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Food safety tips for Thanksgiving – Omaha World

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and with the stress of preparing the perfect meal, it’s easy to overlook simple safety measures while cooking.

Food-borne illnesses affect 1 in 6 Americans each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Annually, these illnesses result in an estimated 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths.

By taking a few food safety precautions, you can help prevent food poisoning and ensure a safe meal for your loved ones. Here are a few tips from the Nebraska Regional Poison Center:

Preparing your bird

» Don’t defrost the turkey at room temperature. The bacteria can multiply to unsafe numbers on the turkey’s outer layers before inner layers have defrosted.

» Use cold water or the refrigerator to defrost your meat or poultry. Allow one day for every 4-5 pounds to defrost in the refrigerator. Allow about 35 minutes per pound of turkey to defrost in cold water. It’s safest to change the water every 30 minutes.

» Don’t leave an uncooked, thawed turkey out of the refrigerator longer than two hours.

» Don’t stuff turkeys, because doing so makes it difficult for the internal temperature of the turkey to reach 165 F.

Cooking tips

» Don’t set your oven lower than 325 F.

» Don’t partially cook the turkey one day and continue roasting the next day.

» The turkey should cook until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Use a meat thermometer to check if the turkey is done.

Storing leftovers

» Don’t leave leftovers out on the counter longer than two hours.

» Store leftover turkey in the refrigerator and use within three to four days.

» Store leftover stuffing and gravy in the refrigerator and use within one to day days.

For more information on food poisoning, contact the Nebraska Regional Poison Center by calling 1-800-222-1222.

Article source: http://www.omaha.com/livewellnebraska/health/food-safety-tips-for-thanksgiving/article_90abb712-1041-5587-b407-d5e8f69e8799.html

Humpday Health: Tips to keep your and your kids’ teeth healthy

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Protecting your teeth is a big piece of your overall health.

Brushing and flossing regularly is not the only thing you should do to keep your pearly whites healthy.

“People love to neglect teeth. I think a lot of times people assume if they’re not in any pain, that their teeth are healthy, and that’s not the case at all,” said Wilmington dentist Dr. Yates Williams.

A nice, clean smile is something many people strive for. The cosmetic benefits are clear, but the health ones may not be so obvious.

Dr. Williams says our diets include more and more sugar, so it’s important to keep track of the sweet stuff.

“One of the biggest things we have now is just the added sugars in all the foods we eat and especially the foods that are even advertised to our children, including the cereals, just the snacks, all that stuff, the crackers. So much of it’s processed,” said Dr. Williams.

Children are usually at a higher risk for cavities and other dental problems. That’s why dental health education is key to keeping their teeth safe.

“They’re at a high risk because their oral hygiene is not as good as someone who is a little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little more disciplined,” said Dr. Williams.

Scheduling regular dental visits is also a smart idea. Going to see your dentist every six months is what you should strive for, even as an adult.

“If we go a significant amount of time, we’ll end up, maybe we could have treated something a little differently had we caught it a little sooner, if that makes sense. You talk about root canals and things like that, sometimes you can catch a cavity, oftentimes you can catch a cavity, before it turns into that, before it needs a root canal,” said Dr. Williams.

Dr. Williams says that certain dental conditions can affect other parts of  your health, for example: there is a link between periodontitis and your heart.

That’s why keeping your teeth healthy should be a priority.

Article source: https://www.wwaytv3.com/2017/11/15/humpday-health-tips-to-keep-you-and-your-kids-teeth-healthy/

4 Health Tips Every Guy Needs to Know Before Going to the Bar

1. Keep Your Drinks In the Single Digits
It’s easy to rack up a ton of drinks when you’re out at the bar—you’re too busy having a good time to keep count of each one you order. But Carolyn Brown, R.D., a nutrition counselor at Foodtrainers, advises keeping your drinks to 10 or less each week. Your body will seriously thank you for abiding by this rule because overdoing it can negatively affect everything from your brain to your muscles to your heart to your penis.

2. Stay Hydrated
Brown recommends drinking one glass of water or seltzer between every alcoholic drink you have for the night. No more waking up the next morning feeling like you were run over by a tractor-trailer.

