“The pandemic has worsened stress, as boundaries between home and work have been blurred,” says Dr. Alex Dimitriu, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine in Menlo Park, California. “Kids, pets, home life and other distractions now interfere with people’s attempts to work. The lack of social contacts or vacations to punctuate our lives have also added stress during COVID. Working remotely, through video visits and little in-person interaction has also significantly limited the multimodal ways we used to work — when we worked in person. For many, COVID had become Groundhog Day, with each day melting into the next, and this is hard.”
Yoga practitioners know that a daily dose of sun can help focus the mind, improve circulation and tone muscles. Now the face can get in on the action, as well, thanks to face yoga, an anti-aging exercise regime for the face.
Winter is the customary cold and flu season, and a time during which many people aren’t as vigilant about maintaining their health as they might be at other times of the year. This winter has the additional variable of the coronavirus pandemic, which surged into 2021 with a second wave of spread and infection.
Barbara Bell knows the importance of medical care and regular visits to the doctor, and why they’re vital for her during the pandemic. Bell, a retired teacher, has rheumatoid arthritis and takes medication that suppresses her immune system.
January is National Blood Donor Month, but there is never a bad time to be a blood donor and help save lives. Extreme winter weather in some parts of the country and seasonal illnesses often make it difficult for blood banks to maintain sufficient blood supplies during this time of year, so the American Red Cross urges healthy people to give now and encourage others to do the same. Without more donors, patients will not have the blood they need.
Whether it’s a cellphone, tablet, laptop or even a desktop computer, people are relying on their electronics now more than ever in the midst of the pandemic. As practically helpful as these devices are to connecting to family, paying bills and completing work tasks, are they as beneficial to the eyes?
A natural drug once seen as taboo by mainstream America may now be poised to help battle the country’s opioid crisis.
As summer ends and the leaves start to change colors, healthcare workers are preparing for the possibility of a “twindemic” this fall and winter with COVID-19 and influenza.
Getting a yearly physical in the middle of the deadliest pandemic in a century may seem low on the priority list, but keeping up with personal health in small ways throughout the year may save some trouble down the road.
Do you toss and turn at night? Do you often wake up feeling groggy and not quite ready to start your day. It could be your sleep environment; everything from the noise — or lack thereof — to décor, room temperature and the quality of your mattress could be disrupting your precious sleep time.
The holiday season is one that – even during the coronavirus pandemic – will be sure to include plenty of calorie-rich goodies.
With winter fast approaching, Troop Ben Gardner is expecting the unexpected, as he says all motorists should when there’s snow and ice on the roadways.
There’s no question about it: the last several months have been different, to say the least.
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, has called on Congress to ensure dedicated funding and priority attention is given to long-term care residents and caregivers.
The world is perilous enough for the average senior citizen without a highly contagious, potentially deadly new virus causing a global outbreak of disease.
After four agonizing months with virtually no games to watch, a sports fan’s plate is now full with Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League all returning in late July or early August.
Between the jigs, hops, points, switches, clicks and batters at an Irish dance class, a partnership was born.
While many people across the nation responded to the arrival of COVID-19 by putting on “pandemic pounds” and feeling a sense of isolation and even depression, faculty and staff in the Manchester-Shortsville Central School District (Red Jacket) were meeting a challenge.
The coronavirus pandemic has prompted an uptick in delivery services as more people are heeding the warning to stay inside to limit the spread of COVID-19.
When it comes to describing his goal for The Lift Project, founder Darren Morton has three words.
