Health Department joins ‘Give Kids A Smile Day’ on Feb. 6

smilesThe DuPage County Health Department is joining the national “Give Kids A Smile Day” observance on Feb. 6 by offering free services to children, including dental screenings for children with special healthcare needs, in two locations.

Free services will be offered from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Wheaton and Westmont to children ages one to 18 and no appointments are necessary. Call (630) 682-7400, ext. 7776, for information.

Free dental screenings will be offered inside the Smile Squad mobile facility parked in the parking lot of the Southeast Public Health Center, 422 N. Cass Ave., Westmont.

Free dental screenings and dental treatments will be offered in the Dental Clinic in the Central Public Health Center, 111 N. County Farm Road, Wheaton.

The Health Department is pleased to announce that this year, in collaboration with our “Ready, Set, Smile” program, we will also be offering dental screenings to children with special healthcare needs.

 

School dental forms will be given at both locations.

 

The Feb. 6 event is part of the national “Give Kids A Smile Day” sponsored by the American Dental Association (ADA). This activity began in 2003 as a way for dentists to join with others in the community to provide dental services to under-served children. Dentists and other team members volunteer to provide screenings, treatments and education to children throughout the United States.

Congrats to Paul Zientarski: Action For Healthy Kids School Health Heroes Award Winner!

61We know the mind body connection is real. Just ask PE consultant, retired teacher, and FORWARD Advisory Board member Paul Zientarski. Paul was inspired when he heard a Harvard professor speak about the positive influence physical activity has on the brain. Paul teamed up with a few like-minded individuals and together they developed the Learning Readiness PE (LEPE) program to prove physical activity has a positive impact on brain function.

The Learning Readiness PE Program collects and analyzes data that proves students perform better in a class they are struggling in if they precede the class with physical activity. The research was a huge breakthrough in what Action for Healthy Kids refers to as The Learning Connection. Stated simply, healthy and active kids learn better. The Program has received worldwide attention and Paul has traveled the country presenting his brain research findings, explaining the effects of fitness and exercise on academic performance. His favorite moments include presenting brain science research to the Illinois Enhance PE Task Force and to the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition.

Paul’s investment in the mind body connection goes much deeper than LEPE. He spent forty years as a physical education teacher. “Helping kids lead healthier lives has been a priority of mine for years.” The biggest struggle he’s come across is trying to educate parents on making smart and healthy choices for their kids. As a loving parent and grandparent himself, Paul says, “Every parent wants their children to be successful but they haven’t figured out that success and happiness come from children who are healthy.” He won’t stop until his message is heard loud and clear!

The Anatomy Of A Proper Workout

0609-workout-40s-artThe Anytime Fitness Blog shared that many of us started working out by just hopping on one of the cardio machines with the hope that it’d do the trick. However, understanding the anatomy of a proper workout will help you each and every time you’re in the gym. Let’s eliminate excuses and negative experiences forever with our 4-step workout plan.

1. Know Before You Go

Each workout should serve a purpose and should have a definite desired outcome. Many athletes plan their entire season; including monthly goals and plans, weekly, and all the way down to the specific day. Of course, this takes a little more time and effort, but it pays off. If you don’t plan to that level, it’s fine. One day per week,just jot out your goals for the upcoming week, and include as much detail for each day as you’re able. And this takes only a few moments to do.

2. Warm-Up

Each workout should include a thorough warm-up. While this will likely be different for each type of activity, the necessity of a warm-up is constant. The goal of a warm-up is to get the heart rate to increase, to open the blood vessels, to warm up the body core temperature, and to prepare the muscles and connective tissue for the work ahead. A proper warm-up is critically important to not only improving the quality of the workout, but to help keep you injury-free as well.

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Cold weather can actually cause colds

article-cold-fluThe Daily Herald shared on January 12, 2015 that wether cold temperatures have anything to do with catching a cold has long been a question that supposedly separates believers in old wives’ tales from the scientifically savvy. But while the cold-cold connection is widely considered a medical myth, a new study finds otherwise, Reuters reports.

Even a slight chill increases the speed at which rhinoviruses, which cause the common cold, multiply in lab mice, said the study published recently by Yale University scientists. Cold temperatures also trigger immune-system changes that let the viruses replicate virtually unchecked.

Scientists have suspected for more than half a century that rhinoviruses thrive in a slight chill. A 1960 study found that they multiply more quickly at 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 Fahrenheit) than at body temperature (37C, or 98.6F.).

The new study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, confirmed that finding, showing cold viruses replicated more efficiently and produced higher levels of infectious particles at the lower temperature.

But it also extended the 1960 results, pinpointing three biological effects of chilly air that can increase the likelihood of developing a cold.

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Drink Half Your Body Weight in Water

jeffers-kid-drinking-waterStay hydrated by drinking about half your body weight in fluid ounces of water.

The bonus is that sipping on cold water helps you burn about 100 more calories over the course of a day!

Dietician Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite For Health recommends “drinking about half of your body weight in fluid ounces of water (or other calorie-free beverages). Cold water provides a brief shock to your metabolism, raising it by about 30 percent so that over the course of a day, your body will burn about 100 more calories.” It may sound like a ton of liquid, but it’s an absolutely doable amount; for example, if you weigh 150 pounds, Julie is recommending that you aim for 75 fluid ounces (or just under nine and a half cups of water) a day.

