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 [...]

Building your Immune System with Healthy Habits

  With the upcoming changing of the seasons, we will soon see a major change in the weather. With that change, colds and the flu will be running rampant. Even though it might be harder to tackle workouts in the colder months, exercise and incorporating nutrient-dense foods into meals are critical to support your immune system and overall wellness. Try using these simple tips and tricks to help you stay active and healthy throughout the fall and winter. Wash your water bottle - Do you leave your water bottle in your gym bag or leave your water bottle at work all week? It sounds so simple, yet many are not washing their water bottle daily. Salvia can be backwashed into bottles and become the perfect breeding ground for bacteria to grow, which can potentially make you ill. The good news [...]

Sleep, Stress, and Your Immune System

Days can pile up with stress and lead to nights of little sleep. We’re all too familiar with how frustrating this can be. Did you know that it can also cause our immune system to take a hit? Our stress and sleep have direct correlations with how our immune system functions. Prioritizing sleep and stress management is an integral part of staying healthy. How Does Sleep Affect Your Immune System? Sleep is necessary for your body to ward off sickness and infection. It can also help to reduce recovery time whenever you’re fighting sickness. While sleeping, the body ramps up the production of cytokines. According to the American Cancer Society, “Cytokines are small proteins that are crucial in controlling the growth and activity of other immune system cells and blood cells. When released, they signal the immune system to do [...]

Back to Exercise Basics

  So, you want to create an exercise habit, but this is a new area for you. Or maybe it’s just been a while since you’ve had a good, consistent routine. Class is officially in session, and we’re going to take a closer look at the basics of exercise. When you start with the building blocks that form a solid foundation, it is easier to begin and stick to your exercise goals long-term. What are the Recommendations? First, let’s review the Physical Activity Guidelines set by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the U.S. Department of Health. Adults are encouraged to participate in at least 150 – 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity each week. A combination of varying intensities is beneficial as well. Additionally, adults are encouraged to incorporate muscle-strengthening exercises that [...]

Building a Balanced Lunchbox

Steps to Build a Healthy Lunchbox When filling up your children’s lunch box, make sure to include a variety of different foods. Half of their lunch should consist of fruits and vegetables, a quarter should be protein, and a quarter should be whole grains. It is important for children to consume a variety of nutrients because they play an important role in growth and development. Follow these 5 easy steps to build your child a balanced lunch! Tips and tricks to get your kids to eat their packed lunch: Get them involved! Encourage your kids to get involved with the planning and preparing of their school lunches. Teach them the importance of nutrition while making it fun and interactive! Write a note! Slip a handwritten note into their lunchbox. These notes can be a picture, story, memory, silly joke, or [...]

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 [...]

Mocktails: Happiness in a Cup

  A mocktail can be a perfect addition to an evening of partying or relaxing at the pool. Try something healthy and refreshing to enjoy this summer. Use the tips below to create a signature drink without the worries of excess calories. Ingredients: Recipes can use a variety of ingredients such as club soda, tonic water, juice, and coconut water. Seltzer water, club soda, or tonic water: Which one is better? Seltzer water and club soda are calorie free and great ingredients for mocktails. Unfortunately, tonic water is high in added sugar. To put it in perspective, 12 fluid ounces of tonic water has 33 grams of added sugar (about 8 teaspoons of sugar). If you use tonic water, be mindful of your portion size since calories can add up quickly or try no sugar added tonic water. Tip: If [...]

Hydration and Mental Health

  Staying hydrated is an integral part of health and wellness. However, it is often overlooked, especially when water is out of sight and out of mind. You’re probably familiar with how hydration is necessary during exercise, fighting a cold, or proper digestion. But did you know that adequate hydration is important for our mental health too? Let’s take a closer look at how it can affect us mentally. Improved Brain Performance According to the National Council on Aging, “even mild dehydration – as little as 2% fluid loss – can affect memory, mood, concentration, and reaction time.” Getting adequate hydration throughout the day can balance all these areas and positively impact our brain performance. As you age, the risk for dehydration increases, and cognitive function can decrease. This shows that proper hydration and water intake are key factors in [...]

Make a Hydration Station

  Make a Hydration Station in your Fridge! All the good-for-you foods are packed with water: fruits and vegetables. We get most of our hydration from drinking fluids, but about 20% of our hydration needs are met by the food we eat. Prepare fruits and vegetables once or twice a week to keep in the fridge. Wash and slice (if needed) and put in snack-size containers. When someone in the house wants a snack, they can quickly grab good nutrition and hydration. Some fruits and vegetables have a higher water content than others. The following is a list of produce picks with high water content. Pick a variety of fruits and vegetables from the list below to create great nutrition for your Hydration Station: Fruit Vegetables Apples Cucumber Watermelon Tomato Peaches Celery Strawberries Zucchini Cantaloupe Bell pepper Oranges Cauliflower Grapefruit [...]