5 reasons walking every day will change your life

What makes you feel good, look good, and only requires a pair of tennis shoes? Walking. We know exercise is important for a healthy lifestyle, but finding motivation to get active before or after a long day can be tough. This is why walking is a great option. It may be a less intense form of exercise, but walking offers so many health benefits, from improved mental health to chronic disease prevention. Read on to see why taking a few minutes out of your day to walk could be the best thing for your body.

Improved mental health

Whether you walk outside in the fresh air or on a treadmill while listening to your favorite tunes, walking is proven to improve mental health. A study from the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that people suffering from depression who regularly walked 30-45 minutes for three months showed signs of improvement when their medication didn’t cure their symptoms. Walking can give you energy, decrease anxiety and stress, improve your ability to focus, and give you a break from your to-do list.

Healthier heart

Walking has been shown to improve cholesterol and blood pressure levels, as well as prevent diabetes—all of which can contribute to heart disease and stroke. The American Heart Association recommends walking at a brisk pace for at least thirty minutes each day to receive these heart benefits. If you’re not quite in shape enough to do this, the American Heart Association suggests setting a fitness goal for walking a few minutes at a time and increasing this time as you get more in shape.

Prevent dementia

Dementia is a growing concern among adults, but exercise is one of the best and proven ways to prevent it. According to a review of Archives of Medical Research, exercising regularly can decrease your chances of dementia by 50 percent. Walking not only helps your current health but can also keep disorders like dementia under at bay.

Improved bones and muscles

Walking also helps strengthen your bones and decrease arthritis symptoms. It can reduce fractures and symptoms of osteoporosis by preventing the loss of bone mass. Muscles and joints also benefit from walking, as the movement helps distribute pressure and nutrients for a healthier range of motion and increased strength.

“Walking is one of the best aerobic activities a senior can do,” said Mark Walker, director of therapy at Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing. “We encourage everybody to do at least 20 to 30 minutes of walking activities per day. Walk to the mailbox, walk down the aisles of the grocery store, or go to the rec center. Walking would be a great addition to a daily routine.”

Weight loss

Maintain a healthy weight by walking regularly. It’s a great way to burn extra calories and lose weight over time. Due to it being a low-intensity and social exercise, you’re more likely to be consistent with making time for it versus other more extreme workouts.

So, whether it’s your heart or your mind that you’re looking to strengthen, consider taking a daily walk. Your body will be thanking you for years to come.

This article was originally published by Orange County Register. It has been republished here with permission.

5 fun activities to do with your loved ones in a nursing facility

It’s Sunday afternoon and you’re getting ready to visit your grandma at her nursing facility, but you are at a loss of how the two of you can spend fun, quality time together.

What are some things you can do that both of you will enjoy? This time is precious and it’s important to make the most of it.

Here is a list of different creative activities you and your loved one can do while they are in a nursing facility:

Crafts

Whether or not you’re a creative person, simple crafts can be a fun way to add some color to your time together. Crafts you and your loved one can do range from making holiday decorations to scrapbooking and even painting.

Mark Walker, director of therapy at Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, says staff members enjoy providing seasonal and holiday-oriented craft projects for the residents.

“We just finished doing a Valentine’s project where we cut out hearts and placed them all over the facility,” he said.

Not only are these activities fun, but they can also help your loved one’s cognitive and motor skills.

Hand massages

Some nursing facilities, such as Provo Rehabilitation & Nursing, offer hand massages as one of its regular activities. You can give your own loved one a hand massage or manicure as a way to rejuvenate and relax them. Regular touch also communicates multiple positive emotions that can create a deeper connection. Try using essential oils or hand lotion in their favorite scent.

Make connections (phone call, storytelling)

Use your time together to share and collect memories and stories. Chances are your loved one has some great stories from growing up that you haven’t heard yet. Once they are gone, those stories may be lost forever. Take the time to ask them about their life and favorite memories. Consider journaling or recording these conversations so you can keep them for years to come.

Entertainment

Another way to bond with your loved one is to find a mutual love of some sort of entertainment and enjoy it together. Whether it’s reading a book, playing a board game, listening to music or watching a favorite movie, entertainment is the perfect way to spend an afternoon with each other. Many facilities, such as Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing, provide different types of media that you can enjoy together. Consider inviting your loved one’s friends at the nursing facility to enjoy with you.