Doug Schmidt, Bill Bowe, Diane Neal, Brenda Gowan and Maura Kostraba have been leaders in their school districts’ efforts to improve the health and well-being of their employees, putting in many hours on top of their demanding jobs for the benefit of fellow workers. All five have either stepped down from longtime leadership posts, or are moving aside to let others lead. Some are retiring after decades in education. Doug Schmidt The story of Doug Schmidt, who has served as wellness committee chair at Victor Central School District, is well known — not just within consortium circles, but regionally and nationally. After having a heart attack at age 49, Schmidt embraced a whole food, plant-based diet, took up running and ultimately shed 60 pounds, dropping all of his medications in the process. Schmidt has consciously instilled better physical health through passion and lifestyle changes. He shares his story to encourage others to adopt healthier diets. He did it through Victor’s wellness committee, the consortium and beyond. Schmidt is retiring this fall as an enrichment teacher working with gifted and talented students at Victor. He played a lead role in encouraging the whole foods, plant-based diet that changed his life, pointing to the plant-based diet challenges the FLASHP schools hold throughout the year. He notes those 10-day challenges have moved well beyond the consortium to involve Ontario County and many businesses. “It’s really expanded across the state,” Schmidt says, noting that his wife, Shari, created a Facebook page called Eat Plants Love that promotes a plant-based life. It has more than 4,000 members. Recipes are shared on the page, and members get support, information and more. “Last year we wrote our own cookbook (Eat Plants Love),” Schmidt says. “We’re working on a second cookbook, Eat More Plants Love. We’re doing that for the January challenge.” He wants to see his last plant-based challenge through. While Schmidt is stepping down as an educator, his and Shari’s efforts to promote the plant-based lifestyle will continue — from the warmer confines of their new home in Phoenix, Ariz., where they are moving to be closer to family. “Helping people regain their health is powerful and so rewarding,” Schmidt says. “Just like in being a teacher, it is another way to make a difference.” Diane Neal Diane Neal, a longtime wellness coordinator at the Seneca Falls Central School District, isn’t retiring from her job as the district’s assistant data coordinator. She is stepping down as wellness committee co-chair and the FLASHP’s Wellness is Now (WIN) co-chair position. Neal has been a leader of the wellness committee since its inception in 2014 after being encouraged to do so by now-retired Superintendent Bob McKeveny. She hopes to stay involved as a committee member. Neal says the committee promotes a number of wellness initiatives that run from blood pressure checks to walking challenges, to the annual plant-based diet challenge that has become a wellness effort staple. The committee also annually takes part in women’s heart health initiatives and hydration challenges, hosts “early bird” workouts, yoga classes and more. She says her co-chair work with the FLASHP wellness group, which includes Rick Amundson of Smola Consulting, “was a joy, and we worked behind the scenes to help Rick create meaningful meetings, brainstorm ideas to present, talk about guest presenters and help assure the meetings went smoothly.” One of her goals was to ensure wellness programs at Seneca Falls had broad participation. The committee encouraged involvement by not just teachers, but support staff such as bus drivers and cafeteria workers as well, she says. The task was not easy, she explains, as each group works in different shifts. Neal says she’s learned so much from her committee involvement, including the need to take care of oneself. “Truly, self care has to be a priority in your life, rather than an afterthought,” Neal says, pointing to meditation, breathing, nutrition and exercise as part of that concept. “It has to start with you. Are you whole enough to turn around and put the energy towards others?” Bill Bowe As a physical education teacher in the Canandaigua City School District, heading the district’s wellness efforts was a natural fit for Bill Bowe. Afterall, wellness is pretty much in the job description. “It’s (the wellness chair job) something I had great interest in,” Bowe says. He retired in June after 34 years at Canandaigua, where he also coached baseball and many other sports. “It felt like a no-brainer.” At Canandaigua, says Bowe, the wellness committee enjoyed many accomplishments — from the promotion of biometric screenings, flu shots, telemedicine and Rally Rewards to strong participation in the annual plant-based diet challenge. But Bowe says one of his proudest accomplishments is the installation of fitness centers in each of the district’s buildings. Those fitness centers gave staff access before, during and after school, Bowe, and they are utilized by many staff members, he says. “Seeing people in there on a daily basis is good, knowing that you were a part of that,” he says. The longtime physical education teacher and coach, who served the wellness committee since 2012, believes it’s an effective tool for promoting good health for all Canandaigua staff members. “I think it’s had a huge impact,” says Bowe. “It’s a good feeling when you do get that email that someone lowered their cholesterol and lost weight.” Bowe says the consortium, working with Excellus and Smola Consulting, is not only improving the lives of school employees, but helping to reduce healthcare costs for all of the districts and their workers. Brends Gowan
The Finger Lakes Area School Health Plan is getting a bit more social — which is to say the consortium that includes 37 educational entities across its namesake region of New York can now be found on both Facebook and Instagram.
After a couple weeks of feeling overwhelmed and even a bit blue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the U.S., staff members at Penn Yan Central School District received some advice on how to feel better, thanks to Blue Zones; or, more specifically, to a four-week Blue Zones challenge.
