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RACE to Your Fitness Goals

RACEHave you made the New Year’s resolution to finally run that half marathon this year? Lose that holiday weight by hitting the treadmill? Reclaim the part of your youth when you enjoyed running? All of these sound like great reasons to be active, but do these well wishes hold up once you start to feel tightness in one calf, clicking in your knees or that sharp pain in your hip? If you want to keep the dream alive, instead of slowing down or stopping, schedule a RACE!

The RACE (Running Assessment and Clinical Evaluation) program is a personalized, one-on-one study of you and your body mechanics while you walk or run. This program is for the old or the young, the ultra marathoner or the 5K-charity walker. We will find what is hurting, the reasons that cause the pain and what you can do to help yourself get through it. During your appointment, one of our licensed athletic trainers will go through your personal health history looking for past injuries, details on any current ailments and your training schedule.

During your exam, your range of motion, flexibility and strength will be examined to see if there are any imbalances in your lower body. Then, we’ll examine what your individual foot type is, as that can tell us many things about how you walk before you even place a foot on the treadmill. Continue Reading »

It’s Personal Campaign – Thank You For Helping Us Meet Our Goal

After three and a half years, we are proud and grateful to be able to say that with the help of all of you, we did it. The St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation met its goal of raising $6 million to put toward the St. Elizabeth Hospital revitalization project. We could not have made it this far without the help of all our generous donors, friends and neighbors. Together, we are setting forth on a path to continue offering high-quality, personalized care for our patients well into the next century. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you.

Simple Food Resolutions For The Whole Year

vegetables and fruitsAs I’ve mentioned in my previous New Year’s resolutions blogs, resolutions are successful when they are specific in nature, measurable and realistic. Continued success is enhanced when a plan or steps detailing how the goal will be achieved exists. There are many food related resolutions one can make: reduce portion sizes, minimize late night snacking, always have breakfast, limit sugary beverages, etc. This blog focuses on one particular food related resolution that will have an impact on your health and on Mother Earth.

More plants please!
Americans consume almost double the protein their bodies need. Most of this protein is animal protein, which tends to be high in fat and saturated fat. The Western diet is heavily based on meat and research shows that it might not be the best for us.

A plant-based diet has its benefits; including an increased intake in fiber and reduced consumption of fat. Because of this, and concerns about the earth’s resources (it takes more resources to sustain cattle than to grow plants) vegetarianism continues to grow all around the globe.

One way to start reaping the benefits of plant-based foods is to make a concerted effort to include them in our diet. A simple way to do this is to elevate the importance of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and other plant based foods in our meals. With the Oscars coming up, I thought of a great analogy. Instead of meat being the best actor, make it the supporting actor. Point the cameras and shine the light on non-meat foods!

Another strategy is to designate one day a week as a meatless day. Meatless Monday not only has a ring to it but it is also the name of a nationwide evidence based initiative that promotes eating more plant-based foods. This initiative based out of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has a goal to reduce meat consumption by 15 percent “for personal health and the health of the planet.”  The site, www.meatlessmonday.com has more information about this initiative, provides recipes, promotions and more.

Many people are concerned that following a meatless diet will not provide enough protein. There are plenty of meatless sources of protein such as: beans and other legumes, eggs, dairy (yogurt, milk, etc.), soy products (tofu, tempeh, etc.), and nuts and seeds.  There are other sources as well, which will be discussed in future articles.

So, make yourself a promise to include more plants in your life, and not just houseplants to beautify your home. Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables and designate the Mondays in your schedule as Meatless Mondays!



Cold Weather Health Hazards

cold weather Cold weather presents increased risks to your workforce in a variety of ways: It can directly injure the body, aggravate existing physical injuries and even cause injury through changes in our environments. However, you can mitigate the risk. All of these injuries can be prevented—with preparation.

Low Temperatures and Wind Chill
The physical elements of cold—cold temperatures, rain, sleet, snow and wind—can cause direct injury to the skin and body. The mildest form of injury is chilblains, which is a skin tissue injury. This occurs when uncovered skin is exposed to low temperatures and wind. A more serious tissue injury is frostbite. In frostbite whole appendages such as fingers, ears and noses are damaged. Frostbite can even result in amputation in severe cases. The most serious kind of cold-related injury is hypothermia. This type of injury compromises the makeup of vital organs such as the heart and brain.

Remember, air temperature is only part of the picture. Wind chills can cause harm beyond the digits on the thermometer. For a wind chill calculator, visit the National Weather Service online. Continue Reading »

National Birth Defects Prevention Month

foodJanuary is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and there is a lot of information to be had if you are pregnant or know someone who is and want to decrease your chances of having a child with a birth defect.

According to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network:

  • Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States
  • More than 120,000 babies born with a birth defect (approximately one in every 33 live births) are reported each year in the United States
  • Birth defects are the most common cause of death in infants and the second most common cause of death in children ages one to four years old
  • Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect. It occurs in one out of 100 births

Don’t let these statistics overwhelm you. The risk for many types of birth defects can be reduced through healthy lifestyle choices before and during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who are pregnant or want to become pregnant should:

  • Consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily
  • Manage chronic maternal illnesses such as diabetes, seizure disorders or phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • Reach and maintain a healthy weight
  • Talk to a health care provider about taking any medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, as well as any supplements Continue Reading »

Disclaimer: The information found on Affinity's blog is a general educational aid. Do not rely on this information or treat it as a substitute for personal medical or health care advice, or for diagnosis or treatment. Always consult your physician or other qualified health care provider as soon as possible about any medical or health-related question and do not wait for a response from our experts before such consultation. If you have a medical emergency, seek medical attention immediately.

The Affinity Health System blog contains opinions and views created by community members. Affinity does endorse the contributions of community members. You should not assume the information posted by community members is accurate and you should never disregard or delay seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this site.