Managing blood pressure can be difficult, especially during the holidays and winter months. A change in routine, family visits, traveling, illness, holiday menus and financial concerns can all conspire to derail your best efforts at keeping chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, under control. Here are three ways to control your blood pressure throughout the holiday season.
Managing High Blood Pressure During the Holidays
(Family Features) Managing blood pressure can be difficult, especially during the holidays and winter months. A change in routine, family visits, traveling, illness, holiday menus and financial concerns can all conspire to derail your best efforts at keeping chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, under control.
If you are one of the millions of American adults with high blood pressure, it is vital to keep your blood pressure stable. Drastic changes can put you at risk for heart attack or stroke.
Here are three ways to control your blood pressure throughout the holiday season from the American Heart Association:
Be Wary of Decongestants
Keep Track of Medication
“Factors like cold weather, sudden increase in activity like shoveling snow, stress and dietary indiscretion can contribute to a chain of events leading to more stress on the heart during the winter months, potentially triggering a heart attack or other cardiac event,” said Jorge Plutzky, M.D., director of Preventive Cardiology at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a volunteer with the American Heart Association.
It is vital to keep track of your medication and take it as prescribed by your doctor to decrease chances of heart attack and stroke. The American Heart Association’s Check Change Control Tracker is one way to monitor your health, as it allows you to set up text message reminders, text in blood pressure readings, connect with volunteers or providers, and receive messages from volunteers or providers.
Maintain Healthy Eating Habits
Staying active while traveling can be a challenge, as well. Try bringing simple exercise equipment like a jump rope or resistance band with you. Consider walking to sights or restaurants nearby, or finding a local park or indoor walking path.
For more information and tools about blood pressure management, visit heart.org/hbp.
Bayer’s Consumer Health Division, maker of Coricidin HBP, is a sponsor of the American Heart Association’s High Blood Pressure website.
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American Heart Association
Staying healthy can be a challenge, especially for those living with diabetes. Everyone can have conflicts finding the right balance of partaking in healthy habits, such as exercise, eating well and even keeping your teeth and gums clean. These seven tips can help you stay healthy and lead a balanced life while managing your diabetes.
7 Tips for Managing Diabetes
(Family Features) Staying healthy can be a challenge, especially for those living with diabetes. Everyone can have conflicts finding the right balance of partaking in healthy habits, such as exercise, eating well and even keeping your teeth and gums clean. From stress to self-care, life can be up and down when you’re living with diabetes.
These seven tips from Dr. Natalie Strand, the winner of season 17 of “The Amazing Race” who lives with diabetes herself, can help you stay healthy and lead a balanced life while managing your diabetes.
Communicate with your care team. Make sure you connect with your nurse educator, endocrinologist and dietician. Reach out to them with your questions as they can often help you implement subtle changes to avoid completely overhauling your lifestyle and routine because of diabetes.
Get involved. Get a local group together to fundraise, vent or just understand each other. Groups such as Diabetes Sisters, JDRF, TuDiabetes and BeyondType1 offer ways to connect with others living with diabetes in person or on social media. Connecting with the diabetes community can be a powerful way to help ease the burden of living with diabetes.
Keep doing what you love. Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you have to give up doing what you love. Make efforts to continue sports, travel and other hobbies, even if there is a learning curve to adapting with diabetes at first.
Maintain good oral health. People living with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Colgate Total toothpaste is FDA-approved to help reverse and prevent gingivitis, an early form of gum disease.
Get into a routine. Find a routine that works and stick with it. This way you don’t have to make new decisions each day. Anything that can ease the mental burden of diabetes can help. For example, pick a time each year for your annual visits: eye doctor, endocrinologist, renew prescriptions, etc. Picking the same time of year every year can help ensure you don’t forget to take care of yourself.
Make self-care a priority. It can be hard to keep diabetes care in the forefront. It can be boring, exhausting and also fade into the background. Remind yourself that one of the best things you can do for yourself, and for your loved ones, is stay healthy. Use your family as motivation to exercise daily, eat better-for-you foods and maintain a healthy weight.
Manage stress. Diabetes can be a big stressor. Add jobs, kids, relationships and it can become overwhelming. Find an easy and effective tool for stress relief and do it often. Even 5-10 minutes of guided meditation daily can have a big impact on stress management.
