Gratitude & Your Heart Health

  Gratitude is a great way to change your perspective and create a more positive outlook on life. Did you know practicing gratitude is also a great way to boost your heart health? Research has found that being more thankful can help lower blood pressure and improve the function of our immune systems. It can also assist with promoting healthy behaviors like increased physical activity and having a more nutritious diet (American Heart Association). While there are many ways to express your graciousness, you can start with one of the options below. Your heart will be grateful you did! 4 Ways to Practice Gratitude Say Thank You. Whether someone just held the door open for you or a friend lent a listening ear when you needed it most, express your thanks out loud. Use your words to say thank you. [...]

Top Mental Health Apps for 2023

  The importance and awareness of mental health have been gaining traction. The challenges we’ve all faced over the last few years have shown that taking care of our minds is an integral part of our overall health and well-being. The stigma around mental health is changing now that we have many resources at our fingertips. Let's explore several mental health apps that are trending for 2023. Calm Available On: App Store & Google Play Price: Limited Free Content, Premium Version for $14.99/Month or $69.99/Year Calm focuses on mental health and stress management. The premium version will give you access to a library of content, including meditations, music, stretching videos, and relaxing scenes. This app can be a resource when you need a quick and relaxing mind break in your day. It can also be beneficial for establishing a better [...]

Top Wellness Tips from 2022

Can you believe we’re waving goodbye to 2022? As we set our sights on a new year with new goals, we reflect on the trends that shaped our year. Our overall health and wellness are at the forefront as we emerge from the pandemic, so we’ve compiled our top wellness tips from 2022. Boost Your Immune System Staying healthy and avoiding sickness is certainly fresh on all our minds. Recent years have highlighted how important it is to keep our immune system as strong as possible. Eat the rainbow by choosing different colored fruits and vegetables to help ensure you’re getting the necessary nutrients. Talk with your doctor to find out if you’re getting enough Vitamin D, which can also help regulate your immune system. Other ways to keep your body healthy include exercise, adequate sleep, stress management, and washing [...]

Thriving During the Holidays

The holidays are a special time of year filled with wonder and excitement. However, with all the hustle and bustle, they can quickly become stressful, anxiety-inducing, and even depressing. Holidays can be full of nostalgia and endless expectations. It’s a time when we can be overwhelmed with family get-togethers, yet our hearts can ache for those who cannot be there. Our schedules start to overflow with events, and our healthy habits tend to go out the window as quickly as our budget for the season. With all these demands and constantly changing feelings, it can be difficult to get through the holidays, let alone enjoy them. Let’s look at several ways to make this season less frightful and more delightful. Make a Plan Schedules and emotions are always easier to manage when you have a plan. Prioritize your list of [...]

Gut-Lung Axis

Health starts in your gut – listen to it! Lots of different types of bacteria, viruses, and fungi call your body home, and most of them live in your gut. This bacteria in the gut, or the gut microbiome, is responsible for much more than just digestive problems. In fact, bacteria get a bad reputation - some causes disease but others are important for your health.  They help dictate how we feel and how our bodies function. When there isn’t enough diversity in your gut microbiome, it increases the risk of chronic diseases. What is the gut-lung axis? You may have heard that there is a connection between your gut and your brain, but did you know that there’s also a connection between your gut and your lungs? Long-term digestive problems can make you more likely to develop breathing problems. [...]

Mindful Breathing

We breathe all day long without thinking much about it. But what if we were to stop and pay attention to our inhaling and exhaling? How could that impact our health? Let’s take a look at mindful breathing and how it can enhance our well-being. What Is Mindful Breathing? Mindful breathing combines parts of deep breathing with practicing mindfulness. The aspects of this breathing style bring focus to the present moment. It’s more than just breathing in and breathing out. It’s paying attention to how you feel with each breath. Positive Psychology states, “You are not trying to change your breathing in any way, and because of this, there are no expectations; you are merely aware of the breath from moment to moment.” Mindful breathing can take practice because it doesn’t always come naturally. You’re intentionally drawing your concentration to [...]

Facts on Antibiotics

What are Antibiotics? Antibiotics are a group of drugs used to treat bacterial infections. Bacteria are small organisms that live and multiply in many different hosts, including humans, animals and plants. All of us have millions of bacteria in our bodies — some are helpful and others can grow inside our bodies and make us sick by causing infections. Examples of bacterial infections include strep throat, whooping cough, and certain types of pneumonia. It is important to know that bacteria may be spread between people and other hosts in many different ways, including but not limited to, direct contact with other infected people or by eating or drinking contaminated foods. The introduction and correct use of antibiotics has saved countless lives and prevented significant suffering by helping people overcome or avoid bacterial infections. What is antibiotic resistance? Today antibiotics are [...]

5 Tips for Managing School and Your Stress

  A new school year is a busy and exciting time for students of any age. However, all that excitement can bring a lot of extra stress. Settling back into a routine can be a breath of fresh air after the summer break, but between changes in schedules, homework, tests, and day-to-day responsibilities, life can start to feel overwhelming quickly. We’re going to explore five different ways that can help you manage stress this school year. Stay Organized Nothing makes stress levels spike like losing an assignment or completely forgetting about a test. Clutter of the mind or physical clutter around you can leave you with your wheels spinning, unsure of what to do next. Even if you don’t consider organization one of your strong suits, there are several easy habits you can incorporate to keep your school responsibilities in [...]

Influenza Season is Upon Us

The time between October and March is known as flu season because the viruses that cause influenza (and other types of flu) are more prevalent and more easily spread during the fall and winter months. Influenza virus activity starts increasing in October and spikes between December and February. That means it’s time to start considering how you’ll protect yourself—and the people around you—this flu season. As with other viruses, you can reduce the chance of getting sick by regularly washing your hands and limiting contact with sick people. But influenza is different from other viruses because it can be potentially life-threatening. During the 2021-2022 flu season, influenza contributed to well over 100,000 hospitalizations in the US. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strongly recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the best way [...]

Hydration, Electrolytes, and Exercise

  Hydration is a key factor when it comes to physical activity. Our bodies need adequate water intake to regulate body temperature, keep joints lubricated, and bring important nutrients throughout your body for energy. When you’re not well-hydrated, it can greatly impact your performance with exercise, and even more importantly, it can take a toll on things like organ function and blood pressure. From light intensity to high intensity and on hot days and even cold days, it is imperative to practice good hydration before, during, and after exercise. What Factors Affect Hydration? Many factors can affect hydration during exercise and activity. During physical activity, your body loses fluid through sweat. Sweating can occur on hot summer days, as well as cold winter days, and every other day in between. Sweating can occur without it being visible. For example, did [...]