Holly Briskeym College of DuPage Student Nurse, shared that as the times progress, technology has found a way to weave into each and every one of our lives. Smartphones, tablets, smart watches, computers, and television screens are everywhere we look. But what impact does technology have on our health?
The universal technologic advancement affects many aspects of our health whether it be socially, emotionally, or even physically. Specifically, how does staring into these bright screens all day and night affect our sleep? A clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA, Dr. Dan Siegel, states that there is a large impact of screens on sleep. Exposing our eyes to these streams of photons that essentially signal our brain to stay awake may be the reason you’re getting fewer and fewer hours of shut eye. These photons suppress the body’s release of melatonin- the hormone that anticipates the daily onset of darkness. Sleep allows your whole body to rest and essentially “clean your body’s toxins” out. We do most of our growing and repairing during our sleep, the majority of us requiring about 8 hours on average. Thinking becomes harder; you may notice weight gain, stress increase, and even a lowered immune system function causing you to fall ill more easily. Technology has become such a paramount part of our lives, that we are even taking our technology to bed; snuggling up with that smartphone of yours is almost certainly a rationale behind the quality of sleep you are receiving.
Dr. Dina Borzekowski and Nicholas Albaugh from the University of Maryland School of Public Health conducted an anonymous research study of 353 persons aged 17 to 24 to inquire further into this topic. They found that around 1/5th of these young people slept with their cellphones in their beds, or even under their pillows. 71.2% of these people kept their phones on their bedside tables, and about 80% of the participants stated they used their cellphones “all the time” as alarm clocks for waking.
Community Outreach Intern Ashley Evans from West Suburban Wellness, in Lombard shared that at West Suburban Wellness we provide education for our patients on how to live a natural, healthy life. One thing we stress is a healthy diet, high in good foods that are closer to nature and eliminating the bad processed foods. Here we’ve given you some of our tips to have a fantastic fruit-filled February!
- Bunches of Berries
Fresh berries are some of the most powerful and delicious disease fighting foods available. They contain antioxidants to protect your body by stabilizing free radical, a major source of disease and aging. Berries also contain dietary fiber, which helps maintain a healthy GI tract, lowers blood cholesterol, reduces heart disease and may help prevent certain types of cancers.
- Plenty of Pears
You can find plenty of pears in February – and good thing, because they supply great health benefits. One medium-sized piece of this fruit alone provides about 24% of the daily value for fiber. Much of this fiber is in the form of pectin, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol and decrease the risk of heart disease. Pears also contain prebiotic fiber, which helps promote intestinal health. Keeping your gut healthy is key to maintaining strong immune and nervous systems. As pears are digested, they slow the growth of harmful bacteria without affecting beneficial bacteria with probiotic potential.
Melissa Hollander shared in the Daily Herald that “Snowshoeing is the best bang-for-your-buck, fat-burning workout in winter,” says Dr. Ray Browning of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado’s Health Science Center. “It’s an exceptional way to achieve cardiovascular fitness, expend energy and reduce your chance of heart disease; plus it’s low-cost, easily mastered and fun.”
Snowshoeing provides a cardio workout while also building strength, agility, balance and endurance.
According to Connolly, snowshoers can vary the intensity of their workout, burning fewer calories by taking an easy walk on flat-packed terrain, or getting a more intense workout by snowshoeing in powder on hilly terrain at a pace of three miles per hour.
Marty Jandura, assistant site manager, east division, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, who often leads programs about snowshoeing, says the forest preserves have had to cancel some snowshoe programs due to lack of snow. But he is holding out hope for more snow this year, so local residents can take advantage of the programs and trails offered.
“You need at least 4 inches of snow. You don’t want to be hitting the surface below,” Jandura said. “If there is no snow, you’re better off wearing ice cleats.”
Jandura said he has noticed the popularity of snowshoeing increase in the past 10 years and the DuPage forest preserves began renting snowshoes in the last few years.
According to two independent studies conducted by Ball State University and the University of Vermont, snowshoers can burn between 420-1000 calories per hour. That’s more than you can burn walking, running or cross-country skiing for an hour.
“Snowshoeing is an effective, low-impact, and safe form of exercise … It burns up to twice the number of calories as walking at the same speed,” says Dr. Declan Connolly of the University of Vermont’s exercise physiology department.
Are you looking for an easy way to reduce stress? Did you know the mind and body are connected and more than 85% of illnesses are directly related tostress? Stretching along with deep breathing has multiple benefits for both your body and your mind. Incorporating stretching and deep breathing into your daily routine calms your mind and allows muscles to be well circulated and ultimately healthier.
What the transition students are saying about this tip:
“It calms my mind and makes me feel stronger!” Rachel, Transition student
“It loosens my body and focuses my mind.” Chris, Transition student
The Healthy Lombard Foundation invites all members of the greater Lombard community to attend The Sixth Annual Fitness February Fair from 10 AM – 1:30 PM, at the Yorktown Center Mall, Lombard, IL. This year the Fair will be located in the Lower Level Area of the mall near Home Goods and Marshall’s. The most convenient doorway to use to attend the Fair is the Mall Entrance by Forever 21 (near the Streets of Butterfield).
The Fitness February Fair will features health-related displays, free health screenings, the opportunity to participate in interactive presentations and a raffle. Visitors may pick up a sticker sheet at any of the exhibit tables. The sheet contains 16 spaces. As they visit any of the 36 exhibits they will receive one sticker for their sheet. When they have collected 16 of the possible 36 stickers, they can enter their name into the raffle for prizes.