For more information and ways to lead a balanced life with diabetes, visit OralHealthandDiabetes.com.
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Declining temperatures can bring fun, cool-weather activities, but they also mean cold and flu season is lurking. While everyone hopes to stay healthy, it can be difficult to completely avoid viruses and bugs. These simple suggestions can help your family plan for cold and flu season.
7 Ways to Plan for Cold and Flu Season
(Family Features) Declining temperatures can bring fun, cool-weather activities, but they also mean cold and flu season is lurking. While everyone hopes to stay healthy, it can be difficult to completely avoid viruses and bugs.
Dr. Deborah Gilboa, a board-certified family physician and Braun spokesperson, offers some simple suggestions to help your family plan for cold and flu season.
Dispose of Expired Medicine
Practice Healthy Habits
Use a Reliable Thermometer
“It’s important to carefully monitor potential illnesses to make sure children get and stay well, and taking an accurate temperature reading is a necessary part of this process, which is why I trust my Braun thermometer,” Gilboa said. “As a doctor and a mom to four boys, it gives me the confidence to know that I’m accurately taking my child’s temperature before I take any next steps, like administering medication.”
Have Important Information on Hand
Manage Humidity Levels
Keep Contact Information Accessible
If cold or flu reach your household this winter, it’s always important to consult a doctor if you have any questions regarding the health of your family members. For more information, visit braunthermometers.com.
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(BPT) - Adopting a diet that mainly consists of foods ranking low on the Glycemic Index (GI) can help you have a consistent energy level, feel calmer, improve cholesterol levels and lose weight. So, why aren’t more people following a low-glycemic diet and reaping these health advantages?
Some say a low-GI diet is hard to follow. Others consider it an eating plan only for people living with diabetes. According to Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Johanna Burani, these are myths. “As an in-the-trenches dietitian, I have consistently seen how easily my patients learn to incorporate low-GI foods into their meal plans and how happy (and relieved) they are with their results,” says Burani.
Want to commit to a low-GI lifestyle? Here are some easy tips to help you see results:
* Not sure which foods are high and low and where they rank on the GI? Researchers have determined the GI values of more than 2,500 foods. Tip: Check out resources like the Guide to a Low Glycemic Diet for Better Blood Glucose Control on fifty50foods.com to make informed food choices and stick to those lower on the GI.
* All carbohydrates are not the same. Some "gush" into your bloodstream and quickly spike your blood sugar. Others just "trickle" in slowly, keeping it low. Tip: Know your carbs and choose "tricklers" not "gushers."
* Selecting more medium- to low-GI foods will help you maximize the performance of your workout or exercise. Tip: If you are doing endurance exercises, try consuming a moderate- to low-GI meal before exercising for sustained carb availability.
“Following a low-GI eating plan is easy since most foods are commonly found in supermarkets,” says Burani. For example, specialty food brand Fifty50 Foods has a broad line of certified low-glycemic items ranging from peanut butters and fruit spreads to candies and cookies and from breakfast items like syrup and oatmeal to baking items like pie crust and crystalline fructose.
* Does following a low-GI diet mean you have to give up your favorite sweet treats? Fortunately not. Tip: Try a healthy twist on the old standard peanut butter cookie made with peanut butter, no added sugar and zero sodium.
* Can you eat out and maintain a low-GI diet? Yes, you can. Many restaurant menus feature healthier foods that are lower on the GI so you can dine at your favorite spot without guilt. Tip: Do your homework in advance to identify the low-GI selections on the menu.
Here are a few options by cuisine:
Chinese: Order noodles (egg, rice or mung bean), vegetables and lean proteins. Say no to Asian-style sticky white rice and deep-fried foods.
Italian: Pick pasta, seafood and meat dishes or thin-crust pizza topped with vegetables. Don’t overload the cheese or go heavy on the sauces.
Fast-food: Go for the salad and avoid hamburgers and fries. Most fast-food items have high-GI values since they are processed and also are very high in fat and sodium. Choose wisely!
“Once my patients start feeling and seeing the results of low-GI eating they become committed to making this a lifestyle,” says Burani. “This applies to both those patients living with diabetes as well as those who want to improve their general health.”
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