3. Avoid Sugary Mixers
Vodka cranberries, rum and cokes, gin and tonics—anything with juice, soda, or tonic water is out. Consuming too much sugar doubles your risk of heart disease, leads to weight gain, messes with your liver, is bad for your teeth. According to the American Heart Association, men should limit their sugar intake to 36 grams (9 teaspoons) of added sugar a day. However, if you need to work up to totally nixing these sugary mixers, adding a splash won’t hurt.

4. Eat Before a Night Out, Not After
Though it may be tempting to hit up that taco truck, you’re more likely to overeat when you’re less than sober. “Beer munchies have never ended well,” says Brown. (Check out the Metashred Diet from Men’s Health for healthy and delicious foods to eat before you head out for the night.)

Article source: https://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/health-tips-to-know-before-drinking-alcohol

A few holiday health tips | Health | frontiersman.com – Mat

“There have been 288 outbreaks attributed to pork between 1998 and 2015 resulted in 6,372 illnesses, 443 hospitalizations, and four deaths… However, in 2015 the number of pork-related outbreaks increased by 73 percent compared with the previous three years… Salmonella was found to be the most common pathogen linked to pork outbreaks,” according reports from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). “Salmonella can sometimes gain access to the bloodstream and cause sepsis — a serious, life-threatening infection,” Dr. William Schaffner (CDC) told Healthline for an article published on October 4, 2017. This is a serious issue that needs everyone’s attention as various holiday meals are prepared, especially when foods are left on tables and buffets for long periods of time.

Buffets and other food displays raise a number of issues as we travel through the holiday season. It is important to ensure that foods are prepared and/or cooked at the proper temperatures. Things that should be kept cold should be. Sometimes this requires the items to be placed on a bed of ice. Other times however, it is important to be sure the items are refrigerated as needed.

At Easter time (in the spring), we often hear warnings about hard-boiled eggs. Recent advocates having been touting the health benefits of hard-boiled eggs and you can even find them available in some places like the Dunkin Donut shops. Hard-boiled eggs are also a party favorite for deviled-eggs. So once again, ensure the eggs are kept at the appropriate temperatures to avoid food poisonings.

There are many other things to remember like people with nut allergies are often blind-sided when someone forgets to mention they’ve used chopped nuts or peanut butter in a favorite recipe. Anyone hosting an event/party should be sure to label any item with content warnings. Anyone with any type of food allergy needs to be pro-active to discuss their issues with a host/hostess, even carrying their own food items to a party if necessary.

Lastly for this week, don’t forget to ensure that our four-legged friends are well cared for during this time. Many of our favorites can be dangerous for cats/dogs to ingest. If you are not sure, decide on the side of safety and don’t let the animal eat the items. There are also issues with holiday plants and other decorations that can be harmful to your furry friend. Be sure to check with your vet or a reliable online website.

Article source: http://www.frontiersman.com/national/health/a-few-holiday-health-tips/article_32cd7e4f-d5b6-59c9-b353-68b9b64a6a2f.html

Immune boosting tips for a healthy holiday season



The hectic holidays and chill in the air can take a toll on the immune system and make one more susceptible to illness. Stay healthy and vital all season by taking the following steps.

Be Balanced

Eggnog, cookies and champagne toasts at midnight tempt us to overindulge during the holiday season. Be mindful of what you eat and drink at parties and on a daily basis, and balance these extravagances with plenty of healthy hydration and plenty of fresh greens and fruit.

Do not neglect your physical activity. Take walks, practice yoga, do 10 minutes of strength training and take a few minutes each morning and evening to stretch your tired muscles.

Get Support

“We are learning more each day about what weakens the immune system and how we can strengthen it for better health,” says Larry Robinson, vice president of scientific affairs at Embria Health Sciences, a manufacturer of nutrients that support wellness and vitality. “Good immune health requires more than just getting enough vitamin C.”

For extra support, consider taking immune-supporting supplements. Embria’s EpiCor, a whole food fermentate made through a proprietary process using saccharomyces cerevisiae, a common single-celled microorganism, have been shown in studies to support the body’s ability to initiate the proper immune responses. NOW brand EpiCor Plus Immunity contains zinc, selenium, and vitamins D-3 and C, nutritients you need to make it through the holidays healthfully. To learn more, visit nowfoods.com.

Relax

The holiday season is meant to be joyful, but it also can be stressful. Shopping in a crowded mall where you fight for parking, decorating, wrapping gifts, planning menus and dealing with the extended family can bring enough stress to compromise your immune system.

