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Disaster Kit
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The Great Oregon ShakeOut

When it comes to natural disasters, sometimes it feels like there is nothing you can do. So, why worry? Even though an earthquake cannot be prevented, shakeout.org has developed ways to help protect ourselves and loved ones during an earthquake. Shakeout explains that Oregon lies between two tectonic plates in a constant state of collision. The 600 mile long fault line known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone spans from California to British Columbia.  After years of pressure and slow movement the plates will rip apart causing massive earthquakes.

In order to protect ourselves during a large earthquake, shakeout.org has organized a worldwide earthquake drill. In 2015 over 43 million people participated in the shakeout.  This year on October 20th at 10:20 a.m. another worldwide drill is set to take place. At this time, over five million U.S. participants are signed up, and the numbers are growing daily! In Oregon alone, there are nearly 25,000 individuals registered for the drill. The top three participating areas are as follows,

1)      Washington County

2)      Marion County

3)      Multnomah County

How to Participate in The Great Oregon ShakeOut

Visit shakeout.org and enroll to participate with millions of others worldwide. Then, on October 20th at 10:20am follow the four recommended steps below.

1)      Drop, Cover and Hold on: Don’t waste time, Drop to the ground. Cover yourself; find shelter under a nearby desk or table. Hold on tight for one minute.

2)      Now, take a look around, imagine what would be happening around you in an actual emergency.

3)      (optional) Practice what your next steps would be following an earthquake.

4)      When you are finished, talk with coworkers, friends or family about what you learned, and your disaster plan.

Participation will be tracked through online enrollment. Individuals, as well as businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations can all take part in this amazing opportunity.

For more information regarding The Great Oregon ShakeOut and other useful disaster information click here.

 

  Feature photo by  Global X

Erase Stress
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Stress: how to cope better with life’s challenges

What causes stress

Imagine you are walking down a beautiful trail, taking in the scenery, smelling the flowers and enjoying your day. Your brain is having a positive response to the relaxing environment, serotonin is released, and you feel happy, at ease. Now imagine, around the next turn you are face to face with a brown bear. In an instant the chemicals in your brain change drastically, digestion in halted, your heart beat speeds and blood flow to your muscles increases. These chemical changes are your body’s instinct to defend itself, your fight or flight response. These changes are also called stress.

Stress can be a good thing in moderation, or when you need that boost to dive out of harm’s way. But stress can cause unhealthy physical symptoms when it goes on for too long. Stress in everyday life can negatively impact physical and mental health. Most often, there is no fight or flight response needed, yet your body prepares to run, working overtime. This can cause you to feel anxious, worried, afraid or uptight.

What changes may be stressful

Simply, any change can lead to stress. This can be good change or bad change. Although, it may not be the change itself causing stress, rather how you react to it. It is also important to remember that stress is different for everyone. Going to the grocery store might be stressful for one individual and therapeutic for another.

Can stress hurt my health

Stress can cause or complicate health problems. A few possible signs of stress can include

  • Anxiety
  • Neck and back pain/tightness
  • Head aches
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Depression

How can stress be managed

Firstly, try and recognize the common signs of stress. Shoulder and neck tension, as well as clenched fists are often early warning signs of stress. The next step is to select a method to deal with your stress. Ideally, avoiding the thing that causes your stress is best, but that is not always an option. Here are some tips for dealing with stress,

  • Choose a hobby – something you love, or want to get better at
  • Try not to worry about the things out of your control
  • Take care of your little problems first – this can help you to feel more in control
  • Try to prepare for the stressful things in advance
  • View change as a positive challenge, forward momentum
  • Exercise regularly
  • Choose healthier food options

Why Exercise

Exercise is a great way to release pent up energy, as well as release your “happy” brain chemicals. For example, serotonin production is increased during exercise. Serotonin increase has been shown to improve mood and increase energy.

The silver lining

If you are feeling stressed, you get to choose your hobby, something you love. These hobbies can include music, puzzles, walking, yoga, and video games; the list is infinite, because there isn’t a correct answer.  Get lost in the things you enjoy, and remember to take a deep breath.

Contact your doctor if you want help or advice on how you can tackle stress.

Sources:

FamilyDoctor.org

For the full article, follow the link here.

  Feature photo by  Alan Cleaver

Healthy Snack
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Five myths about colorectal cancer

March is colorectal cancer awareness month. It’s easy to forget which cause is associated with each color awareness ribbon . In fact, you may have never seen the blue awareness ribbon at all. The blue ribbon raises awareness and supports individuals with colorectal cancer.

blueribbon

Colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers in men and women in the United States. Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer related death in the United States. Even with thousands diagnosed, there are still a number of myths surrounding colorectal cancer. Test your knowledge with the 5 myths below.

Myth: Colorectal cancer is a man’s disease.

Truth: Women are almost as likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer as men. Each year approximately 71,000 men and 64,000 women are diagnosed.

 

Myth: Colorectal cancer cannot be prevented.

