been something I’ve become accustomed to on my journey to fitness. Today I came across an interesting article that intrigued me and I’m inclined to believe its truth over some of the others pushing the water bandwagon. Schmidt’s Human Physiology states, “A Person weighing 155 lbs requires at least 59 oz of water per day. Of this amount 650 ml is obtained by drinking, 750 ml is the water contained in solid food, and 350 ml is oxidation water. If more than this amount is consumed by a healthy person it is excreted by the kidneys, but in people with heart and kidney disease it may be retained.” If you go off of this you truly need very little water to maintain your hydration if you are keeping up with a balanced diet.

waterThe article written on Modern Health Monks blog is decently humor filled, but I love some of the information he gives. Noting that our body knows when we are thirsty and will tell us when to drink more water when we are in need of it. Moreover stating that constantly running to and from the restroom can’t truly be the best for us. That has been a question in my mind for a while now. I feel counteractive and wonder why I am drinking this much water if all my body is doing is getting rid of it. Water is extremely good for you don’t get me wrong, but with anything there is a balance.

There are very few things in life that are a one size fits all rule, and the gallon of water a day will and should differentiate with each person’s weight, diet choices, and a number of other factors. Instead of grabbing your water each day with the explicit goal of downing the gallon, perhaps we should be listening to what our body wants more. Do you think you are giving yourself enough, too little, or too much water? Read the entire article my Alexander Heyne HERE

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , , ,

Yoga Is Not Just For The Flexible

Ayoga-for-all common misconception to those not immersed in the yoga bubble is that you have to be flexible to practice yoga. Keeping up with a healthy lifestyle is incredibly important and yoga can be practiced at any age whether you have a limited range of motion or are the most flexible person on Earth. The typical yoga that you see in photos or on the cover of Yoga Journal is not where you start a yoga practice.

Each pose you see has a modification to enable a beginner to ease into each “asana” or posture. Many people stay in the modified pose indefinitely and gain the very same benefits someone in the full expression of the pose achieve. Young YogaYoga helps with alignment and a continued practice can improve posture among other aches and pains within the body. Yoga seemed to start as the fashionable thing to do and in time has become a staple of many communities, with often the smallest of towns having a studio you can practice at.

Most studios offer a free week trial and if you aren’t comfortable going to a studio there are many options for an at home practice with videos or the new Gaiam TV. The biggest thing in starting a yoga journey is understanding that the goal is not to push yourself but rather to learn yourself and how your body moves and reacts. Not all postures are for everybody. We are our own worst critics and learning to be gentle on ourselves will help us to grow in overall wellness. With anything in life it does not happen overnight it’s a process. If you want to find a studio near you go to Yoga Finder.

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in Active Lifestyle, All Posts and tagged , , , , , , , ,

Essential Oils

Rarely can I read a news or social media feed today without seeing something about essential oils. It’s one of those everybody is doing it thing, and not typically being one who moves with the EssOilmasses on trends I was hesitant to try this new craze. Although, it’s not truly new. Using oils and the pure form of natural growing and living elements to heal is as old as time. The benefit of essential oils is that it takes each root, flower, twig, etc. and purges and purifies it for a highly concentrated oil. There are many companies that claim to have the best, and I won’t plug one in this post even though I have my favorite. They are also somewhat costly, but the benefits far outreach the cost in my eyes.

Each oil has it’s own health benefit and target symptom it treats. Many of the oils can be applied topically, ingested, or diffused depending on the concentration. A few of my favorites are Lavender for calm, a little on my pillow at night and I’m out like a light. Peppermint for headaches, rub a little on your temples and that throbbing pain starts to subside. Lemon oil in my water when I get bored of drinking my daily gallon and need a flavor boost. There are several preventative oils that are recommended for daily use to keep the sniffles away, oils that keep bugs away in the summer, ones for cleaning your house, and on and on.

On any given day if I can heal something within myself naturally I will choose that option every time. There is a great post on Dr.Axe’s website for 101 Essential Oil Uses. It’s a great place to start to see what oils might benefit you. Please note by no means am I giving medical advice and telling you to choose essential oils over any other recommendations by your doctor. This is just something I’ve added into my daily routine and I wanted to share. If you haven’t already jumped in on the craze yourself are you as intrigued as I was?

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in Active Lifestyle, All Posts, Wellness and tagged , , , , , , ,

HSAs Continue to Impress

HSAsEmployee’s are learning how to use their HSAs more and more. A report by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that the average amount of money in an HSA increased by 37 percent in 2014. At this time there are currently 13.8 million HSAs covering around 17 million individuals, with the accounts being worth an estimated $24.2 billion.

HSAs were created in 2003 enabling individuals with high deductible health plans to have tax free saving on medical expenses. Although, the Employee Benefit Research Institute estimates that four out of five current HSA accounts have been created since 2011. The rise in HSAs seems to be associated with the passing of the ACA. Now that health insurance is mandatory this is a way to take advantage of an investment potential. Your HSA is able to be connected to an investment account, but their are only 6% of accounts that are.

Individual are not utilizing the full potential of their accounts, but this is a start to an unfamiliar concept for many. 80 percent of policyholders are using their accounts for medical expenses. Adults under the age of 25 withdrew an average of $636, whereas those between ages 55 and 64 withdrew an average of $2,373.

As individuals become more familiar with HSAs and the benefits these types of policies have there should be an even greater number of Health Savings Accounts opening in 2016. Read the full BenefitsPro Article HERE.

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in All Posts, Health Insurance, In The News and tagged , , , , , , ,

Workout Routine for Work

Often times when work schedules are out of control the first thing to go are our healthy eating habits and our workout routine. There are ways to take your healthy self into your busy schedule though and here’s a few ways from Mind Body Green.

Make sure to give yourself enough time in the morning to eat a decent breakfast. While you’re in the kitchen for the morning try planning for a healthy lunch instead of rushing out the door and expecting to grab something semi-healthy at a place near the office. The other key is to drink water. When you are hydrated you feel less hungry and more alert. MBG says to keep these tips in mind: low-sodium, low-sugar, and reduced carbs. I know if I don’t have it in the house I’m much more inclined to choose a healthy option. Make your choices while you’re at the grocery store, then you have no choice.

When you need to workout on a tight schedule you might want to switch your morning or evening workout routine to your lunch hour. You don’t always need a two hour workout at the gym to stay in shape. A 30 minute routine that gets your heart rate up each day can be just as beneficial as long as you are consistent. This is one workout that MBG suggests:

  • Walk/job around perimeter of building for 10 minutesWorkout Routine
  • 20 seconds of squats
  • 30 seconds of push-ups
  • 30 second reverse lunge on left leg
  • 30 second reverse lunge on right leg
  • 30 second triceps dips on a chair/curb/bench
  • 1 minute plank on hands
  • 30 second side plank on right elbow
  • 30 second side plank on left elbow
  • Rest briefly and repeat two more times without initial jog
  • 5-minute cool down, slow jog around the building

Now I don’t know where you live but here in Denver this isn’t exactly an option in the winter and in the summer if I did this I would come back into work looking like a truck hit me. The key is to find what works best for you. What have you found to help you stay in shape and eating healthy during your busy work schedule?

Read the full Mind Body Green post HERE

 

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Posted by Lauren Yeager in Active Lifestyle, All Posts and tagged , , , , ,