Take advantage of any extra time off from work to rest and relax. Schedule some down time for yourself.

Drink some green tea — which is filled with healthy anti-oxidants that support your immune system — and enjoy a good book. Or take a bubble bath.

If you feel too stressed to relax, call on a friend you can count on to talk you down. We’re in this together, so remember: A burden shared is a burden halved.

— StatePoint

Article source: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/health/20171114/immune-boosting-tips-for-a-healthy-holiday-season

Doctors offer tips to stay healthy and happy during the holidays … – Mat

The holidays are rapidly approaching, which means more parties, more food, more germs, and less sleep.

But doctors offer easy tips and tricks to keep you healthy and thriving throughout the season.

Dr. Thomas Sleweon, medical director of infectious diseases at The Methodist Hospitals, said the first thing people should do heading into the holiday season is get a flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone get a vaccine annually, starting at age 6 months.

“The most effective way of preventing the flu is by taking the flu vaccine,” he says. “Other things that people can do to avoid getting the flu is to avoid contact with people who may be potentially sick with the flu as well as frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer.”

Dr. Christopher Osan, a family practice physician in the Community Care Network Inc. who practices at the Valparaiso Health Center, says it is especially important for people with medical conditions such as diabetes or immune-compromising conditions to be up-to-date on inoculations such as the pneumonia vaccine.

“Viral illnesses can lead to secondary bacterial infections,” he says.

These principles also apply to other respiratory viruses, but there are no vaccines available to prevent other viruses that can cause respiratory infection, Dr. Sleweon says. He noted that not all running noses, sore throats or other upper respiratory symptoms are tied to the flu.

There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of catching a cold, says Dr. Edwin Udani, a member of the Franciscan Physician Network with an office in Schererville.

They include things such as frequent hand washing, avoiding touching your face, and using single-use towels.

“Hand washing is highly effective way to prevent the spread of infection. Hands should be wet with water and plain soap and rubbed together for 15 to 30 seconds. Wash under the fingernails, between the fingers, and the wrists,” Dr. Udani says. “Alcohol-based hand rubs are a good alternative for disinfecting hands if a sink is not available.”

He also recommends covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, avoiding sharing beverages, and dressing for the weather to help reduce the spread of disease, he says.

That, of course, is after getting plenty of sleep, reducing stress, and getting exercise.

“Reducing stress and getting plenty of sleep go hand in hand. Stress also increases cortisol and suppresses the immune system,” he says. “Sedentary lifestyle has been shown to reduce how our immune system responds to infection. Exercise can make the immune system five times better at fighting infection. Exercise can reduce sick days by 25-50 percent.”

While allergies can occur any time of year, plan ahead if you know you’re going to be in a situation where your allergies might flare up, Dr. Sleweon says.

“In case of a seasonal allergy where a person develops symptoms during a particular time of the year, he or she may consider taking medications a week or two before presumed onset,” he says.

Dr. Osan says over-the-counter medications can generally relieve allergy symptoms. For people whose allergies don’t respond to nasal steroid sprays, antihistamines such as Zyrtec and Allegra can help.

“There are other prescription products available, so if your over-the-counter regimen does not adequately treat your allergies, consult your doctor,” he says. “Additionally, your doctor can order tests that can help identify what is causing your allergies and that opens up other treatment options that you can discuss with your doctor.”

But respiratory problems aren’t the only illness to combat. According to the CDC, more than 48 million people get sick annually from the foods they eat. You can reduce the instance of food poisoning by washing hands and cooking surfaces often; separating types of food during preparation to prevent cross-contamination; cooking foods to the right temperature; and refrigerating food promptly after serving.

And while there are different types of food-borne illnesses, typical symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramps. More severe cases include cramping, diarrhea, dehydration, shock, and kidney and organ failure, which are life-threating, Dr. Sleweon says.

On top of this, Dr. Alyssa M. Pagliere Osan, a family practice physician in Community Care Network, Inc. who practices at the Valparaiso Health Center, said it’s important to try to control portion sizes and choose healthier options.

“Go for the vegetables and fruits and limit the pies, cookies, and cakes,” she says. “It’s also important to limit your alcohol intake and exercise, even if it is just a brisk walk. Take a walk after your meal and encourage the entire group to join you.”

