Category Archives: Health Tips

Grill Tips for National Filet Mignon Day

Today, August 13, is National Filet Mignon Day, a day dedicated to one of our favorite grilled meals. While we suggest eating filet mignon for dinner tonight, we also have a few grill safety suggestions, posted below.

General Grilling Tips

  • Propane and charcoal barbeque grills should only be used outdoors
  • The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches
  • Keep children and pets away from the grill area keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grill and from any trays that may be below the grill
  • Never leave your grill unattended

Tips if you’re using a Propane Grill

  • Check the major connection points between the gas tank hose and the regulator and cylinder, and where the hose connects to the burners; tighten if loose
  • Check the gas tank hose for potential gas leaks. To do that, apply a light soap and water solution to the hose using a brush or spray bottle then turn the propane tank on. If there is a gas leak, the propane will release bubbles around the hose. If there are no bubbles, your grill is safe to use.
  • As you are cooking, if you smell gas, turn off the gas tank and burners. If the smell continues, move away from the grill and call the fire department immediately. Do not move the grill.

Tips if you’re using a Charcoal Grill

  • If you use a starter fluid, use only charcoal starter fluid
  • Never add charcoal fluid or any other flammable liquids to the fire
  • Keep charcoal fluid out of the reach of children and away from heat sources
  • When you are finished grilling, let the coals completely cool before disposing in a metal container

There’s a Science Behind Two Different Colored Eyes

Just 11 out of 1000 Americans have two differently colored eyes so the odds aren’t too high but they’re high enough that someone (or some group of people) declared July 12th National Different Colored Eyes Day.

Before you can understand how some people have two different colored eyes, it is important to understand how eyes get their color. Iris color develops during the first few months after birth with the levels of pigment melanin determining how dark eyes will become. The less melanin expressed in the iris, the lighter a person’s eyes look and vice versa. Sometimes the concentration and distribution of melanin isn’t uniform, which leads to a condition known as heterochromia.

There are many different forms of heterochromia. Complete heterochromia is when each eye is distinctly different, such as one blue and one brown. Central heterochromia is when the eyes show various colors, such as a blue iris with a golden-brown ring around the pupil. Sectoral heterochromia is when one iris has a splash of color that’s different from its overall hue.

Although some eye pigmentation abnormalities are inherited from a parent, heterochromia is a common feature of several inherited genetic disorders, such as Waardenburg syndrome and neurofibromatosis. Heterochromia can also be caused by glaucoma.

Please note that a sudden onset of heterochromia could be the sign of an underlying medical condition and a complete eye exam should be conducted by an ophthalmologist to rule out any serious causes.

 

Source: Live Science

Tips for a Safe and Festive Fourth of July Weekend

Summer is in full swing and we’re preparing for an exciting and festive Fourth of July weekend! As always, your safety is our number one priority so we’ve compiled a list of some must-have tips for the holiday weekend!

 

Firework Safety

  • Never give fireworks to small children and follow all instructions on packages
  • Make sure anyone lighting fireworks wears eye protection
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Don’t relight a “dud”
  • Don’t throw or point fireworks at people, animals, cars, homes or flammable material

Grilling Safety

  • Always supervise a grill when it’s on
  • Never grill indoors or in a camper or tent
  • Make sure kids and pets stay far enough away from the grill
  • Keep the grill away from your home, tree branches and other things that can catch fire
  • Use long-handled tools made for cooking on a grill

Lightning Storm Safety—just in case!

  • Always look at the weather forecast and cancel/postpone plans if it looks bad
  • Know your surroundings and identify the closest safe shelter and the quickest way to get there
  • Monitor weather conditions
  • Seek shelter if you hear thunder
  • Avoid open areas
  • Don’t stand near the tallest object
  • Don’t seek shelter under tall or isolated trees

 

Stay safe and have a great holiday weekend!

Keep Your Eyes on the Road, Not Your Phone

Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. Distracted driving is driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving. There are three main types of distraction. Visual distraction is taking your eyes off the road, manual distraction is taking your hands off the wheel and cognitive distraction is taking your mind off of driving.

Distracted driving activities include, but are not limited to, using a cell phone, texting, eating and using in-vehicle technologies, such as navigation systems. While all of these distractions endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.

By the numbers, distracted driving is a big problem

  • In 2011, 3360 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver; an additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver
  • In 2012, 3328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver; an additional 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver
  • In 2011, 17% (nearly one in five) of crashes in which someone was injured involved distracted driving

Risk Factors

  • Some activities—such as texting—take the driver’s attention away from driving more frequently and for longer periods than other distractions
  • Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 may be at increased risk; they have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes
  • According to a CDC study…
    • Nearly half of all U.S. high school students aged 16 years or older text or email while driving
    • Students who text while driving are nearly twice as likely to ride with a driver who has been drinking
    • Students who text while driving are five times as likely to drink and drive than students who don’t text while driving

What is being done?