If you’re a soda or juice drinker who is having a tough time making the transition to good old H2O, try these healthy water additions like lemon and mint that can amp up the flavor of your cup and double its detox power.

More evidence that exercise can help fight Alzheimer's disease

olderLenny Bernstein in the The Washington Post shared that evidence continues to accumulate that physical activity can help hold off the changes in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease, and perhaps the devastating symptoms of the disease itself.

The latest information comes from researchers at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, who looked at 317 late-middle aged adults and determined that those who exercised five times a week or more had fewer of the age-related changes in the brain that are associated with the disease, and did better on cognitive tests.

Age remains the single greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s, greater even than having the gene found in many people with the disease, the study confirmed. But “what we have shown here is that physical activity diminishes the deleterious influence of age,” said Ozioma Okonkwo, an assistant professor of medicine at the school who led the study.

People who exercised had less accumulation of “beta amyloid plaque,” the proteins that build up in the brains of people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. They had less shrinkage of the hippocampus and less reduction in use of glucose in the brain, two other symptoms of the disease. And they had fewer neurofibrillary tangles, twisted fibers inside brain cells of people with Alzheimer’s. When researchers tested the people who worked out, they did better on memory and visual-spatial tests.

An increasing amount of research has shown that exercise can help hold off Alzheimer’s disease, including this July study that The New York Times called “inspiring.” The University Wisconsin research, published in November in the journal Neurology, adds strong evidence from examinations of the subjects’ brains to support that conclusion.

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Where does the fat go when you lose it?

body-fat-measureLenny Bernstein from The Washington Post shared that you’ve lost a pound of fat. Congrats, that’s not easy to do during the holidays. But where exactly does it go when you manage to get rid of it?

First, some possible answers:

A. The fat fairy came and took it. That’s why you always weigh less in the morning.

B. You converted it to heat and radiated it into the atmosphere.

C. It’s not really lost, it’s just delayed in Cleveland.

D. You released it as carbon dioxide and water through your lungs.

E. You melted it and excreted it in your urine and feces.

If you didn’t answer D, don’t worry too much. Neither did a bunch of doctors and biochemistry students whom Ruben Meerman queried before writing about all this in a short paper released in the British Medical Journal this month.

“We’re going to remove the mystery,” Meerman said in an interview from Sydney, Australia, where he lives. “Right now, most people, including doctors, have got an idea that’s scientifically incorrect. It’s literally impossible to do what they think is happening.”

Meerman is a former physicist who abandoned that career to take up “science communication,” including work for a popular Australian television show, “Catalyst.” Last year, he lost some weight and began to think about what happens on a molecular level to the kilograms of fat he was shedding.

“I had a little bit of understanding you can’t just turn fat into heat,” he said, though that turned out to be a popular answer when he started asking the question.

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Tis The Season for STRESS!

staying-healthyVirgin Heath shared in its 2014 Survey on “The holidays’ impact on employees’ health happiness (& what it means for employers) that it looks like the stress – not to mention all that turkey and eggnog – is weighing on employees’ health.

Sixty-two percent said eating healthy is the hardest aspect of well-being to maintain during the holidays, with 71 percent of respondents saying they eat unhealthily between two and five days a week.

Employees are also have trouble finding time to exercise and aren’t logging enough sleep. Fifty-one percent and 46 percent, respectively, said these were the aspects of well-being they found hardest to maintain during the holidays. Fifty-nine percent of respondents said they sleep poorly and 51 percent said they skip exercising between two and five days during the holidays.

Encourage your employees to maintain their healthy habits during the holidays, and all year long. With exercise, sleep, and proper nutrition all proven to have dramatic impacts on people’s performance.

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Rethink Your Drink Campaign

RTYD_Banner2-1024x317One of the objectives in the IAPO Obesity Action Roadmap is to “increase consumption of healthy food and beverages in relation to consumption of unhealthy food and beverages that have minimal nutritional value, such as sugar-sweetened beverages and calorie-dense, low-nutrition fast foods.”  More

Passing a penny-per-ounce excise tax on sugary drinks is a long-term goal the coalition defined to help reach the over-arching objective. IAPO members have focused on mobilizing, educating, and advocating with community residents, leaders, and policymakers to reduce access to and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages since the start of IAPO.

A Rethink Your Drink 2014 campaign was kicked off with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn declaring February, 2014 as “Rethink Your Drink Month” in Illinois.  More

In the fall of 2013, IAPO developed its first ever legislative agenda for the spring 2014 session of the Illinois General Assembly. Included on the agenda was the Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Act, which placed a penny per ounce excise tax on sugary beverages with revenues going to community prevention (50%) and the Illinois Medicaid program (50%).

Governed by a state Council of Agencies with input from an Advisory Board, the funds would help support nutrition and physical activity initiatives, local food systems, school health and wellness, public health departments and infrastructure, active transportation, oral health, and expansion of Medicaid prevention services. While the bill did not pass in the spring 2014 legislative session, IAPO will continue to advocate for this legislative proposal as one tool that could reduce obesity in Illinois.

For quick and fun ideas on how to participate, view the IAPO Rethink Your Drink Toolkit.

Rethink Your Drink Tools and Resources

Join us by hosting educational events in your community and/or sending out educational messages about the health impacts of sugary beverages and how people can take steps to rethink their drinks and reduce consumption of sugary beverages through policy and environmental strategies.