Article source: http://www.frontiersman.com/national/health/doctors-offer-tips-to-stay-healthy-and-happy-during-the/article_fc3860ed-57f6-5cf7-9684-a3b873ac393f.html

Dancing, film, health tips, more to do in Erie, Nov. 14 and later

Erie Society for Genealogical Research meeting and speaker: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m.; Watson-Curtze Mansion, Hagen History Center, 356 W. Sixth St.; program is creating a family archive. Cost: Free.

‘A Man Called Ove’ discussion: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m.; Millcreek Branch Library, 2088 Interchange Road; discussion about the best-seller by Fredrik Backman. Cost: Free. Info: 451-7084, www.erielibrary.org.

Line dancing lessons: Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.; Doc Holliday’s Country Bar, 7425 Schultz Road; free lessons and open dance. Cost: Free admission.

Film at Edinboro University: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m.; Scot Cinema, Frank G. Pogue Student Center, Edinboro University, 405 Scotland Road, Edinboro; screening of 2017′s “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.” Cost: $1 general admission; free for Edinboro University students. Info: www.edinboro.edu.

Healthy Habits Wellness Fair: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Mental Health Association, No. 14, 31 Water St., Jamestown, N.Y.; information and activities highlighting anxiety management, sleep, nutrition and more. Cost: Free. Info: 716-661-0944, www.mhachautauqua.org.

Pennwriters Fellowship of the Quill meeting: Thursday, Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m.; Eat’n Park Restaurant, 2519 W. 12th St.; adult members and guests welcome; no writing experience necessary; bring samples of work for feedback or just come to discuss writing. Cost: Free. Info: todd_main@steris.com.

Swing dance: Thursday, Nov. 16, 7-11 p.m.; Bourbon Barrel, 1213 State St.; music by DJ SwingManDan. Cost: Free admission.

Dinner and ‘Mamma Mia!’: Friday, Nov. 17; dinner starts at 6 p.m. at LifeWorks, 406 Peach St., followed by transportation to the Erie Playhouse (and back after the show). Cost: $30, members; $35, nonmembers; includes cost of ticket and dinner buffet. Info: 453-5072, lifeworks@lifeworkserie.org.

Jingle Bells Holiday House Tour: Friday, Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m.; Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Nov. 19, noon-4 p.m; five homes around the Waterford area; self-guided tour of local historic homes decked out in holiday decor; refreshments and gift auction also available. Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Info: www.fortleboeufhistory.com, 440-3044.

Thanksgiving on the Isle hike: Saturday, Nov. 18, noon-2 p.m.; meet at the Presque Isle Lighthouse parking lot, Presque Isle State Park; a guided 2-mile hike highlighting wild turkey and the cranberry plant. Cost: Free; no registration required.

Holiday Craft Show: Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Fairview Presbyterian Church, 4264 Avonia Road, Fairview; vendors, bake sale, auctions, refreshments; benefits 2018 Belize mission trip. Cost: $2 admission. Info: 474-3914.

11th Holiday Arts Fair: Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; General McLane High School, 11761 Edinboro Road, Edinboro; nearly 100 vendors selling handmade items and gifts; gift and silent auctions; performances by school bands and choir groups throughout the day. Cost: $2.50 for adults, or free for students and children.

Warner Winter Wonderland: Saturday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 26, noon-4 p.m.; Warner Theatre, 811 State St.; dozens of crafters and artisans selling unique gift items, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, gift auction, refreshments and more. Cost: $3 per person, or free for children 12 and younger; $1 off admission with donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. Info: 480-6010, www.erieevents.com.

Article source: http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/news/20171114/dancing-film-health-tips-more-to-do-in-erie-nov-14-and-later

To your health: Health tips for parents whose teens want tattoos, piercings – Wilkes Barre Times

Tattoos can certainly be intriguing. Many people find piercings cool. I admit I’m not a fan of either, but it’s clear that they’re a cultural phenomenon that’s not only popular today but has been for much of human history.

Over the last two-and-a-half decades, tattoos and piercings have become mainstream — and in many instances, they can be considered high art.

Although they can be beautiful, there are risks that can come with so-called “body modifications,” and they’re not nearly as attractive. Tattoos and piercings can lead to infections, scars and other complications.

The location of a tattoo, how experienced the artist is, and how well you take care of your piercing or tattoo determine if you’ll have complications.