  • Many states are enacting laws—such as banning texting while driving, or using graduated driver licensing systems for teen drivers—to help raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and to keep it from occurring
    • Note: the effectiveness of cell phone and texting laws on decreasing distracted driving-related crashes requires further study.
  • In September 2009, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment
  • In September 2010, the Federal Railroad Administration banned cell phone and electronic device use of employees on the job
  • In October 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving
  • In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned all hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers and drivers carrying hazardous materials.

While all of these are steps in the right direction, there are still steps that need to be taken. It’s up for us as individuals to remind our loved ones to keep their distractions off the road.

Chronic Condition Snapshot: Skin Cancer

Skin Cancer is the most common form of cancer, accounting for nearly half of all cancer cases in the United States. More than 3.5 million cases of basal and squamous cell skin cancer are diagnosed each year. Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer

There are three main types of skin cancers:

  • Basal and Squamous Cell: refers to the types of skin cells where the cancer develops, located in the base of the surface level of skin
  • Melanoma: this more serious and sometimes fatal form of skin cancer affects melanocytes, the skin cells that produce pigment, melanin. While highly curable in early stages, it causes as many as 12,000 cancer deaths per year

Causes and Risk Factors (there are several factors that increate risk of skin cancer)

  • Unprotected and/or excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation (sunlight or tanning booths)
  • Pale skin (easily sunburned, doesn’t tan much at all, natural red or blonde hair)
  • You or other members of your family have had skin cancer
  • Multiple or unusual moles
  • Severe sunburns in the past

Symptoms

  • Changes in skin, particularly in appearance or size of a mole or other skin discoloration
  • Bleeding, oozing, scabbing of mole or skin discoloration
  • Spreading of pigment beyond the borders of an existing mole
  • Sensation including pain or itching

Prevention

  •  Avoid unprotected and extended time in the sun, particularly during the hottest times of day (10am-4pm)
  • Wear sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater an reapply every 2 hours and after swimming or sweating
  • Wear protective clothing including a hat and sunglasses
  • Avoid sun lamps and tanning beds altogether
  • Practice these same precautions consistently, even on cloudy days

Treatment:

Depending on the form of skin cancer, treatment may involve removing the cancer and/or radiation, chemotherapy, or other forms of local therapy. While dermatologists (skin doctors) treat many skin cancers, you may be referred to an oncologist (cancer specialist) for more serious forms.

 

Source: American Cancer Society (acs.org)

National Heart Month: Know the Signs

Heart Attack? Stroke?

Do you know the ways to detect various heart diseases? Listed below are symptoms associated with heart attacks and strokes. Please check them out, and always pay attention to the signs your body is giving you!

HEART ATTACK

  • Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest that lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back
  • Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Lightheadedness

STROKE

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body
  • Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding
  • Sudden trouble seeing or blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Sudden trouble walking
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Sudden severe headache with no known cause

REMEMBER, a simple way to spot a stroke is to recognize FAST:

F: face drooping

A: arm weakness

S: speech difficulty

T: time to call 911!

Power Up with Your 2015 Wellness Incentives

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It’s time to get going and Power Up for good health, with the 2015 Wellness Incentives!  So energize your life and reap the rewards by powering up.

Here are some highlights of the 2015 Wellness Incentives:

  • There are 3 Incentives. Each is worth $300, for a total of $900, if you are covered by a BSHSI Medical Plan.
  • This year a new Healthy Habits Incentive replaces Preventative Care.  It provides opportunities to choose the healthy habit you want to pursue:  complete a smoking cessation program, take part in an Aetna chronic disease coaching program, participate in Daily Challenges, or log pedometer steps.
  • The Healthy Weight and Personal Health Assessment Incentives remain the same from 2014. Remember the PHA is not available until after April 1, 2015.
  • The deadline to earn all three Incentives is August 31, 2015.

Your Incentive dollars will again be deposited by Bon Secours into a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) as they are earned. The HRA is administered by ConnectYourCare and helps pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses for you and your family.

For more details on the Incentives, please click here or go to the Healthy Me, Healthy You section on IRIS under “Quick Links” on the IRIS home page and click on the Employees’ Guide to 2015 Wellness Incentives.

Don’t delay! Get started this fall and begin to earn your Incentives and money. Go for it and Power Up!

 

Festive Fireworks Drink for Fourth of July Weekend!

Warm summer days require a cool drink (at least for those over the legal drinking age!). Check out this festive Fourth of July weekend drink mix below but remember to drink responsibly!

