Prediabetes: Don’t let it turn into the real thing

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Vaping Converts

nosmokingA study of more than 36,000 high-school students found that teens with asthma used electronic cigarettes at a higher rate than non-asthmatics, said Ann Lukits in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

E-cigarettes are marketed as healthier than regular cigarettes, which could make asthmatic teens believe they’re safer to use, the researchers noted. The report, in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, said asthmatic teens who used e-cigarettes were nearly four times as likely to consider smoking regular cigarettes as their asthmatic peers who hadn’t used the battery-operated devices. Teens may be tempted to smoke regular cigarettes if they don’t have a severe asthmatic reaction to e-cigarettes, the researchers added.

Although the long-term health risks of e-cigarettes aren’t known, their use by non-asthmatics has been linked to coughing, throat irritation and chest pain, the researchers said. Use of e-cigarettes by U.S. teens increased from 1.5% to 13.4% from 2011 to 2014, according to a recent study. Read more

Running: The miracle sport

College of DuPagrunning2e Nursing Student is Chrissy Jonas poses the questions, “Looking for a workout to benefit your overall health?  Why not try running?”

Running is a great weight bearing activity that has remarkable benefits for both your mind and body! Recent statistics reveal that running can:

  • Decrease your risk for breast cancer by 25%
  • Decrease your risk of cataracts by 35%
  • Reduce your risk of gastric cancer by 50%
  • Decrease your risk for depression by 19%
  • Reduce the risk of a severe heart attack by 50%
  • Strengthens bones & muscles
  • Helps you maintain a healthy weight (with the addition of a healthy diet)

By running just by 5 minutes each day, you can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 45% and increase your life expectancy by 3 years!

With all these wonderful benefits, why not start today? It is important to not race too far ahead and begin slow. This will prevent injury and help each and every runner experience the incredible healthy benefits of each run.

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Early Childhood Centers Make Healthy Lifestyle Changes

earlychild2One focus area of the Healthy Lifestyles action plan is improving nutrition, physical activity, and the built environment in early childhood centers.
As a result of local technical assistance and mini-grants, seven early childhood centers in DuPage County have successfully completed the evidence-based Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care (NAP SACC) in the past year. Early childhood centers also completed an action plan to address opportunities identified in the self-assessment. Some examples of improvements include: updated breakfast and snack options, portable play equipment, and enhanced conversations with children around self-assessment of being full.

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Kids with Cerebral Palsy Are…Well, Kids!

Father and kid playing with paint colors

Father and kid playing with paint colors

One of the questions I’m often asked by people who read my blog here is “When you were a kid, what was it like for you, considering that you have cerebral palsy? Did you play outside with other kids and participate in sports activities? Or did you just stay at home, play with your toys, and watch TV?”

At first glance, this seems as though is a silly question, akin to “Considering that you have a disability, do you ever go on dates?” On one level, it presupposes that children with disabilities, including those with cerebral palsy (CP) are different from children without physical disabilities under the skin. On another level, however, it reflects the fact that other than “inspirational” films such as “My Left Foot” or sappy melodramas along the lines of this year’s “Me Before You,” mainstream culture doesn’t depict the lives of people with disabilities very often. Read more

Please Thank A Veteran Today

poems-for-veterans-day-preschool veterans-day-poems

Brain Cells That May Play a Key Role in Appetite

donutsAnn Lukits in the Wall Street Journal shared that scientists have discovered a cluster of cells in an unexpected area of the brain that could play a powerful role in regulating appetite and eating habits, says a report in the journal Nature.

In mouse experiments, destroying the cells caused the rodents to overeat and gain excessive weight. Activating the cells had the opposite effect: The mice lost their appetite and became almost anorexic.

The cells, called cholinergic neurons, were located in the basal forebrain at the front of the brain, in a region called the diagonal band of Broca. The neurons produce acetylcholine, a chemical that helps brain cells transmit information to one another, but its role in controlling appetite wasn’t previously known, researchers said.

The neurons use the same pathways in the brain as nicotine, a chemical in tobacco and an appetite suppressant, they noted.

“Targeting cholinergic neurons for either electrical, genetic or pharmacological manipulation may prove useful in treating detrimental eating habits or eating disorders—or aspects of addiction,” lead researcher Dr. Benjamin R. Arenkiel , associate professor in the departments of molecular and human genetics and neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, said in an email. Read more

Dosing Dangers

medicine-bottle_zjsfz8do_lAnn Lukits shared in the Wall Street Journal hat parents are less likely to give their child the wrong dose of liquid medication if they use a syringe instead of a cup for measuring, says a study in Pediatrics.

The study tested the measuring skills of more than 2,000 parents of small children. Almost all parents measured at least one dose that wasn’t the exact amount, and 21% measured more than double the recommended dose. The chances of making an error were 4.6 times as great with dosing cups as with oral syringes, the study found.

More than 70,000 children are treated in U.S. emergency departments every year for medication overdoses, usually due to parent-measuring errors. Few studies have focused on aspects of labels and measuring tools that might be improved to reduce such errors, the researchers said. Read more

5 Foods That Will Improve Your Daily Life

chai-seedsJennifer Scott at | jennifer.scott@spiritfinder. org share that a total diet revamp can be a very time-consuming process. Eliminating the unhealthy foods and learning how to eat well requires a long-term commitment and a lifestyle change. However, living healthier does not have to mean a total diet makeover.

A few healthy additions to your day can make you feel better and get you started on living a healthier life, and it’s a great way to begin your journey to healthier living as you gradually incorporate better choices and habits into your daily diet. There are a few foods that you can easily incorporate into your daily routine for an easy health boost.

Chia Seeds, Not Caffeine

Caffeine is a common vice in the U.S. It’s no surprise given our busy schedules. However, caffeine often exacerbates existing issues such as anxiety while causing shakiness and midday crashes. A far better and much more nutritional alternative is chia seeds.

Chia seeds are packed with nutrients and are small enough to add to just about anything. They are great to add to beverages for on the go energy or a perfect addition to granolas, cereals, and oatmeal.

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Heading a soccer ball causes brain changes

man-and-soccerballRoutine heading of a soccer ball can cause damage to brain structure and function, according to a new study from the United Kingdom that is the first to detect direct neurological changes by impacts too minor to cause a concussion, The Washington Post reports.

The research, published last week in EBioMedicine, studied brain changes among amateur players, ages 19 to 25, who headed machine-projected soccer balls at speeds modeling a typical practice. Though the results seen were temporary, they trigger questions about possible cumulative damage done over time.

“(A)lthough the magnitude of the acute changes observed was small,” the researchers note, “it is the presence of the effect that is of interest. This measure was previously shown to be altered in confirmed concussion, but the acute changes … following the sub-concussive impact of football heading raise concerns that this practice, routine in soccer, may affect brain health.” Read more