Plenty of young people look forward to getting a tattoo or piercing. In 2010, the Pew Research Center found that 38 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds had at least one tattoo, and 72 percent had them in a location that could be covered. In addition, 23 percent said that they had piercings in locations other than the ear lobe.

Tattoos and piercings can cause skin issues and bloodborne diseases like hepatitis B and hepatitis C, keloids and scars.

All of these risks can be scary as a parent, but rather than dismissing the request, it’s important to have a candid conversation with your teen. Forbidding them from getting a tattoo or piercing altogether increases the likelihood they’ll get one anyway. Find a compromise that suits both of you.

Talk to them about what tattoo or piercing they want and why, and make sure they understand the importance of finding a reputable artist for the best quality and for their health and safety. Explain that they need to be 18 or have parental consent to get a tattoo — if they find an artist that’s willing to do a tattoo or piercing before they’re 18, that’s a red flag.

The American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recently released their recommendations for body modifications for teenagers. If your teen wants to get a piercing or tattoo, here are some conversations to have with them:

Tattoos are permanent and difficult to remove

Part of the thrill of tattoos is that they’re permanent and make a lasting statement through body art. This is also their downfall.

Getting a high-quality tattoo may cost between $100 and $300 per hour — but some artists will charge more. If you ever decide to get the tattoo removed, it is a difficult and expensive process, and it is not always effective. Laser tattoo removal can range from $49 to $300 per square inch of treatment area. Even after the procedure, the tattoo may not be completely removed.

Think of tattoo and piercing parlors as medical facilities

Getting a piercing or tattoo is essentially a type of cosmetic surgery, so make sure the parlor you go to is as sanitary as a medical facility. Choose a tattoo parlor or studio that’s reputable and well-reviewed.

Make sure your tattoo artist uses new, disposable gloves; a new needle; equipment from an autoclave or a sterile, sealed container; and new, unused ink poured into a new, disposable container.

For a piercing salon, be sure they’re using disposable gloves and new equipment from a sterilized container.

Certain procedures are riskier than others. Recently, I heard of a misguided Canadian model who got a “sclera tattoo” on her eyeball. The procedure wasn’t done properly and she suffered infections and may lose sight in that eye. Talk to your doctor and artist about risks associated with your specific tattoo or piercing.

Be preventive

After a tattoo or piercing, you’re at risk for infection. A reputable tattoo or piercing parlor should give you information on how to properly care for the area until it heals. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, contact your doctor immediately.

Here are some things to do after getting a tattoo or piercing:

  • Follow all instructions from your artist
  • Avoid touching piercings
  • Gently wash your tattoo or piercing in the shower with mild soap
  • Soak your piercing in a hot sea-salt mixture
  • Do not use cotton to clean your piercing
  • Apply gentle moisturizers to your tattoo
  • Be patient with your healing times
  • Don’t apply any makeup, perfume or hair products to the site

Depending on the situation, tattoos and piercings may impact your child’s education and employment opportunities. If this is a concern for you or your child, try getting the tattoo or piercing placed where it can be covered up.

By Alfred Casale

To Your Health

Dr. Alfred Casale, a cardiothoracic surgeon, is Associate Chief Medical Officer for Geisinger Health and Chair of the Geisinger Cardiac Institute. Readers may write to him via [email protected]

Article source: http://www.timesleader.com/features/682277/to-your-health-health-tips-for-parents-whose-teens-want-tattoos-piercings

Dancing, film, health tips, more to do in Erie, Nov. 14 and later

Erie Society for Genealogical Research meeting and speaker: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m.; Watson-Curtze Mansion, Hagen History Center, 356 W. Sixth St.; program is creating a family archive. Cost: Free.

‘A Man Called Ove’ discussion: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 6:30 p.m.; Millcreek Branch Library, 2088 Interchange Road; discussion about the best-seller by Fredrik Backman. Cost: Free. Info: 451-7084, www.erielibrary.org.

Line dancing lessons: Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.; Doc Holliday’s Country Bar, 7425 Schultz Road; free lessons and open dance. Cost: Free admission.

Film at Edinboro University: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 8 p.m.; Scot Cinema, Frank G. Pogue Student Center, Edinboro University, 405 Scotland Road, Edinboro; screening of 2017′s “The Hitman’s Bodyguard.” Cost: $1 general admission; free for Edinboro University students. Info: www.edinboro.edu.