The Fair will also feature stage performances. Demonstrations will range from fast passed exercise workouts by ESSENTRICS of Lombard to martial arts moves by Sky Center students, to a Yoga demonstration by Glenbard High School students. There will also be jump rope and hula-hoop competitions for kids.
At 1PM, Healthy Lombard, with the assistance of Supernova, the Red Stars Women’s Soccer Team Mascot, will present Health Hero Awards to four individuals who have made healthy lifestyle changes in 2015 and to two business who have actively supported the mission of the Healthy Lombard Foundation.
Several local business and organizations have stepped forward to sponsor various segments of this fun health and fitness event. They include two Main Fair Sponsors, The Kiwanis Club of Lombard and Orange Theory Fitness; Stage Sponsor Revolution Physical Therapy and Weight Loss, Glen Ellyn; Health Hero Award Sponsor Ironclad Performance; and Kids’ Contest Sponsor Olympia Chiropractic and Physical Therapy. General sponsors include Balance Pediatric and Family Weight Management Specialist, Bob Goldin State Farm Insurance, Elmhurst Memorial Hospital, the Helen Plum Memorial Library, Jazzercise Lombard, LiNiTo Cycle, Lexington Square of Lombard, the Lombard Park District, Sky Centers Martial Arts, Points to Wellness Acupuncture, VFW Lilac Post 5815, and West Suburban Wellness,
COD Nursing student Samantha Brezinski shares that weight bearing exercises are important for building and maintaining bone density. Weight bearing exercise also helps prevent osteoporosis which is a big issue for older women. Talk to your doctor before beginning to work out if you haven’t in a while or have any concerns. It is recommended to get about 30 minutes of weight bearing exercise in on most days of the week. You can do more or less depending on how you feel. An area that most women want to work on is their lower body. There are 4 great exercises that I am going to list that will help improve strength and increase muscle mass.
- Squats- Squats are a really good way to help strengthen your legs and butt. You can do them almost anywhere; whether you’re at home cleaning or at the gym squats are a great workout. According to bodybuilding.com, stand with your feet shoulder width apart with your feet facing forward. You can extend your hands straight out in front of you for balance or you can hold some weight for extra resistance. You want to make sure to keep your back straight and you begin to lower down to when your thighs are parallel to the floor. In this position you want to make sure your knees don’t extend out past your feet and to make sure your back is straight. Repeat this exercise as much as you can without hurting yourself. As your body gets use to this workout over time it is a good idea to gradually increase the weight to help strength your lower body.
- Lunges-Lunges are another good way to help strength your legs and butt. According to bodybuilding.com, stand upright with a straight back. Take one foot and step forward; both toes should be facing forward. Begin to lower your back knee towards the floor but do not touch the floor. In this position make sure you’re back is straight
This month reminds us to make “heart health” a priority. There are a number of things we all should do every single day to ensure we are living to our best potential:
- Get the recommended number hours of sleep
- Enjoy healthy/positive social relationships (and not social media)
- Maintain a “healthy weight” or be on your way to such
- If you smoke, QUIT
- Brush twice a day and floss daily
- Smile and laugh often throughout the day. If you can’t, find ways to make this a reality.
- Have a positive attitude about all that you encounter each day
- Help others. It’s good for your heart and theirs
- Eat foods that ward off cancer and disease
- Get up and get moving…at least 20 minutes a day
Healthy Lombard Partner and acupunturist Jenn McGrath from Points to Wellness in Oakbrook Terrace asks, “Are you plagued by chronic headaches?” More than 45 million Americans (one in six) suffer from chronic headaches, and 20 million of them are women. Scientific research shows that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.
The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches, and it can offer powerful relief without the side effects that prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause. Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes, have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Oriental medicine for thousands of years. They can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.
Acupuncture and Oriental medicine do not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, a variety of techniques — including acupuncture, tui-na massage, and energetic exercises–aim to restore balance in the body and treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables. In diagnosing your individual issues, you may be asked a series of questions, including:
- Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
- When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)?
- Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain?
- Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?
Your answers to these questions will help your practitioner create a treatment plan specifically for you. The basic foundation of Oriental medicine is that there is a life energy flowing through the body which is termed Qi (pronounced chee). This energy flows through the body on channels known as meridians that connect all of our major organs. According to Oriental medical theory, illness or pain arises when the cyclical flow of Qi in the meridians becomes unbalanced.
Acupuncture stimulates specific points located on or near the surface of the skin to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness. The length, number, and frequency of treatments will vary. Some headaches, migraines, and related symptoms are relieved after the first treatment, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.
Liz Connor for Evening Standard found that researchers from the University of Michigan have revealed that cheese contains a chemical found in addictive drugs.
Using the Yale Food Addiction Scale, designed to measure a person’s cravings, the study found that cheese is particularly moreish because it contains casein.
The chemical, which is found in all dairy products, can trigger the brain’s opioid receptors, producing a feeling of euphoria linked to those of hard drug addiction.
00 students were asked to complete a questionnaire to identify food cravings, as part of the study, with pizza topping the list as the most addictive food of all.
In addition, they found that the top-ranking foods on the addiction scale were those containing cheese.
Scientists studying dairy products found that in milk, casein has a minuscule dosage. But producing a pound of cheese requires about 10 pounds of milk — with addictive casein coagulating the solid milk fats and separating them from the liquids.
As a result the super-strength chemical becomes concentrated when in solid dairy form, so you’ll get a higher hit of addictive casein by tucking into a cheese sandwich than you will in your morning bowl of cereal.