3 Winter Wellness Tips for Men

A middle aged man with a contemplative look on his face. He could be worried or depressed about something.November is here, and fall is turning to winter. This time of year, days are becoming colder, darker, and feeling shorter. While winter brings with it the festive holiday season, it is also a time that challenges men’s wellness, both physically and mentally. From feelings of isolation to the cyclical sense of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), winter can be a testing time for everyone.

The good news, however, is that there are a few ways you can combat the winter blues and keep your mental and physical wellness in tip-top shape during cold and flu season! Read on to find out a few of our favorite ways to maintain happiness throughout the season!

Share How You’re Feeling

Sharing how you’re feeling can come in several ways. Luckily, there are varying degrees in which you can talk about your feelings. Taking a note of your day in a journal to simply reflect on what you did or how you feel can be a great and easy stress reliever. If you are beginning to feel symptoms of anxiety due to whatever factors, it’s also important to confide in close friends and family.

While certain light topics are perfect for journaling or venting to friends and family, other topics can be more challenging. If you find yourself struggling to cope with stress or anxiety, talking to a licensed online psychiatrist for professional advice could be just the experience you need to get back to feeling yourself.

Make Social Plans

Getting out and seeing friends in different surroundings isn’t only fun, but also essential to improving your mood. Socialization has massive benefits to your health in many ways. Conversely, a lack of socialization or face-to-face communication can increase feelings of depression. A great way to combat this is by making plans for time with friends and family.

If the winter weather has you feeling the need to stay indoors, there are still plenty of alternative solutions to outdoor activities. FaceTime or Zoom catch ups have similar effects to meeting in person and are easier if your friends live long distances away. Other indoor activities can come by way of planning themed dinners or parties at your home to keep the weekends exciting and fresh! Read more

Too Much of Anything Can Be a Bad Thing: High Cholesterol

heart buttonCollege of DuPage Nursing Student Kaela Jean-Pierre shared that in modern times, health care providers focus most of their time and effort on preventative medicine. They invest their time into diagnosing and treating hypercholesterolemia as a preventive measure for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing 1 in 4 deaths. Hypercholesterolemia is defined as the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood. Understanding the importance of cholesterol and improving it is important for individuals of all ages to reduce the risk of heart disease and strokes.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is made by the body naturally and found in the bloodstream and the cells. Cholesterol is essential in generating hormones, building cells, and substances that aid in food digestion.    Cholesterol is needed to maintain a healthy body but just like the saying, “too much of anything is bad”, meaning in this case, too much cholesterol can be detrimental for the heart. There are at least two types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the “good” kind of cholesterol, and low-density lipoprotein, a kind of “bad” kind of cholesterol. HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein protects the heart from heart disease. It removes LDL (Low-Density- Lipoprotein) from the body and prevents it from buildup in the arteries. LDL cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease because it leads to plaque buildup on the inner wall of the arteries.

What Causes High Cholesterol?

When there’s an excess amount of cholesterol in the blood, it forms plaque in the walls of the coronary arteries leading to vasoconstriction of the blood vessels that supply oxygenated blood to the heart. This condition is also atherosclerosis. The most common causes of hypercholesterolemia are unhealthy diets, lack of physical activity, age, and family history. Stress can also affect cholesterol levels, just like hypertension. Untreated high cholesterol can lead to cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart failure. Read more

SHIELDING KIDS FROM INTERNET BULLIES

Cute asian little girl using laptop at home . Seleted focus.Adelaide Robb, MD,  the Chief of the Division of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at Children’s National, specializing in pediatric mood disorders, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress disorder, shared in “Rise and Shine” that children and teens spend much of their time online, which makes bullying even easier. Cyberbullying allows the bully to be bolder, due to the possible anonymity and allows the bully to reach the victim at any time of the day or night, leaving the victim with nowhere to hide. Another reason cyberbullying can be worse than physical bullying is the fact that it spreads much more quickly. Cyberbullying has been used for many purposes, and often parents have no idea their child is being bullied because the child is hesitant to tell them.

Keeping bullies at bay

  • Block the bully from your child’s account, and do not respond to any messages from the bully.
  • Refrain from sharing contact information online, such as email addresses and phone numbers.
  • Take pictures of threatening messages for evidence.
  • Remind your child to report any bullying or threatening messages to an authority figure.
  • Visit sites such as stopcyberbullying.org and wiredsafety.org to learn about how to deal with bullying and other internet safety tips.

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Raging for Rambutan

College of DuPage Nursing Student Andy Margate researched for Healthy Lombard that when thinking about healthy fruits, you would think of common fruits such as apples and oranges. However, one fruit that many people may have not heard about is a fruit called rambutan, a fruit that is related to lychee. It would be considered an “exotic” fruit in the United States but is quite widespread and quite popular in South-East Asian countries such as the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. It might be considered weird for those who don’t often eat this type of fruit, due to its appearance of being “hairy”. While it might have an odd appearance, it is still a fruit that has a lot of health benefits to the body.

How is it healthy?

            Rambutan is a great source of vitamin C about 4.9 mg per 100g of rambutan, which is 8.17% of your daily nutrition needs. Vitamin C is an essential part of maintaining a healthy body as it plays an important role in tissue formation, improves the absorption of iron for enhanced blood circulation, and it also improves the body’s immune system to fight off infections and is an antioxidant that helps remove toxins from the body (Netmeds, 2021).