Healthy Habits Wellness Fair: Wednesday, Nov. 15, 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Mental Health Association, No. 14, 31 Water St., Jamestown, N.Y.; information and activities highlighting anxiety management, sleep, nutrition and more. Cost: Free. Info: 716-661-0944, www.mhachautauqua.org.

Pennwriters Fellowship of the Quill meeting: Thursday, Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m.; Eat’n Park Restaurant, 2519 W. 12th St.; adult members and guests welcome; no writing experience necessary; bring samples of work for feedback or just come to discuss writing. Cost: Free. Info: todd_main@steris.com.

Swing dance: Thursday, Nov. 16, 7-11 p.m.; Bourbon Barrel, 1213 State St.; music by DJ SwingManDan. Cost: Free admission.

Dinner and ‘Mamma Mia!’: Friday, Nov. 17; dinner starts at 6 p.m. at LifeWorks, 406 Peach St., followed by transportation to the Erie Playhouse (and back after the show). Cost: $30, members; $35, nonmembers; includes cost of ticket and dinner buffet. Info: 453-5072, lifeworks@lifeworkserie.org.

Jingle Bells Holiday House Tour: Friday, Nov. 17, 6-8 p.m.; Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Nov. 19, noon-4 p.m; five homes around the Waterford area; self-guided tour of local historic homes decked out in holiday decor; refreshments and gift auction also available. Cost: $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Info: www.fortleboeufhistory.com, 440-3044.

Thanksgiving on the Isle hike: Saturday, Nov. 18, noon-2 p.m.; meet at the Presque Isle Lighthouse parking lot, Presque Isle State Park; a guided 2-mile hike highlighting wild turkey and the cranberry plant. Cost: Free; no registration required.

Holiday Craft Show: Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Fairview Presbyterian Church, 4264 Avonia Road, Fairview; vendors, bake sale, auctions, refreshments; benefits 2018 Belize mission trip. Cost: $2 admission. Info: 474-3914.

11th Holiday Arts Fair: Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; General McLane High School, 11761 Edinboro Road, Edinboro; nearly 100 vendors selling handmade items and gifts; gift and silent auctions; performances by school bands and choir groups throughout the day. Cost: $2.50 for adults, or free for students and children.

Warner Winter Wonderland: Saturday, Nov. 25, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 26, noon-4 p.m.; Warner Theatre, 811 State St.; dozens of crafters and artisans selling unique gift items, pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus, gift auction, refreshments and more. Cost: $3 per person, or free for children 12 and younger; $1 off admission with donation to Second Harvest Food Bank. Info: 480-6010, www.erieevents.com.

Article source: http://www.goerie.com/news/20171114/dancing-film-health-tips-more-to-do-in-erie-nov-14-and-later

Tips to be Fit: Smoking out the health reasons to quit smoking

The “Great American Smokeout” is an annual intervention event held on the third Thursday in November by the American Cancer Society. The event challenges people to quit on that day, or use the day to make a plan to quit.

Approximately 40 million American adults still smoke, and tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the country, where 1,200 Americans died yesterday and another 1,200 will die today from smoke related illnesses.

This year Nov. 16 is the “Great American Smokeout” and the burning question I continue to ask is “Why do people still smoke in 21st century when there is so much medical proof that smoking causes cancer for the smoker and the people around them?”

My next question is: Why do I continue to write about the horrors and sickness that smoking can bring on?

I always like to think that people will make sound decisions if they’re given the facts. I’ve found that when it comes to smoking, logic goes out the window. Smokers will tell you, they like to smoke, they have a right to smoke or you have to die from something. What they don’t tell you is they are addicted.

Next to cocaine, smoking is the most additive and lethal habit affecting humankind in the 21st century. The only reason that tobacco is still legal unlike other harmful drugs is economic profit. The government, investors and vendors make money from the sale of tobacco. If there were no profit from the tobacco there would be no tobacco industry. However, the tobacco industry has a strong lobby in federal, state and local governments that reminds elected officials that they receive funding from their industry. This fact keeps effective legislation from being passed.

AIDS is one of the hottest health topics in the news today, but smoking is another slow killer that is just as deadly. Cancer resulting from smoking is responsible for 85 percent of the lung cancer among men, 75 percent among women and 83 percent of all cancer deaths, according to the American Cancer Association.

Cancer death for African Americans tied to smoking is twice the national average. Such deaths are expected to increase for African Americans.

