Back in your school days you learned to use the alphabet as the building blocks for words, but do you know the building blocks of healthy aging? Your education isn’t complete until you’ve reviewed the ABCs of aging well—in both mind and body!
- A: Fight anemia
While not caused by aging per se, anemia is a common condition in older adults and is often the result of more than one issue, such as poor diet, medications or hormone imbalances. If you’re experiencing symptoms of anemia—fatigue, feeling cold, paleness, weakness—talk to your clinician.
- B: Break routine
Make small changes in your daily routine to increase brain stimulation. Something as simple as taking a different route on a daily walk or trying something new for breakfast can be enough spark to keep your mind fresh instead of foggy.
- C: Cultivate your relationships
Staying connected with people is an important aspect of mental health. Maintain communication with your family and friends, especially after a significant loss or life change.
- D: Dine with others
Plan meals with friends and family several times a week. Studies show that those who share meals with others eat less than those who eat alone, decreasing your risk of overeating, and keeping your weight in check.
- E: Eat healthy foods
Did you know that a high percentage of adults in the U.S. consume more than double the recommended intake of sodium? Too much sodium can lead to hypertension and cardiovascular disease, so skip the extra salt and focus on nutrient-dense food like fruits, vegetables and whole-grains.
- F: Fight fatigue
If you’re feeling tired during the day more often, having a glass of water and a high-antioxidant food, like prunes or blueberries, can revitalize the body and stimulate the mind. Continue Reading »
We are excited to announce that you can now use HealtheVisits to treat strep throat! All you have to do is head over to healthevisits.org and submit an online interview request. An Affinity Medical Group or Ministry Medical Group clinician will review the request within one hour. To confirm a positive strep throat diagnosis, a clinician will order a lab test, called a ZipTicket, which will be sent to you electronically via email.
A ZipTicket allows you to bypass waiting and go directly to one of our labs for a rapid strep test to confirm the diagnosis. When you receive your ZipTicket, you can either print a hard copy of it or bring it up electronically on your phone at one of three available lab locations. When the results of the strep test are available you will receive a final diagnosis that, if necessary, will include a prescription to treat your strep throat.
ZipTickets are accepted at select urgent care locations in the Fox Valley, and we are working to increase the number of labs that will accept them. Below are the urgent care locations where you can currently use your ZipTicket:
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Some people find it difficult to reach for water during the day. By incorporating these foods into your diet, you’ll secretly be satisfying your thirst and hunger at the same time!
Here’s a list of quintessential fruits and vegetables to keep your body hydrated throughout the day.
- Sailing in with 96.7 percent water content, cucumbers are at the top of everyone’s food list to stay hydrated. Because it has the highest water content of any solid food, its crunchiness is perfect in salads, sandwiches or served with dip. To make cucumber infused water, simply add cucumber slices to a pitcher of water for a refreshing treat.
- This refreshing root veggie has a spicy, yet sweet flavor. Radishes have a water content of 95.3 percent, and are filled with antioxidants that help you get the nutrients your body needs. Toss it into your regular coleslaw recipe or add it to your dinner salad to stay hydrated. You can also use thin slices of radishes as a garnish or in soups!
- The king of summer fruit has water right in its name, and 91.5 percent of this delicious fruit is water. Along with a sweet, delectable taste, it contains high amounts of lycopene, a cancer-fighting antioxidant. Not only is watermelon terrific on its own, try adding it to a salad topped with feta cheese this fall. Be adventurous and try grilling it too!
- Although iceberg lettuce has higher water content, spinach contains more nutrients for your body. With 91.4 percent water content, spinach is rich in lutein, potassium, fiber and folate. Try substituting iceberg lettuce for spinach. As a rule of thumb– the greener the lettuce, the better it is for you.
- Strawberries go great with just about anything and come in with 91 percent water content. Juicy, red strawberries contain more water than other berries. Toss together with spinach, walnuts and poppy seed dressing for a nutrient-packed dish.
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For many, Labor Day marks the official end of summer. Even though warm weather will likely carry on into September, Labor Day is often a last hurrah before students head back to school and routines get a bit more structured. Make the most of this three-day weekend with healthy, active ideas that the whole family can enjoy!
- It’s state and county fair season, but you can skip the lines and deep-fried foods by having a backyard fair for your family. Set up tables in the backyard with healthy treats, games, a coloring contest and “livestock” exhibitions with pets or stuffed animals. Get out the washable paints for a face-painting booth, or host your own bake-off!
- Another fun yard activity for a full free day is hosting lawn Olympics. Set up lawn darts, bag toss, badminton or other favorites and compete for the gold! Color in paper circles for the medals and hang them off of string or ribbon—you could even stack something safe to climb on for a podium for your closing ceremonies.
- If you want to be active but don’t have yard space, check your local community calendar or do a search for 5K run/walks in your area.
- Pack a snack, fill a water bottle or two and head to your nearest state or local park. This is a great opportunity to get outside and be active while enjoying nature.
- Cool down by setting up a sprinkler or filling up water balloons.
- Get some sidewalk chalk and have a Labor Day drawing contest. Make it more interesting with a patriotic theme or a recap of the other activities you’ve done that day!
- Rainy Labor Days can still be fun! Have a Food Network-style cooking competition in your kitchen. Pick teams if you have enough people and choose one or two people to judge your culinary creations. Set up workstations just like they do in cook-offs on TV and have fun making dramatic commentary as you go.
- See if your favorite local non-profit, church or other organization needs volunteers—the long weekend is a big fundraising time for some organizations but also a time when many volunteers are out of town or busy, making it a great time to get involved in a cause you care about.
- When you’re tired out, set up camp in the backyard or living room! Grab your flashlights and set up a tent in the yard or a blanket fort in the living room. Snack on trail mix, grilled treats or s’mores (made over the fire or in the microwave!) and tell silly or scary stories or play music.
Does this seem like enough to fill a three-day weekend? Let us know what you plan to do in the comments, and if you try any of these ideas let us know how they turn out!