Truth: Colorectal cancer almost always begins with a small growth called a polyp. Early polyp detection and removal can help prevent colorectal cancer. Common detection tests include: colonoscopy, Flexible sigmoidoscopy, double-contrast barium enema, or CT colonography.

Other ways to lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer include:

  • Healthy weight can lower chances of colorectal cancer.
  • Engage in physical activities; Walk, hike, sports swim, etc.
  • Eat at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.
  • Avoid refined grains. Choose grains that are whole wheat.
  • Limit your red meat and processed meat intake.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit the amount to 1 drink per day for women, 2 per day for men.
  • Avoid Tobacco use.

Myth: African Americans are not at risk for colorectal cancer.

Truth: In the US more African American men and women are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year. At this time the cause is unknown.

 

Myth: Age doesn’t matter when it comes to getting colorectal cancer.

Truth: Colorectal cancer is more prominent in individuals over 50.

 

Myth: It’s better not to get tested for colorectal cancer because it’s deadly anyway.

Truth: Colorectal cancer is often treatable. However, only 4 in 10 people are diagnosed at an early stage when treatment is most effective.

So, remember the blue. To find out if you’re at an increased risk for colorectal cancer and what you can do to help decrease your chances of getting this disease, please read Colorectal Cancer Early Detection.

For the full article Visit: Five Myths About Colorectal Cancer

 

 caption-arrow  Feature photo by : Matteo Paciotti

Blazers Win!
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NBA Players Putting Their Hearts Into Medical Research

Despite the excellent shape of most NBA superstars, professional basketball players have the highest rate of sports related sudden cardiac death (SCD) in the United States. In fact, NBA players are close to 30 times more likely to die from SCD. Unfortunately, there is limited information on the structure and function of professional athlete’s hearts.  As a result Doctors and researchers have been unable to conclude why NBA players have greater risk. A new study from Columbia University Medical Center and lead researcher Dr. David Engel has examined over 500 current NBA players. This baseline data is just the start of research that will track the player’s heart structure and function through retirement.

The tallest current NBA player reaches a whopping 7 feet 3 inches! The league wide average is a height of 6 feet 7 inches and 222 pounds. There is no denying that these men are huge; but how do their hearts size up? The study revealed that the heart and Aorta size increase with the size of the athlete. This was expected. The researchers also found that the left ventricle, which pumps blood from the heart to the rest of the body, was larger than most adults. Further, the left ventricle was still proportional to the size of the athlete; however there were some noticeable differences.  The wall of the left ventricle was noticeably thicker among many athletes. This can be a sign of decreased heart function.

The research also established a correlation between the left ventricle thickening and ethnicity; as well as total heart mass and ethnicity. With the new data, the research team is able to consider possible treatment for some of the world’s biggest stars. However, at this time, researchers find it very challenging to link a specific physiological difference to an increased risk for SCD. Over the next few years, the research will continue, hopefully pinpointing the cause of increased SCD in NBA players.

For the full article, visit: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_157439.html

Source: Healthday. “NBA Players Putting Their Hearts Into Medical Research: MedlinePlus.” U.S National Library of Medicine. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Feb. 2016. Web. 26 Feb. 2016.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Loren Kerns

 

heart
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Heart attacks, do you know the symptoms?

We have all seen heart attacks countless times in Hollywood movies, someone suddenly and intensely clutches their chest and then they fall over. We think that these are the universal events that happen during a heart attack, yet this is pretty far from the truth. Heart attacks occur when the flow of oxygen rich blood is blocked in one area of the heart. When this happens the part of the heart that is not getting blood begins to die. Nearly all heart attacks are caused by coronary heart disease which is the buildup of plaque in the arteries of the heart. Truth is, symptoms of a heart attack may be mild and they might go unnoticed. Below you will find common risk factors associated with heart attacks as well as symptoms.

Heart attack risk factors

  • Age – men 45 and older, women 55 and older are at higher risk
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • Family history
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Drug use

Symptoms of a heart attack

  • Pain or  tightness in the chest, squeezing, pressure, as well as discomfort may also come and go
  • Pain in the upper body
  • Stomach pain
  • Feeling of shortness of breath
  • Anxiety
  • Felling lightheaded
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting or nausea

Women are more likely to have pain elsewhere, it could be in the neck, back or jaw, often time chest pain my not even occur. Women may also experience heartburn like symptoms as well as unexplained fatigue that last for days. Knowing the risk factors, as well as the signs and symptoms of a heart attack may save a life. Heart attacks are not like what we see in the movies, they are very serious and require immediate medical attention.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Alan Levine

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15 facts you didn’t know about your heart

February is healthy heart month! The heart, it is an amazing machine, it does so much yet so many know so little about their most vital organ. Here are 15 amazing facts about the heart. Keep it healthy!