Statistics show that 1 in 4 people will eventually get cancer, but 2 in 4 African Americans will get cancer. Of the six who have cancer, two will be saved and four will die from cancer. Only 10 percent of those who get the disease live five years or more after their diagnosis. Smoking is also specifically related to 80 percent of the emphysema and 75 percent of the chronic bronchitis.

According to data compiled by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with The National Safety Council and National Center for Health Statistics, tobacco kills more Americans each year than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fires and AIDS combined.

Smoke related illnesses are the most preventable causes of death in America. Part of being healthy is eliminating habits, which places you at risk for disease or injury. A major risk factor, which places one’s health in jeopardy, is cigarette smoking. Second-hand smoke can also cause devastating health problems for non-smokers. And third-hand smoke is just as dangerous.

On the average, cancer resulting from smoking can cost an employer $60,000 a year per employee. Most companies have a smoking policy, but they are not always enforced because the employer, supervisors, and several employees may smoke. Many employees, who would complain, don’t because they fear for their jobs. The $60,000 could be spent on other programs.

Smoking releases nicotine and over 1,200 other toxic compounds into the bloodstream. Once these substances damage the lining of the arterial walls cholesterol and triglycerides can easily build up slowing blood flow. Smoking also contributes to the formation of blood clots and reduces the HDLs (good cholesterol) and increases blood pressure and heart rate.

The carbon monoxide from cigarette smoke combines with the hemoglobin in the blood much faster than oxygen. This decreases the capacity for oxygen transport in the blood. Oxygen in the blood transports nutrients to the cells and energy needed for the cells to do the work of maintenance and repair. These factors cause the cardio respiratory system to work less efficiently. Over time this continuous abuse causes the system to deteriorate which leads to disease.

Do you smoke? Do you want to quit?

A few people have tried this seven-step program.

STEP 1: Decide that you absolutely positively want to quit. Tell yourself over and over you have what it takes to quit. THINK POSITIVE! Next, make two lists. List all the reasons you smoke and the reasons you want to quit. Keep copies of the lists where you smoke and review them frequently. Read as much material as you can on smoking this will help add to your list of reasons for quitting.

STEP 2: Make sure you start an exercise program and eat well-balanced low fat, high energy, and nutrient filled meals. Both changes take planning. Don’t use the excuse that you will gain weight if you quit. Not smoking one pack of cigarettes a day is the equivalent of losing 50-70 pounds of body fat! If you have not committed to quitting starting an exercise program may help you make that commitment and keep your weight down once you’ve quit.

STEP 3: Decide which approach you will take to quit. Many people swear by the cold turkey approach. On average, as few as three smokeless days are enough to break the physiological addiction to nicotine. Breaking the psychological addiction may require years, but it is less intense and easier to manage with time.

If you chose to cut down gradually have a definite target date for quitting. Many people fall into the trap of making each cigarette smoked important because of the limit placed on them. This can cause a person to relapse because they become obsessed with what they can’t have as opposed to the fact that they’re giving up something that is harmful.

When cutting back, use strategies such as eliminating unnecessary cigarettes, switch brands every couple of days, smoke less of each cigarette and smoke a low tar/low nicotine cigarette. Limit the areas you allow yourself to smoke in and be considerate to non-smokers.

STEP 4: Keep a log. Make an entry each time you light up. Record the time of day, number of cigarettes smoked, emotional state and event (i.e., drinking coffee, after lunch, when angry, during meeting, etc.). Also, rate your need for each cigarette from one to three. A number one means desperately needed, number two means moderately needed and the number three means no real need. Use this log to help you to understand your habit, eliminate unnecessary cigarettes and find positive ways of dealing with situations, which make you, want to smoke.

STEP 5: Once you’ve set your date to quit ask for help from those you know will be supportive. Understand that the people you choose for support are very important because you will be hard to deal with for a few weeks. Choose people who are committed to putting up with you and avoid those you know will not be so understanding. If you can, quit smoking during a time when you will not experience as much stress like during vacation or when things are less stressful at work. An exercise program can help you through this “over the hump” period. Setting a target date like a family reunion, birthday or wedding can be helpful but try to keep it within that two to four week range.

STEP 6: Keep plenty of light snacks around for the first several days after you quit smoking. These include low fat foods like popcorn, fruits, gum, sourballs, sunflower seeds in the shell and drink plenty of water. When you want a cigarette reach for these instead.

