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Truth about Caffeine

Monday, February 15th, 2010

            For many people, a warm cup of coffee is essential in jump starting a cold winter morning. Caffeine isn’t limited to just a morning cup of Joe or afternoon tea, but can be found in many chocolates, ice creams, soft drinks and even medicine. A 1.5oz Hershey’s milk chocolate bar contains 9 milligrams of caffeine, Ben and Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch 8oz tub has 84 milligrams, which is 8 milligrams more than an 8oz Red Bull and 37 milligrams more than a diet coke. So if you are a heavy coffee drinker, consuming more than three 8oz cups a day which is roughly 450 milligrams of caffeine, you should probably look at food and drug labels to see if they contain caffeine, because it could affect your sleep. 

Studies on the long term effects of caffeine have been mixed and some benefits of caffeine consumption have even been highlighted. Some research on caffeine has shown consistently higher rates in cancer and heart disease, but did not take other health related factors such as smoking or exercise into account. Other studies have shown to reduce chances of diseases such as type 2 Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and certain types of cancer. According to WebMD, caffeine is effective in treating asthma and headaches with a single dose of pain reliever such as Anacin or Excedrin contains up to 120 milligrams.

Even though the truth about caffeine is unclear, most researchers and medical professionals agree it should be consumed in moderation.  A moderate coffee drinker is considered to consumes between three and ten 8oz cups a day, or roughly between 450 and 1500 milligrams of caffeine a day. If you consumed a comparable 10 cups of black tea, which has roughly 800 milligrams of caffeine you would also consume several hundred milligrams of antioxidants. How healthy your caffeine intake is could depend on what food or drink it comes in, and what other ingredients are used. 


Stretching at your Desk: 10 Tips

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

An increasing number of physicians are warning patients of the potential risk of sitting at a desk for hours a day. Desk jobs have long been associated with high numbers of carpal tunnel syndrome, but doctors are seeing high numbers of back and neck problems as a result of sitting behind a desk. One way to combat this is to stretch at your workstation, even though you might feel silly. Here are some tips for stretching at your desk;

1)      Stand up without using your hands – When you get up and down into your chair, try to stand up without pushing off of your chair or desk. 

2)      Lose your office Chair – Try sitting at your desk on an exercise ball. 

3)      Shrug your Shoulders – Lift your shoulders up and then roll them back and around. (3 Reps) 

4)      Hand Circles – Stretch arms out and clench your fists, then make circles in the air with your arms. Do ten circles in one direction, and then ten circles in the opposite direction. Repeat on the other side. 

5)      Finger Point – Stretch your arm out in front of you, pointing your wrists down so that your fingers point towards the ground. Use the other hand to help point your fingers further towards the floor. Do the same to the other arm. 

6)      Torso Twist – Take a deep breath and as you exhale twist your torso and grab the opposite arm of your chair. Repeat on the other side. 

7)      Leg Extensions – Sit back in your chair and extend your legs lifting them parallel to the floor. Point your toes forward and then bring them back several times. (5 Reps) 

8)      Big Hug Back Stretch – Hug yourself placing each hand on the opposite shoulder blade and hold for a few seconds while breathing in and out. 

9)      Leg Hug – Sit on the edge of your chair placing your feet together. Lean over letting your hands fall towards the floor and release your shoulders, back and neck. Join your hands together under your legs and feel the stretch in your shoulders, back and neck. (3 Reps) 

10)   Cross Arm Stretch – Extend one arm in front of you. Cross it in front of your chest pulling it with the other arm and hold. Repeat on the other side.

How much daily exercise is enough?

Monday, January 18th, 2010

    The Department of Health has long advised that individuals should have at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity to reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood. Over the years, medical research has strongly supported that meeting the 30 minute threshold drastically lowers the risk of some adult diseases such as heart disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and hypertension. Although 30 minutes a day is recommended, it should be considered the absolute minimum and differs from person to person, their daily energy balance and type of physical activity. For people who are having trouble losing weight they should look to exercise 60 minutes a day, and 90 minutes a day for those who are considered high risk individuals.

    Many people exercise with their waistline in mind, so they should know how to exercise efficiently. Running will burn significantly more calories than walking, but if the person cannot maintain a steady run, walking for longer periods might burn more calories. A 30 minute swim would not burn as much calories as a 30 minute brisk walk, but since swimming is significantly easier on the joints, a person who suffers from joint pain might be able to swim for longer than they could walk. 

For more information please seek the help of a professional. It is always important to check with your physician before starting any exercise program.  Good Luck !

9 Meal Ideas to Help You Lose Weight

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The only true way to loose weight is by changing eating habits, balanced meals, cutting back on sugar, simple carbs, and of course no junk food.

Here are 9 ideas that may help you shed the pounds:

For Breakfast…while you have probably heard a million times that this is the most important meal of the day it truly is! Here are three ideas for this important meal…

    1. 2 slices of wheat toast with peanut butter or apple butter and a medium apple

    2. ½ cup of granola with a high fiber cereal mixed with a cup   of fat free yogurt.

    3. 1 wheat bagel with 1 tablespoon of light cream cheese and 1 tablespoon of light jam.

