What is metabolic syndrome?

Neha Shah, M.D., who specializes in bariatric & obesity medicine and internal medicine at Edwards-Elmhurst Health share that if you carry a lot of weight around your waist, you’re boosting your risk for heart disease.

If you have high blood pressure or diabetes you are also at a higher risk.

When you have all three, you have what we call metabolic syndrome.

A metabolic syndrome is a group of risk factors that increase your chance of developing certain conditions. It’s not a disease in itself but describes the condition of having symptoms that could spur serious disease—such as heart attacks and stroke—down the road.

There are some things that put you at risk for metabolic syndrome (and, thus, a higher risk for future heart disease, diabetes or stroke). The more of these you have, the higher your risk: Read more

Ways to overcome slumping, text neck and more

Northwest Community Healthcare wrote that two physical therapists — Julie Schauble, and Shivangi Potdar, — who help patients at Northwest Community Healthcare, provide some answers, addressing the effects of poor posture and ways to combat it.

Q: Why do we tend to slump?

Schauble: An upright, lengthened, tall, decompressed posture requires active muscle control. We have to activate our core/postural muscles. When we slump, we sink into gravity as it pulls us downward. Though slumping takes less active muscle activation and energy, it causes increased compression on joints and surrounding soft tissue, which ultimately causes more pain.

Q: Why are more people turning to physical therapy to correct things like poor posture?

Potdar: What we’re finding out is that a lot of the first line of defense for musculoskeletal problems is physical therapy. It’s noninvasive, less cost to the insurance than expensive tests and surgeries, and it’s much more convenient for patients.

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Why pediatricians are prescribing play time for kids

CBS News shared that when 4-year-old Britton Taunton-Rigby recently got her yearly checkup, her pediatrician wrote a prescription for something he says is important. It reads, “Play Every Day.”

New guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends all pediatricians do the same. The organization says playing with parents and peers is a critical part of a child’s healthy development, fundamental for learning life skills and reducing stress.

“Play is not frivolous: it enhances brain structure and function and promotes executive function,” the report, published this week, states.

The AAP and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children get one hour of physical activity per day, as well as one hour of simple, creative play.

Lead author of the report, Dr. Michael Yogman, says play often gets a bad rap as being a waste of time, which he says is highly inaccurate.

“Play is really brain building because it has all kinds of effects on brain structure and function,” he told CBS News. “Executive function skills, learning to persist on a task, learning to solve problems, learning to be flexible about how they are learning things. It’s how we learn, not what we learn.” Read more

The Exercise That Helps Mental Health Most

Sumathi Reddy shared in the Wall Street Journal that we assume exercise improves our mental health. But what kind of exercise works best?

Researchers looking at the link between physical activity and mental health found that team sports fared best, followed by cycling, either on the road or a stationary bike.

The study, published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry this month, is among the first of its kind, and the largest, analyzing the effect of different types of exercise.

It found that physical activity typically performed in groups, such as team sports and gym classes, provided greater benefits than running or walking.

Researchers rated mental health based on a survey. It asked respondents how many days in the previous month their mental health was “not good” due to stress, depression or problems with emotions.

People who played team sports like soccer and basketball reported 22.3% fewer poor mental-health days than those who didn’t exercise. Those who ran or jogged fared 19% better, while those who did household chores 11.8% better.

In a secondary analysis, the researchers found that yoga and tai chi—grouped into a category called recreational sports in the original analysis—had a 22.9% reduction in poor mental-health days. (Recreational sports included everything from yoga to golf to horseback riding.)

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4 Actions Families Can Take to Keep Youth Physically Active

Portrait of a clever young boy typing message on mobile phone isolated over orange background

The YMCA of Metro Chicago shared that proper physical activity is critical for every child’s health and well-being, and according to Dr. Dan Cooper, it’s even associated with improved academic performance. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that children and adolescents should get at least 60 minutes of daily exercise that includes aerobic activities, muscle-strengthening activities, and bone-strengthening activities.