STEP 7: For the first few weeks after you quit avoid cigarettes like the plague. If you walk into a room where people are smoking excuse yourself and come back later. You may also tell them you’ve just quit and ask that they help you by not smoking around you.

Sixty percent of those who stop smoking return to smoking. What happens if you slip and you go back to smoking?

First, be patient, don’t let guilt lead you back to smoking. Remember slips don’t mean you’ve failed. Most people stop smoking before they completely beat the bad habit. Second, think about why you started to smoke again and what you can do to avoid it the next time. Third, Get rid of all the cigarettes around you. Fourth, start from where you’ve left off before the slip. It’s recommended by the National Cancer Institute if you’ve tried to quit a few times and failed, you may have to change your plan.

Another easy plan to follow is the “5 D’s” plan recommended by both smokers and cancer experts:

1. Deep breathing

Take a deep breath, in through your nose.

Hold the breath for a count of 4.

Then breathe out slowly, through your mouth

Repeat these steps 4 or 5 times, or until you feel calm.

To make sure you are breathing deeply, place your hands on your stomach. You should feel your stomach rise as you breathe in.

2. Drink water

Try to drink eight glasses a day.

3. Do something else

Play basketball. Chew some gum. Listen to your favorite records, tapes or compact discs. Work a crossword puzzle. Look at a magazine. Read the Bible. Keeping busy with other things will keep your mind off smoking.

4. Discuss with a friend or family member

Talking about things can help you to feel better.

5. Delay

Don’t reach for that cigarette right away. Count to 100 or 200. Think pleasant thoughts. Remember, the urge to smoke will pass in 3 to 5 minutes, whether you smoke or not.

Research has shown that smokers are more successful in kicking the habit when they use supports, such as:

1. Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines

2. Stop-smoking groups

3. Online quit groups

4. Counseling

5. Nicotine replacement products

6. Prescription medicine to lessen cravings

7. Guide books

8. Encouragement and the support of friends and family members

Using two or more of these measures to quit smoking works better than using any one of them alone. Some people use as many as three or four of the methods listed above.

You will need to replace smoking time with another habit. When the urge hits, breathe in deep, wash your hands, stretch, go for a walk, brush your teeth, make a phone call or visit a ex-smoker’s office. Keep your hands busy. Take on projects like washing the car, gardening, drawing or writing letters. Visit non-smoking places like libraries, museums and theaters. Make a list of other things you can do to keep from smoking and choose from it when the urge is strong.

LIFE AFTER CIGARETTES: As an ex-smoker you will find yourself in situations that trigger your urge to smoke. When this happens don’t tell yourself, “One cigarette won’t hurt.” It will.

There are no “butts” about it, you have to think of yourself as a non-smoker. Three days after you’ve quit your body will not need the nicotine. The psychological need will be the obstacle to overcome at this point but it will become easier to resist with time. You will also experience some withdrawal symptoms, which may include headaches, intestinal discomfort, mood swings, aggressiveness, irritability and insomnia. These to will pass.

Will you gain weight if you stop smoking?

You can if you don’t have a plan. If you pay attention to what you eat and do some regular exercise, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with gaining extra weight.

The No. 1 reason most people gain weight is caused by the carvings for high calorie sweets. Your body needs 100 to 200 fewer calories daily when you stop smoking. Your sense of taste improves when you stop smoking, so you may eat more because food will taste better. Remember you need about 12 to 15 calories for each pound of body weight.

As difficult as it may be to quit remember it’s never too late. Immediately after you quit you will begin to reverse the damage done to your body and reduce your risk for disease. Ten years after cessation an non-smoker’s risk for heart disease approaches that of a non-smoker and the same applies to lung cancer fifteen years after cessation.

As an added bonus you will no longer have to worry about having enough cigarettes to last through the day, a party, a meeting or a weekend trip.

As the “Great American Smokeout” is observed on Nov. 16, remember this: Only 25 percent of the American population smokes, but their deadly habit can do harm or even kill the other 75 percent. If you are around someone who smokes you are smoking, too.

Before starting your fitness program, consult your physician.

Article source: http://www.phillytrib.com/lifestyle/health/tips-to-be-fit-smoking-out-the-health-reasons-to/article_d8e350da-6839-5232-96a7-b33e7f566bcf.html