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Posted on 05/20/2014 13:27

Getting enough quality of sleep at night can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life and safety. The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant or harm you over time. Ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems as well as affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and interact with others.

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. This reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle and helps promote better sleep at night. However, if you don’t fall asleep within 15 minutes, get up and do something relaxing like reading an article or chapter in a book. Then go back to bed when you’re tired.
  • Pay attention to what you eat and drink. Going to bed hungry or stuffed might keep you awake. Also, watch how much you drink before bed to avoid disruptive trips to the bathroom in the middle of the night.  
  • Create a relaxing bedtime ritual. Creating a routine before bed each night allows your body to wind down naturally. Taking a warm bath or shower, reading, listening to soothing music, or other relaxing activities can promote better sleep by easing the transition between alertness and drowsiness.
  • Long daytime naps can interfere with nighttime sleep. If you decide to nap during the day, try to limit yourself to 10 to 30 minutes during the midafternoon.
  • Including physical activity in your daily routine can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a deeper sleep.
  • Manage your internal clock by avoiding bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning.

 

Resources: www.mayoclinic.org, sleepfoundation.org, www.nhlbi.nih.gov

Posted on 05/08/2014 13:40

Diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects nearly 25.8 million people in the U.S.

Eat Well

  • Choose foods that are lower in calories, saturated fat, trans fat, sugar, and salt.
  • Eat foods with more fiber, such as whole grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice and pasta.
  • When eating a meal, fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a lean protein, and one quarter with a whole grain.

Be Active

  • Set a goal to be active most days of the week.
  • Work to increase your muscle strength twice a week.
  • Stay at a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet and being more active.

Keep a Daily Routine

  • Take your medicines for diabetes and any other health problems even when you feel well.
  • Check your feet every day for cuts, blisters, red spots, and swelling. Call your physician right away about any sores that do not go away.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Keep track of your blood sugar. You may want to check it one or more times a day.

See Your Physician at Least Twice a Year

  • At each visit, check your blood pressure, feet, and weight. Also, review your self-care plan.
  • Have your A1c checked twice a year, or more often if it is over 7.
  • Once a year have a cholesterol test, triglyceride test, complete foot exam, dental exam, dialated eye exam, flu shot, and a urine and blood test to check kidney function.

Manage Stress

Learn how to cope with and lower your stress level. Stress can raise blood sugar levels and contribute to insulin resistance. It’s very important to keep your stress levels controlled for proper diabetes management.

Identify stressors in your life and minimize them, or remove them if possible. Try walking, deep breathing, yoga, listening to music, or a hobby you find relaxing. Also, make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep each night.

 

Resources: www.ndep.nih.gov, www.fauquierhealth.org, www.cdc.gov

Posted on 04/10/2014 16:06

With the snow melting and warmer weather heading our way, spring allergy season is once again upon us. If you’re one of the millions of people who suffer from seasonal allergies, you may not have to hide indoors anymore. Try a few of these simple strategies to keep your seasonal allergies under control.

Reduce your exposure to allergy triggers

  • Stay indoors on dry, windy days—the best time to go outside is after a nice rain, when the pollen is cleared from the air.
  • After returning inside, remove clothes you’ve worn outside—showering also helps rinse the pollen from your skin and hair.
  • Don’t hang laundry outside—pollen can stick to sheets and towels.
  • If you have pets, groom them regularly to reduce the pollen they can track indoors.

Keep indoor air clean

  • Use the air conditioning in your home and car.
  • Use high-efficiency filters and follow regular maintenance schedules for your heating and air conditioning units in your home.
  • Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.
  • Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter.

If you still seem to suffer from allergy symptoms, consult your physician about possible treatments.

 

Resources: mayoclinic.org

Posted on 03/25/2014 14:03

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and is the leading cause of death from cancer. It affects all racial and ethnic groups and is most often found in people aged 50 and older. 

According to a new report from the American Cancer Society, the rate at which people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the U.S. has dropped 30% in th past 10 years for those aged 50 years and older. Death rates from colon cancer have also declined rapidly within the past decade. Researchers are crediting the drop to more people getting recommended screening tests.

There are often no signs or symptoms, so the best way to prevent colorectal cancer is to get screening tests done regularly starting at age 50.

Take these healthy steps to help prevent colon cancer:

  • Get screened starting at age 50--Colorectal screenings are covered under the heath care reform law for adults over 50
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke
  • Get active and eat healthy--prevent colorectal cancer by choosing foods low in fat and high in calcium and fiber

 

Resources: healthfinder.gov, cancer.org

Posted on 02/14/2014 16:31

February is American Heart Month and Valentine's Day is a great time to think about your heart's health. It is easy to indulge your sweet tooth this holiday, but a healthy diet and regular physical activity are the key to a strong and healthy heart.

Tips for a Healthy Valentine's Day:

  • Quality time with your loved ones - Bundle up and plan an active outing such as sledding, ice skating or a romantic walk.
  • Home cooking - It's a great way to control what you eat. For a fun date, you could go to a local cooking class together to brush-up on your skills or learn a new technique.
  • Volunteer your time - Giving back is a healthy habit that will boost your mood and beat stress.
  • Craving something sweet? - Send a fruit basket to your loved one, it has natural sugars as well as healthy nutrients.
  • Express your feelings - Remember to tell your loved one how you feel about them. Write a poem that describes your feelings and put it in a handmade Valentine.
  • Go easy on the bubbly - Drink in moderation. Excessive alcohol use has immediate effects that increase the risk of many harmful health conditions.

 

 

Resources: American Heart Association, CDC

Posted on 11/27/2013 14:01

 

The staff and Dr. William Zillweger wish you and your family a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

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