We’re about a week into 2014, so I thought it would be a good idea to see how everyone’s resolutions have been going. Good, I hope!? I’ve noticed that a lot of resolutions people make revolve around wellness. Losing weight tops the list of the ten most popular resolutions along with staying fit, quitting smoking, spending less, getting more organized and spending more time with the family.
About 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but less than 10 percent actually succeed in achieving their resolution or goal. Unfortunately, resolutions tend to be abandoned quickly. Why is that?
- Too vague. More specific goals tend to result in more successful outcomes. General goals are hard to grasp and usually result in loss of interest. Analyze what you are really trying to accomplish and break it down into more specific goals. Instead of “I will drink more water,” try, “I will keep a water bottle on my office desk, in my car, on my nigh stand and drink at least eight cups of water a throughout the day.”
- It can be lonely sometimes. While personal goals are… personal, but the effort to reach that goal does not have to be. Studies show that the more you share what you are trying to accomplish with others, a support network, family, friends, etc. the more successful you will be. Friends and family can support your efforts to achieve your resolution. Workout with a buddy, go running with your neighbor find a “team” that will motivate you.
- You lose track. As tedious as it sounds, keeping track of your efforts does help. Whether they are food journals, or fitness trackers; pedometers that track how many steps you’ve taken in a day or an app that lets you know how many hours of sleep you’ve gotten, can help hone in on areas you want to work on. In addition, it keeps you accountable and well… on track!
- Forgetfulness. People who are reminded of their goal on a consistent basis tend to be more successful in achieving those goals. The best thing to avoid losing focus of your goal is to write it down. Make yourself several notes with your goal written on it and post these all over your house; on the bathroom mirror, on the refrigerator and pantry door; in your car, etc. Make yourself a bookmark and keep it in your favorite book; write it as a screen saver for your computer, tablet or phone. Tell your friends and family. If your goal is to drink more water for example, you can easily program your phone, computer or table to make a sound every hour as a reminder to drink water. If your goal is to get more physically active, carve out time in your calendar (write it in) to do just that.
- No reward system. Good deeds should be rewarded. If you reach a milestone along the way to your final goal, do something good for yourself (do not reward yourself with food). Buy a book, enjoy a massage, take a day off work, etc. Do something that will create a positive feeling. It’ll keep you motivated.
Above all, when making resolutions try to focus on ONE behavior change. Trying to change too many things at once is NOT a strategy that will lead to success. Good luck to you and a happy 2014 to all!
“Hey, cool cast!” is something we often hear at the Orthopedic and Sports Medicine clinic at Affinity. Unfortunately, accidents happen and when they do we call on orthopedic surgeons to help mend broken bones. The healing process usually involves the wearing of a cast, splint or sometimes even surgery.
When I was training at the University of Colorado, I learned about a program developed by the orthopedists there called cast art. Kids that had to wear casts for long periods of time (typically involving the combination of surgery and casting) were able to decorate their cast. The kids could pick colored casting materials, glow-in-the-dark materials and specialty prints such as camouflage or NFL logos. Some patients heavily decorated their casts with markers or paints. Continue Reading »
Did your hands wake you from sleep again? Maybe you had to sit up and shake your hands to make the numbness and pain go away. How many nights has it been since you’ve had a good night’s sleep? You may have carpal tunnel syndrome.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by swelling around the median nerve in the wrist. This can result in numbness, tingling or pain at the hand and fingers. Usually these symptoms come and go but some activities such as sleeping with your wrists curled, driving or holding a book or phone can make them worse.
We take care of many patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Some have suffered with it for days. Others have been dealing with it for years. Regardless of how long you have had it, here are some tricks to try to help relieve your numb or painful hands: Continue Reading »
Acupuncture is a branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine and is one of the world’s oldest medical treatments still in use today. People have been using the ancient therapy to heal trauma, manage pain and maintain health for over 2,500 years.
Acupuncture involves placing fine needles into specific points on the body to elicit a healing response. The stimulation of these needles corrects the flow of energy, or Qi, along channels throughout the body called meridians. It has long been proven to be successful for people of all ages and physical conditions. It’s no surprise that athletes can gain a competitive edge over their opponents by integrating this technique into their training regimen. Continue Reading »
Many food borne illnesses – which can be caused by a variety of microorganisms including bacteria, viruses and parasites – are caused by consuming contaminated foods or beverages. While most of the food in the U.S. can be considered safe, food can become contaminated at any point in its preparation. There are many simple food safety rules that we can all practice in our home kitchens to keep our food safe. Here are a few:
- Wash hands when they are dirty. A good rule to follow is to wash your hands when you come home from being outside. (Just think of all the things you have touched when out shopping, running errands, etc.)
- Wash hands before handling food, and before and after eating.
- Wash hands after handling pets and other animals.
- Wash hands after using the bathroom.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth. Practice cough etiquette by coughing (and sneezing) in the crook of your arm.
- Keep kitchen surfaces such as countertops, cutting boards and other appliances clean.
- Check your can openers and clean them after each use.
- Wash dishcloths, sponges and towels often. Use hot water. *Tip: put sponges in your next dishwasher load to clean them.
- Replace worn sponges frequently.
- Whether you use wood, plastic, acrylic, glass or other type of cutting boards the key is to designate one strictly for raw meats and another for ready to eat foods such as breads, fruits and vegetables. Try using color-coded cutting boards. Designate a certain colored cutting board for vegetables and another colored board for meats to help you remember which one to use.
- Keep cutting boards clean by washing them thoroughly in hot soapy water after each use; or place them in the dishwasher after each use. The safest way to clean ‘meat’ cutting boards is to wash them with hot water and then disinfect them with bleach or other sanitizing solution. Keeping a spray bottle with bleach by your kitchen sink may be convenient.
- Discard cutting boards that have a lot of scratches or knife scars, cracks, crevices, splinters, etc.
Prevent Cross Contamination
- When storing raw meats, place them on a plate and store them on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator so their juices don’t inadvertently drip onto other foods.
- If washing produce before use, store in clean containers not their original one.
- Wash plates and other containers between use or use different plates to hold raw meats and other foods.
- Use one utensil to taste the food and a different one to stir the food.
- If you have a cut or other sores on your hands use gloves.
Proper Cooking Temperatures
- Cooking food to proper temperatures is a reliable way to reduce the risk of food borne illnesses.
- Using a food thermometer is important to ensure that food is cooked to a safe temperature.
- To ensure that red meats, chops, poultry etc. are cooked to their proper temperature, insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat away from bone or gristle.
- Insert thermometer in the inner thigh area near the breast, but not touching the bone when cooking whole poultry.
- For egg dishes and casseroles, insert thermometer in the center or thickest area of the dish.
- For ground meat foods, insert thermometer into the thickest area. You may have to insert it sideways to reach the very center of a burger patty, for example.
- When cooking fish, cook until it is opaque and flakes easily with a fork.
- Make sure your refrigerator is set below 40º F.
- Foods should not stay out of refrigeration for longer than two hours. In very hot weather, food should not stay out for longer than one hour.
- When in doubt, check this website for more information about general guidelines about refrigeration leftovers: http://homefoodsafety.org/
Keeping your food safe once you bring it home is important to keep you and your family healthy. For more information on home food safety visit: http://homefoodsafety.org