Fireworks Red, White and Blue Daiquiris—yields 6 servings

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Ingredients for Blue Layer

  • 2 cups ice cubes
  • 1/3 cup blue passion fruit liqueur (such as Hpnotiq or Alize)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice (about 4 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons blue curacao liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons white rum
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Ingredients for Red Layer

  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup watermelon chunks, frozen
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 2 tablespoons white run
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Ingredients for White Layer

  • 1 cup coconut sorbet
  • ¼ cup rum
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Blue Layer Directions

  • Put 1 ½ cups of the ice cubes in the carafe of a blender
  • Add the passion fruit liqueur, lime juice, blue curacao, rum and sugar
  • Blend until slushy and there are no chunks of ice left
  • Add the remaining ½ cup of ice if needed
  • Transfer to a large measuring cup or small bowl
  • Place in freezer while you make the next layer

Red Layer Directions

  • Rinse out the blender
  • Add the frozen strawberries, watermelon, lime juice, rum and sugar to the blender
  • Blend until slushy and there are no chunks of fruit
  • With the motor running, add the ice, a few cubes at a time until thick and smooth
  • Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the consistency is too thick
  • Transfer to another small bowl
  • Place in freezer while making the final layer

White Layer Directions

  • Rinse out the blender
  • Add the coconut sorbet, rum and lime juice to the blender
  • Blend until smooth and thick
  • With the motor running, add the ice, a few cubes at a time
  • Continue to blend until thick and no bits of ice remain

Serving Directions

  • Pour the red layer into the bottom of six 8-ounce glasses, about 1/3 cup each
  • Gently spoon 1/3 cup of the blue layer over the red layer so they stay separate
  • Finish by spooning 1/3 cup of the white layer over the second layer in each glass

Enjoy responsibly!

Source: Food Network Kitchen

Healthy Tips For Everyone

In a world where health tips practically take over every thought, we’ve gotten some help from health24.com to provide some of the best health tips. For a complete list, visit http://www.health24.com/Diet-and-nutrition/The-immune-system/45-best-health-tips-ever-20120721 but check out a few of my favorites below.

  • Make it a habit to do stretching exercises when you wake up—they boost circulation and digestion while easing back pain
  • Don’t skip breakfast. Studies show eating a proper breakfast (fresh fruit/fruit juice, a high-fiber cereal, low fat milk and whole wheat toast) is one of the most positive things you can do if you’re trying to lose weight
  • Stay properly hydrated during a workout by drinking enough water. Save the energy drinks and sport drinks for post-workout to aid with refueling
  • While working out, head to the weights first. Your body is more able to handle weight training early in the workout because you’re fresh and have an abundance of energy
  • Don’t eat carbohydrates for at least an hour after exercise, forcing your body to break down body fat rather than using the food you ingest
  • Find out your family history. Being educated on inherited genes can provide useful and lifesaving information about your future
  • Swimming is the most asthma-friendly sport of all but the experts say cycling, canoeing, fishing, sailing and walking are also good!
  • Sleep! Rest heals the body and has been shown to lessen the risk of heart trouble and psychological problems

St. Anthony Community Hospital Hosts, Diabetes in Check Topic: “Yoga & Diabetes”

An increasing number of people with diabetes are turning to yoga in an effort to keep their condition under control and improve overall quality of life. Regular practice of yoga may stimulate all internal organs, help reduce levels of stress, enhance mobility, lower blood pressure and improve overall well-being.

Rose Dwyer, founder and director of the Warwick Yoga Center, addressed the topic at the regular monthly meeting of “Diabetes in Check,” at St. Anthony Community Hospital. The support group, open to anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, is sponsored by the Center for Diabetes Education at St. Anthony Community Hospital.

Dwyer has taught yoga for 15 years in various yoga centers, senior centers, adult education programs and libraries. She has also studied yoga in India.

“The world renowned Joslin Diabetes Center is incorporating yoga into their diabetes management program,” said Certified Diabetes Educator Lourdes Braadt, RN. “Studies, mostly in India, have shown that yoga can help with the prevention and management of chronic diseases such as diabetes.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, as many as three million Americans are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Previously known as juvenile diabetes, the disease is usually diagnosed in children and young adults. In Type 1 diabetes, the body does not produce insulin, a hormone that is needed to convert sugar (glucose), starches and other food into energy needed for daily life.

The Center for Diabetes Education at St. Anthony Community Hospital offers a series of classes for all patients who have been recently diagnosed with diabetes or those who demonstrate poorly controlled diets. During group or individual sessions, clinical instructors offer initial assessment, emotional support and will seek to help patients achieve a better understanding of the disease.

Patients are shown how to live a normal and productive life with diabetes and how to control the disease through diet and exercise.

All adults with diabetes and their caregivers are urged to attend the “Diabetes in Check” meetings. If you are interested in sending patients or friends, please call 845-987-5168 for future dates and details.

Braadt and St. Anthony Community Hospital Lead Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator Janine Killeen RD, CDE are also available at “Diabetes in Check” sessions to answer any questions.