“Usually, our biggest focus is on hobbies that our residents do at home,” said Walker. “We often start up a bowling session, which is great for balance and upper body strength, and the Wii gaming system is an excellent tool. We like the Wii Fit Program because it encourages standing balance and weight-shifting activities.”

Outings

While you may have to take a few precautions, going out or exercising can be a fun way to spend time with your loved one. You can garden, go out to lunch, see a play, walk to the park, or even stretch outside. The fresh air and quality time is sure to make for a wonderful day together.

If you’re not sure what to do with your loved one who’s staying in a nursing facility, try one of these activities. Remember, the important thing is that you make the most of your time together.

— Dr. Amy Osmond Cook is the executive director of the Association of Skilled Nursing Providers. You can reach her at amy@skillednursingproviders.com or @amyocook.

 

This article was originally published on Heraldextra.com. It has been republished here with permission.

Community Vitals Screening

Thursday, April 14th
from 4-7:00 at Orem Rehab

Join us on Thursday, April 14th from 4-7:00 at Orem Rehabilitation for a free, community screening! Read more

Click on the link below to watch us on Good Things Utah, and make sure to come to our community wellness event on April 14th from 4pm-7pm.

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http://www.good4utah.com/good-things-utah/gtu-featured-guest/exercises-to-improve-flexibility-and-prevent-inujuries

Provo man loses part of foot from brown recluse bite

Though it didn’t work out well for Megamind, “spee-i-ders” still have the ability to scare the masses. And while most spiders are harmless, and even helpful, to humans, a few still really, really scare us.

The brown recluse spider is one of those, and with good reason. Googling “brown recluse bite” will result in images that can make even the strongest stomach curl. The damage this one arachnid can do is legendary, and Tom Green of Provo is one of the unfortunate few who has the battle scars from his own tangle with one.

About 18 months ago, Green was on a trip and stayed one night in a hotel in Missouri. That night he was bitten by a recluse on the side of his right heel.

“The next morning I noticed my skin was flaking off at the bite site, and I peeled it back, and saw just fatty tissue and no skin,” Green said.

At the time Green was sure it was a recluse that bit him, but he didn’t know a lot about them, so he simply cleaned the wound, treated it at home, and after a while it closed up and appeared to heal. It was painful, akin to the feeling of having smashed his foot with something heavy, but because Green has some severe back issues, he said he’s used to aches and pains everywhere.

Only a few months later, though, an infection “blew out the bottom” of his ball of his foot. This time he went to the emergency room and was in surgery by the next day. Doctors removed a sizable chunk of skin and tissue from the bottom of his foot. More surgery followed a week later and more tissue was removed. After spending two months in a rehabilitation center, his foot healed fully and he hoped everything was fine.

Four months later, his foot was infected, this time at the big toe. Because of the progressive nature of the infections, Green’s doctor wanted to amputate the entire foot.

“After an hour and a half of arguing, I got him to agree to just go into the foot and remove what he had to remove. Then let me wake up and we’d talk about it more,” Green said.

The doctor amputated his big toe, and again, Green spent time rehabilitating, and thought his ordeal was over. But about a month and half ago, the rest of his toes swelled up with another major infection, going from looking completely healthy to raging infection in just two days’ time.

Again, Green’s doctor wanted to amputate the entire foot, but Green begged him not to. Today Green is recovering, but missing all his toes. The end of his foot is an open wound because there was not enough healthy skin to close the wound, and will require a skin graft in a few months.

“I feel like we’re at the end of it. I hope we are. Of course, if not, next time the doc might get his wish,” Green said with a laugh.

All of this from one little bite. But the story is not all gross and gory.

Green is a single father of three sons, one of whom is 13 and still living with him. During previous hospital and rehab stays, Green had to send his son Ethan Green to stay with relatives, but this time that option wasn’t available. He needed to stay in rehab for about 20 days, but Ethan had no place to go.

Mel Wallis, director of marketing at Orem Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center, visited the Greens in the hospital prior to moving Tom to Orem Rehab, and noticed the cot and belongings set up for Ethan there.

“Mel said Tom’s son needed a place to stay, and it’s not always these rehab buildings can accommodate that, but we’re lucky to have a few suites here. This is normally a situation that comes up with older couples who have never spent a night away from each other. But the whole team was on board with this,” said Josh Albrechtsen, executive director of Orem Rehab. “At the end of the day, we want to be a good neighbor.”