  1. Exercise is one of the most beneficial ways you can keep your heart healthy
  2. Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s, by about 8 beats
  3. Heart cancer is rare because the heart cells stop dividing early in life
  4. The heart pumps 1.5 gallons of blood every minute
  5. Your heart is about as big as your hands clasped together
  6. Your heart beats about 100,000 times in a day
  7. Your heart valve is about the size of a half dollar
  8. The heart is located in the middle of the chest
  9. A heart weighs about as much as a soda
  10. In a day the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles
  11. When you are at rest it take 16 seconds for blood to reach your toes and then make it back to your heart
  12. The heart can beat outside of the body as long as it is supplied with oxygen
  13. The heart pumps blood to almost all the cells in the body, except the corneas in your eyes
  14. The heart is the hardest working organ
  15. There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body

Did you know your heart was so important? It is crucial to keep your heart healthy and happy. In return you will find that you are healthy and happy as well.

Trivia- Can you name the four chambers of the heart? Let us know in the comments below.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by emdot

Healthy Super Bowl Snacks
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Super Bowl snacks made…healthy?!

Yes! You can make healthy snacks for Super Bowl that are also healthy! And nobody will know the difference. Need ideas? Super Bowl is right around the corner.

Check out our Healthy Tailgate Recipes over on our My apple a day Pinterest Board. There you will find a collection of our favorites from around the web. I am eyeing the  Skinny Buffalo Chicken Potato Skins and the Slow Cooker Pizza Dip. We even have a link to Baked Fried Pickles and Greatist’s Tips for Healthier Boozing (if that’s your kind of thing).

An important tip about Super Bowl Sunday is to remember to eat breakfast. If you go to a food filled event like this starving, you are bound to overeat. You might also want to plan ahead. Bringing your own dish (like those linked above) will ensure at least one healthy item that you know is safe.

If you have a favorite healthy snack, we would love to hear about it. Please share with us on the My apple a day Facebook page.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Triple Tri

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Things your dentist doesnt tell you

If you are an adult you don’t really want the tooth fairy to visit you. If you keep your mouth healthy today and you will be thanking yourself tomorrow. Poor oral health has been linked to chronic diseases including diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Prevent teeth and mouth problems before they start. Below you will find information as well as tips and tricks on how to have a happy and healthy mouth.

  • Taking care of your oral health means brushing twice a day, flossing, and seeing a dentist regularly.
  • Good oral health can prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Chewing tobacco and cigarettes can cause serious mouth problems.
  • 500+ species of bacteria live in your mouth.
  • Those who have diabetes have an increased risk for gum disease.
  • Bacteria in the mouth can cause inflammation throughout the body.
  • Good oral health plays an important role in overall health.
  • Green tea has antiseptic properties that help keep gums healthier.
  • Without saliva you wouldn’t be able to taste anything.
  • Flossing is the most effective way to reduce plaque.
  • Good oral hygiene is essential during pregnancy.
  • You have taste buds on the insides of your cheeks, lips, under the tongue and roof of the mouth.
  • Tooth enamel is the hardest part of your entire body
  • You will spend 38.5 days brushing your teeth during your lifetime
  • Most common childhood disease is tooth decay.

The more you know about oral health the better you can take care of yourself.  Also if you have any health concerns regarding oral health it is best to get seen by a professional. January is a great time to start new beneficial habits, so let us know in the comments below how you plant to increase your oral health.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Rudy Eng

 

Hand Washing. Sept 2009Photo by Stephanie Schupska
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How to stay flu free in 11 simple steps

Chances are you know somebody with a cold or a flu right now. Find out how you can protect yourself and others with these simple tips below.

Tips on how to stay healthy

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
  • Don’t share personal products (lip balm, eating utensils, etc.)
  • Try not to touch your face
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Get enough sleep
  • Reduce stress
  • Avoid people who are sick
  • Avoid large crowds of people
  • Use tissues and dispose of them properly
  • Wipe down commonly used items (door knobs, computer mouse, etc.)

Even if you are feeling a bit run down it is best to keep your distance from loved ones and take time to rest. The flu is contagious up to 1 day before symptoms occur and up to 7 days after becoming sick. If you have a cold you are contagious the first 3 days you have symptoms. Also if you know somebody who is sick make sure to take the necessary precautions such as those listed above so you stay healthy and happy.

 

caption-arrow  Feature photo by UGA College of Ag & Environmental Sciences

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Cold vs the Flu

It is the middle of the week and you’re looking forward to going to the Blazer game on Saturday night. You’re feeling a little tired but maybe it’s because you didn’t sleep well. You continue your day and by lunch you notice that your throat is also a little scratchy and your nose is a little stuffy. You think you maybe it’s a cold but the flu has been sweeping through the office. So how can you tell if you are coming down with a cold or with the flu? The chart below might help you out.

Cold Symptoms

  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Headache
  • Lasts 7-10 days

Flu Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Body aches
  • Tiredness
  • Dry cough
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Last 5-7 days

Whether you have a cold or the flu it is important to take care of yourself. Make sure to get enough rest, drink plenty of fluids, and stay home from work so that you don’t get anybody else sick. One of the best ways you can prevent getting the flu is by getting a flu shot. If you have any concerns it is best to talk with your doctor. Stay healthy and have fun this winter.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Laura Taylor