It is also a great way to improve heart health, as rambutan is a great source of potassium with about 84.1 mg per 100g. Potassium is an important mineral for maintaining heart health, especially for managing high blood pressure. High blood pressure can be dangerous, as it can overwork the heart and damage the blood vessels providing a lower output of blood to the body (Netmeds, 2021). Read more

Meditation: More than just HUMMMS

Meditating woman sitting in pose of lotus against clear sky outdoorsCollege of DuPage Nursing Student Jean Herrera Pinera shared with Healthy Lombard that if you saw a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger, you would probably think “There is a man that never skips leg day!”. What you would be surprised to learn is he also never skips head day. More clearly, he trains his mind every day. Twenty minutes in the morning and twenty minutes at night through meditation. There is a vagueness about meditation and its benefits. For most people, it is viewed as just a way to calm down at the moment. The benefits go deeper than that.

Most people decide to try meditation to reduce stress in their life. Although this is the most common benefit, it eventually translates to reduced anxiety. By taking the time to be what is referred to as “mindful” a person can think more clearly about the present and less about the future or the “what if’s” in life. Being present allows for better control of breathing, thereby reducing the elevated heart rate that is associated with high stress or anxiety.

With just a few minutes a night, you can improve your quality of sleep. Saving all that tossing and turning that would usually keep you up. Consciously thinking about the day is a big part of what keeps most people having trouble sleeping. By meditating at the end of the night, allows you to clear your mind before bed. It can be thought of as letting your mind digest the day’s events.

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Why is Wearing Retainers after Braces Treatment Important?

Sharon William, the head of digital marketing at Koch Orthodontics in Loganville, GA., shared with Healthy Lombard that once you’ve spent months or years wearing braces. It’s finally time to take them off and see your pearly whites in a single, straight-line, minus the metal brackets, your teeth straightening journey doesn’t end here.

The after-braces journey is just getting started, and it’s just as important. This is where the retainers will step in and continue working on keeping your teeth straight.

What is a Retainer?

The teeth will continue to move after the braces are removed. They are at risk of going back to their original, crooked positions.

The main job of the retainers after braces is to ensure that your teeth don’t move back into crooked positions. As the name suggests, they ‘retain’ the straight positions of the teeth.

 

Why are Retainers Needed?

Besides your teeth, the elastic ligaments that hold your teeth to the socket in your jaw will also move during the orthodontic treatment. Once the braces’ treatment is over, the tissues and ligaments in the jaw will need some time to stabilize.

Without a retainer, the teeth will certainly migrate to their old positions as the elastic ligaments will start moving again. The braces treatment may essentially get reversed without the retainer.

An orthodontic retainer will help your teeth and their surrounding hard and soft tissues to stabilize and align in their new positions. The teeth may take from several months to a few years to become permanent in their new, straight positions. The orthodontists will recommend you wear the retainers until the teeth settle in their new positions.

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Coping with Disappointment During the Pandemic

Natalie Altenburg shared with Healthy Lombard that due to the pandemic, many things have been postponed or canceled.  From concerts to film premieres to family gatherings, many of the events that we look forward to simply will not be happening when we want them to or how we want them to.  It is easy to feel disappointed because of all these changes.  While it is okay to feel however you feel, it is also important to have healthy ways to deal with these feelings.  Here are a few ways to help deal specifically with disappointment during the pandemic.   

  • Look for things to be grateful for and take time to recognize them.  When there are so many things going wrong or making us feel negative emotions, it can be easy to get caught up with those emotions.  However, finding things that we are grateful for can help with lifting moods and focusing on more positive things.  One way to do this may be to write down what you are grateful for.  Another thing to do may be to identify people that you are grateful for and send them a nice note to let them know that you are grateful for them.  

  • Find ways to add excitement and happiness throughout your daily routine or weekly schedule Maybe you plan to make yourself a really great latte midway through your day.  Maybe you and your friends schedule a weekly Zoom call.  Whatever it is, try to plan something that you can look forward to that you are also able to control.  This way, you are still having some fun, but because it is on your own terms, it will be much harder for something to get in the way to prevent it from happening.  
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How Much is an Eye Exam Without Insurance?

Vision Definition Magnifier Shows Eyesight Or Future GoalsOverview: Eye Exams & Costs

The average cost of an eye exam is about $95. However, they can vary from about $50 to $250.

Unfortunately, about 30 million people in the United States don’t have health insurance. Additionally, many insurance plans do not include vision benefits.

An annual eye exam will help keep you up-to-date with your vision care. Routine eye exams will help detect vision problems such as eye strain, astigmatism, myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and other age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration. They can also help monitor your overall health and detect symptoms of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other health problems.

However, there are still several options for people who don’t have insurance but need an eye exam. You can go to your local eye optometrist or visit an eye doctor in a large chain store such as Wal-Mart, Target, or Costco.

Many retail vision providers will charge less than $100, while independent eye doctors may charge more. An eye exam’s average cost without insurance is around $200 for a new patient and $100-$150 for an established patient.

Sign Up NOW for “Take A Hike”

This fall, Edward-Elmhurst Health invites you to join the Healthy Driven Take a Hike! Challenge. For eight weeks, from Sept. 1 to Oct. 27, rediscover the healthy benefits of being active and spending time outdoors. It’s a great opportunity for all ages — from kids to seniors — to exercise in the fresh air and learn cool stuff about nature while bonding with family and friends.

The Conservation Foundation is partnering with local community sponsors to bring you hiking insights and expertise, special programming, and ideas to Elevate Your Hike each week! When you complete and track 6 hikes during the challenge period, you’ll earn the Take a Hike! Trail Blaze Award* (includes either a commemorative pin or a walking stick with a commemorative medallion).

Start your collection now — we’ll offer a new design each year!
*Supplies are limited.

The Offer is valid while supplies last. Read more