While most parents know the importance of keeping youth active, it may sometimes be challenging to make exercise appealing to children. Try to adopt new habits that will improve the health of both you and your children, while also strengthening your family’s bond.

Here are a few ways to that you can empower your family to be more physically active together:

1. Lead an active life yourself. Children are heavily influenced by what they observe from their parents or guardian. They will learn the value of physical fitness if they see exercise incorporated in your own daily life. Read more

Support for Women With a Disability

The Office on Women’s Health and the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition (PCSFN) have partnered to ensure that women and girls with a disability have opportunities to be physically active and practice healthy eating behaviors through the I Can Do It! (ICDI) model. The ICDI model is used to assist schools and communities aiming to establish inclusive health promotion programs.

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Tips to Prevent Drowning

The United States is losing its children to accidental drownings at an alarming rate. In fact, drowning remains the leading cause of death for children under the age of 4 in most southern states, with the majority of deaths occurring in backyard pools and spas.

“Sadly, many of these deaths can be prevented with proper swim skills and survival tools taught to children before they even learn to walk,” says Bloom, founder of Baby Otter Swim School, which has taught thousands of children as young as 8 months old how to swim and prevent accidental drowning since 1978.

Baby Otter’s water survival lesson plan gets completed in just five, 30-minute private lessons and includes a graduation of sorts—a child is dropped into the water and must turn, kick and reach themselves back to safety. This ‘Turn, Kick, Reach’ methodology was designed and licensed by Bloom and serves as the program’s hallmark.

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Did you know these facts about high blood pressure?

The Center for Disease Control shared that high blood pressure is very common in older people and a major health problem. If left untreated, it can lead to stroke, heart disease, eye problems, kidney failure and more.

Make sure you know the facts about high blood pressure and its treatment:

High blood pressure may not make you feel sick, but it is serious. See a doctor to treat it.
You can lower your blood pressure by changing your day-to-day habits and by taking medicine if needed.
If you take high blood pressure medicine, making some lifestyle changes may help lower the dose you need.
If you take blood pressure medicine and your blood pressure goes down, it means medicine and lifestyle changes are working. If another doctor asks if you have high blood pressure, the answer is, “Yes, but it is being treated.”

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Mark You Calendars and Plan on Attending

Paradise Bay Water Park Customer Appreciation Night
Tuesday, August 7
from 5:00-9:00 p.m.
The address is 437 E. St. Charles Road.
Come and enjoy the fun!  Healthy Lombard will be sponsoring a Flat Apple Gam Table.  Come by, play the games, earn Participation Tickets.
Check out all the Flat Apple info. at:

5 ways nature can improve your health

Amish Doshi, MD, an internal medicine physician with Edward Medical shared in the Edwards-Elmhurst Healthy Driven Blog that we get used to our routine surroundings — the office, our cars, our homes. Deliberately leaving those spaces and moving to natural surroundings for a while, unplugged, could seriously improve your health.The phrase “forest bathing” recently spent some time in the spotlight, and deservedly so. When done correctly, forest bathing, or spending time in nature, can provide an important boost to your mind and body.

So what is forest bathing? First, go to a nature preserve. Leave your cell phone locked in your car. Then, let go of the thoughts in your head and focus on the present; the way the tree bark feels, the way the dirt smells, the sounds of birds singing and wind rustling leaves. Take a relaxed, meandering walk that gives you time to breathe and break from the pace of everyday life.

It turns out a nature walk can actually improve your physical health, besides giving you a mental rest.

Among the many benefits, spending time in nature can:

Improve your memory. One study found a nature walk improved short-term memory by 20 percent.

Lower stress hormones. Nature has a calming effect, which allows your body to focus on improving its systems. Many plants release immunity-boosting organic compounds into the air. Forests provide shade, help filter the air and can reduce levels of stress hormones in your body.

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