Stay away from….buttered toast, muffins, danishes, and donuts

For Lunch try to stick to these…

    1. Turkey Wrap

    2. Grilled chicken salad

    3. Maine crab rolls

Avoid….eating out, salads with lots of dressing, breaded or battered chicken, french fries.

For Dinner…make sure you don’t eat too much because you probably won’t be burning off the calories. Portion control is the key.

    1. Fajitas with vegetables

    2. Seasoned chicken or fish

    3. Pasta Primavera

Avoid….creamy sauces, huge portions, high calorie, and high fat desserts

Have fun but eat right!

New Year Resolutions: The Gym

Monday, January 4th, 2010

As the New Year approaches many will make their resolution to loose weight. In order to achieve this they go out and join a gym. Here are some helpful questions to ask when searching for a Gym:

Do they offer a month to month membership? Do they offer a trial period? Are the staff members certified? Has anyone ever been hurt there? How old is the equipment? When is the Gym open? Which services or amenities cost extra? May I see a class schedule? Do they offer child care? Will they waive the initiation fee?


H1N1 Email Scam

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

The CDC has recently announced a current H1N1 email scam. The email references a State sponsored vaccination program. The email instructs the individual that they need to create a personal H1N1 vaccination profile on the CDC website. This type of scam is known as a phishing scam.

The CDC has stated that they have NOT implemented a state vaccine program.

It is important when visiting any website that you must be skeptical when entering personal information or payments.

H1N1 Vaccine Recall

Monday, December 21st, 2009

Of the 5 companies that are manufacturing the H1N1 vaccine one has come out and explained that the hundreds of thousands of flu shots aren’t as potent as they need to be to stop the flu.

The manufacturer Sanofi Pasteur, a French company, is recalling approximately 800,000 doses of vaccine meant for children between 6 months and 35 months according to CNN.

The CDC , Center for Disease Control, has been quick to point out that the product is not being recalled because of safety concerns but the fact that the vaccine is not as potent as it needs to be to fight off the flu, children who received it don’t have to be immunized again against H1N1.

For further information please contact your physician or the CDC.

If You Must go for Fast Food

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Although fast food is not the best option for a meal there are some healthier options that you can choose. 

Dressings:  Look for a low fat option.  Balsamic dressing is often lower in calories than ranch.  

Chicken:  While most people believe that chicken is lower in calories than beef the way that it is prepared could affect the amount of calories.  Order Wendy’s Ultimate Grilled Chicken Sandwich with honey mustard sauce at 211 calories.  

Cheese:  Many people forget the cheese at fast food establishments when ordering a meal.  Ask for no cheese and this will help to shave calories off your meal. 

Soft Drinks:  By drinking water you could cut back on the typically 140 calories per drink.  Also avoid Diet Soda.  It could trigger sugar cravings.  If you don’t like drinking water possible add lemon to add some flavor.  

Supersize:  Even though it seems like a better offer to supersize you will end up paying for it at your waistline.  

Select Smart Meals:  Ruby Tuesday’s Smart Eating White Bean Chicken Chili (233 Calories); P.F. Chang’s Buddha’s Feast (200 Calories); Applebee’sTeriyaki Steak n’ Shrimp Skewers with Rice Pilaf (370 Calories)

Be a Consumer of Healthcare

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Many consumers shop around for car prices, retail, and milk but when it comes to health care they are left just paying the bill. Here are some tips to help reduce the cost.

Stay in the Medical Networks:  Choose providers in your Network, search the carrier website for Doctors, Laboratories, and Hospitals, and request the lab that has been contracted by the carrier.

For Prescription Drugs:  Ask your doctor for GENERIC alternatives to Brand Name, use mail-order for maintenance drugs (90 day supply), and find pharmacies that offer discount rates. Some of these pharmacies are listed below.

Publix Walmart Sam’s Club K-Mart Target Costco

Chocolate Milk-The After Workout Drink

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

It is hard enough to find the time to workout during the week, but when we do are we refueling our bodies with the needed nutrition? Some believe the answers are an expensive sports drink or a high tech product. According to an article, in the Miami Herald, the answer might be easier than you think.

The article goes on to explain that research in 2004 showed that when nine well trained cyclists took chocolate milk verses a generic sports drink, it was as good as or better than the sports drink for performance, heart rate and how fatigued they felt.

Information for this article was collected from Miamiherald.com. For more information please contact your doctor or physician.

Turtles and Salmonella

Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Despite the harmless nature of most turtles they in fact carry potentially dangerous bacteria called salmonella. In an effort to control the health risks associated with turtles the FDA ,since 1975, ban the sale of turtles fewer than 4 inches. The FDA has determined that this measure has prevented an estimated 100,000 cases of salmonella in children annually.

Despite the health risk, turtles have become very popular pets in the recent years. Salmonella is a naturally occurring bacteria in turtles. While you can test a turtle for salmonella, the turtle might not be producing the bacteria at the time of the test.

The CDC estimates that 74,000 cases annually are directly transmitted by reptiles. Amphibians, including frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders, can also transmit salmonella. Some cases may cause severe illness, hospitalization, and even death in susceptible people such as children under 5, the elderly, and people who have lowered natural resistance to disease due to pregnancy, cancer, chemotherapy, organ transplants, diabetes, liver problems or other diseases.

For more information please contact the CDC or visit their website cdc.gov.  For other health related questions please contact your physician.



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