Not only did Ethan get a bed to sleep in, but he was able to also have all his meals there, free of charge, and take showers to get ready for school. Every weekday morning, Ethan would wake up, eat with dad, get ready for school, and then bike down the street to the Greens’ apartment. He’d feed the family pets and catch the bus to Centennial Middle School, then return to his father in the afternoon. For almost three weeks, the center became their home.

“I definitely feel like it’s helped my healing. It’s been a lot less stressful having him here with me,” Green said.

“All the staff has been impressed with how quickly Tom has progressed. He wants to be home. He has such has such a good attitude, and he’s been so willing to work through the pain. It’s facilitated his healing,” Albrechtsen said.

Though the arrangement is unique, it turned out to be a good thing for Orem Rehab as well.

“The staff really enjoyed having them both. It’s so different to have a teen around. We get family members that visit, but the average age of those staying here is much higher. The staff really became attached to Ethan,” Albrechtsen said.

As for Green, though he and Ethan enjoyed their stay, they were very glad to head home Wednesday evening. They both really, really hope Green has seen the last of hospitals for a long time.

Green’s advice for anyone that thinks they’ve been bitten by a brown recluse?

“Go to the hospital right away! Don’t think you can heal it on your own,” he said. “Also, I do check hotel rooms a lot more cautiously now.”

This article was originally published on heraldextra.com. It has been republished here with permission.

3 things you should know about diabetes

Did you know at this very moment you could have diabetes?

In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, out of the 29 million Americans with diabetes, 1 in 4 don’t know they have the disease. But as thousands of new cases of diabetes are diagnosed each year, the prognosis is grim. A newly diagnosed diabetic faces a future of pills, vague fitness and nutrition plans and no real answers for effective treatment.

What if the medical community could eliminate diabetes from our families? What if there was a way to prevent diabetes? Better yet, what if there was a way to reverse it?

There is a way.

But it requires a greater understanding of the effects of diabetes on the body, the limitations of today’s healthcare and the empowering effects of looking at this disease differently.

The effects of diabetes on the body

What is happening in your body? Quite a bit. In a healthy body, energy is created when the hormone insulin pulls glucose cells out of the blood and passes through a receptor site to produce Adenosine Triphosphate or ATP.

But in a diabetic’s body, the receptor site doesn’t open for this molecule, so insulin and blood sugar have no choice but to convert to cholesterol, attach to your blood vessel walls and wreak havoc on your system with painful inflammation.

Today’s pharmaceutical companies have created drugs for every health condition. Often a diabetic is prescribed a cocktail of blood sugar, cholesterol, and high blood pressure medications and told to eat right and exercise, yet this generalized treatment plan doesn’t effectively reduce the symptoms of this disease.

The limitations of today’s healthcare system

At times it seems there is a disconnect between treating and curing disease. One pathway doesn’t typically lead to the other. It’s frustrating.

According to the World Health Organization, the US ranks 37 in overall health systems, barely edging out Slovenia and Cuba. Americans take 50% of the world’s medications yet make up a mere 5% of the world’s population. Our nation’s dependency on pharmaceuticals contributes to a healthcare system that focuses on symptoms rather than prevention. That can be frustrating for a patient struggling for answers.

The empowering effects of looking at diabetes differently

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” —Andy Dufrensne, character from the movie “The Shawshank Redemption”

You have the power to reverse this disease, and there are tools to help you. This isn’t about turning your back on modern medicine. I recognize the use of drugs as an essential part of treatment for a number of illnesses, but I don’t view medications as a permanent solution.

A better approach would be for patients to free themselves from the confines of large quantities of medications and explore long-term solutions through customized treatment plans that profoundly improve quality of life.

If you hope to control diabetes, you must gain a greater understanding of this disease, understand the limitations of the present healthcare system and embrace a new knowledge of what can treat and ultimately reduce the negative effects of this disease. In this way, you are gonna “get busy living” every day.

Dr. Candice Hall is Chief of Staff of Next Advanced Medicine. She was awarded Physician of the Year in 2005 from the NRCC and has over 14 years of experience in Functional Medicine.

This article was originally published on Familyshare.com. It has been republished here with permission.