Monthly archives of “June 2015

Walking for mental health
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Super tips for boosting mental health

We all know that walking is good for your physical health. But researchers are diving deeper in to the mental health benefits of walking. It’s not just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other, but the environment of your location plays a big factor is how your mental health improves. Read more on this from the Washington Post.

Looking for a few places to get in some quick nature walks? Check out Best Day Hikes for a few amazing places in the Pacific Northwest.  Remember to always pack a few snacks, water, cell phone and an emergency kit “just in case”.  REI has a great list of 10 essentials for any hike.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Ian D. Keating



Swimming safey
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Stay safe when swimming

Every year there are accidents and deaths in our rivers, lakes and ocean.  As the weather heats up we look to our natural resources to find a place to cool down and have fun.  But all too often, even the best swimmers, find themselves out matched by mother nature.

The Red Cross has provided useful information on preparation and response in emergency situations.   Fox News 12  also reported on the dangers of swimming in extreme cold water and the unforeseen accidents that can happen.

Spend time with your friends and family talking about swim safety to enjoy a long summer of water fun.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Michael Salazar

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How to rock Zumba

Zumba. Zumba. Zumba. So hot right now. Zumba.

It looks like a blast to some, and others… a nightmare. But – if you’re up for a new fun challenge, read on to learn how to rock it!

Zumba is a popular cardiovascular workout that thousands of people swear by. It was developed on accident by Alberto Perez in the 90′s in Colombia, and was introduced to Miami in 2001. It’s been on the rise ever since.

It’s a group dance class of sorts, where the instructor picks their playlist (typically Latin/International theme with sprinkles of current pop hits), and teach you some moves. Fans of Zumba love the community atmosphere of the group class, the music, and how fast the time flies. If you ever enjoy letting loose at a local 80′s night dancing the night away – give Zumba a try!

Not only is this activity fun, but it actually is legitimate cardio. Experts say that from a 60 minute Zumba workout you can burn anywhere from 500-1,000 calories! What?! Sweet.

Pro tip: If you are feeling adventurous and give Zumba a try, don’t take yourself too seriously. Half of the fun is letting go and enjoying the party atmosphere.

That’s all well and good, but what do medical professionals think of this trend? Well, according to the Mayo Clinic Zumba offers both interval training and resistance training in one workout, which makes it efficient. As an aerobic activity, it can help shed unwanted pounds, strengthen your heart, and boost your mood. Plus, if you like Zumba – you’re more likely to stay with it, which is key for making activity part of your life.

Curious? Check out this Zumba sponsored video to see a routine in action.

Source:  Mayo Clinic, WebMD

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Nelly MOTTE



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3 secrets for guys to maximize their health

Maybe you bust out a few push-ups now and then, cut back on your beers, and have even tried kale. Those are awesome health habits to keep up – but do you know how to maximize your health? It’s easier than you think!

Tip #1: Schedule a check-up

You may feel healthy and fine, but you still need your yearly check-up. Schedule an appointment with your Primary Care Provider (PCP) and get it done.  Men are more likely than women to put off their regular check-ups than women, and this leads to more health complications in men- break the pattern and schedule a visit with your PCP!

Tip #2: Get your screenings

Men ages 40-64 need the following:

  •  Get your blood pressure checked every 2 years if the top number (systolic) is between 120-139. If your bottom number (diastolic) is between 80-89 – get it checked every year.
  • Cholesterol screening every 5 years starting at age 34
  • Diabetes screening every 3 years starting at 45
  • Colon cancer screening starting at age 50 (I know…no one likes  this one, but get it done!)
  • Dental exam each year
  • Eye exam every 1-3 years (depending on your vision problems or glaucoma risk)
  • Flu shot each year
  • Physical exam each year at age 50
  • Lung cancer screening each year at age 55 if actively smoke or have history of smoking

That seems like a ton of visits to schedule, right? Wrong! Your physical exam (annual check-up) can take care of most of these items in one visit. Use this visit to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked, your flu shot, and diabetes screening.

Tip #3: Take steps toward good health

Being proactive with your health will set you up to feel your best. Don’t wait to schedule a visit until something feels off…knock it out early! Talk to your doctor about screenings that can help you feel your absolute best so you can be the Superman that you are!

Source:  Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, National Institutes of Health

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Mike Ryffranck

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Sun safety and you

Cue the music….it’s sunny! Here Comes the Sun – The Beatles

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get a little giddy when we experience quality sunshine. Hula-hooping hipsters, frisbee tossing dudes,  and  bikini-clad sunbathers emerge from organic & free trade coffee shops and flock to be outside. Who can blame them? Not only does the sun provide wonderful vitamin D, but it’s scientifically proven to boost our mood!

As summer approaches, enjoying the sweet sunshine is on the schedule – but what about sun safety?

The American Cancer Society recommends the “Slip! Slop! Slap!® and Wrap” approach to being sun safety savvy!

  • Slip on a shirt (dry shirt offers more protection from UV rays than a wet one)
  • Slop on some waterproof sunscreen (use broad spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 15)
  • Slap on a hat (shade your face, ears, back of neck)
  • Wrap on sunglasses to protect your eyes/skin around your eyes

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from sun exposure can cause serious damage including cataracts and skin cancer. This summer be smart about your health while enjoying the sun.

Sun fun fact: it takes about 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach earth.

Source: Centers for Disease Control & Prevention & American Cancer Society

caption-arrow  Feature photo by Mario Luckow

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What you need to know about ticks

Ticks — tiny brown bugs — can carry Lyme disease and other illnesses. Here are some tips to avoid them:

  • Watch for ticks in woods and grassy areas, often near rivers, mountains or dry climates.
  • Use insect repellent with at least 20 percent DEET.
  • Check your shoes, clothing and body for ticks after being outdoors.

If you find an attached tick, grasp it with tweezers as close to the skin as possible and pull it straight out. If you get a rash or fever in the following weeks, contact your doctor.

caption-arrow  Feature photo by John Tann