When it comes to women and birth control, there truly is no “one size fits all” – and there are more options these days than ever.
Dogs are known as a man’s best friend, and the right four-legged friend can provide companionship and joy for years. But there is plenty to consider before bringing home a new pet.
Call it a discovery of the obvious or a service hidden in plain sight.
Summer is back, and while the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the cancellation of festivals, concerts and other large gatherings, people who enjoy being among nature are enjoying the outdoors. Given social distancing and other public health safety measures that are still in place across much of the country —particularly large, urban areas — hiking, camping and fishing can be great ways to pass the time and still be safe.
To say the Allegheny County Schools Health Insurance Consortium’s website was in need of an upgrade prior to its March 2020 relaunch would be an understatement.
Independence Day is around the corner. Families are likely prepping to watch or set off fireworks and sparklers. However, the Fourth of July celebration might turn a fun-filled day into a painful memory if caution isn’t properly exercised. Even the most innocent-looking fire displays can lead to injuries or an actual fire. Consider these safety tips to enjoy the holiday without going to the emergency room.
Sorting through all the latest health fads, trends and research-based health information can be as stressful and overwhelming as shopping for a new car. You want to avoid getting swindled into something that isn’t right for you, and you want to ensure that what you’re investing in actually works and provides the biggest bang for your buck.
Every team needs a coach — a point person with experience,
Sustaining a twisted ankle, waking up with body aches and a fever or enduring a respiratory infection that makes it difficult to breath may all cause someone to question if they should get checked out by a doctor; and, if so, where should they go?
Many of us have been there. It’s that moment when your medical bill from a procedure you underwent weeks ago shows up in your mailbox.
Diabetics spend a significant amount of time monitoring their blood sugar, watching what they eat and when they eat, and making sure they have access to health care and medicine. The nature of diabetes and the effects the disease can have on a diabetic’s life require diligence and almost constant awareness to ensure it is managed properly.
Six of every 10 Americans are living with at least one chronic condition, including diabetes and heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Chronic diseases can significantly impact one’s ability to lead a full life and are among the leading driver of health care costs.
Dogs and cats — as well as livestock — appear to have little to fear from the coronavirus pandemic.
When people see their pets as members of their families, it’s no wonder that man’s best friend is susceptible to the same marketing tactics as humans when it comes to their food. After all, you wouldn’t feed your children anything but the best, right? And you wouldn’t give your fur babies anything less than the cat’s meow.
For those looking to get out of the house without wandering away from their property, cultivating a home garden can provide a welcome escape. As an added bonus, you can incorporate the vegetables you grow into your next home-cooked meals. There are many options for Midwest gardeners to choose from to grow at home.
Chronic, unchecked stress can sabotage your physical and mental health by contributing to numerous conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Money, it turns out, is stressing out 72 percent of Americans, according to the American Psychological Association’s 2019 Stress in America survey.
Spring is in the air, and as the sun rises higher in the sky and the landscape thaws, it is time to get back outdoors. Whether you enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing or simply going for a pleasant stroll, Armstrong and Indiana counties have great places you can spend time outside and away from the hustle and bustle of your regular everyday routine.
Bonnie Terry points out that those who spend their lives helping others sometimes don’t spend enough time looking out for themselves.
Like peanut butter and jelly, relationships and boundaries go hand in hand. Having boundaries is a key part of almost any and every kind of relationship, whether it’s with a friend, family member, co-worker or yourself.
Small business owners, sole proprietors, independent contractors and the self-employed are eligible for financial assistance through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which will extend as much as $349 billion in forgivable loans to enable some businesses to pay employees during the coronavirus crisis.
Whether you are younger or older, all parties can benefit from a new program through which students at Apollo-Ridge middle and high schools assist seniors at the Apollo Senior Center each month.
It turns out that you can teach a dog new tricks and Terri Watkins knows a thing or two about it.
With the current coronavirus outbreak going on around the world, many employees are being forced to work from home to support “social distancing.” While this may come easy for some companies or employees, others might not be used to this new work environment.
You’ve reached the significant milestone of retirement. Although you might be out of the workforce, that doesn’t mean you can’t splurge a little and treat yourself to a vacation — and still stay active. After all, retirement is a great time to travel the world and visit certain spots you’ve always wanted to see in person.
Spring and summer are on the horizon, and that means people are going to be making their way back outside and be under the sun more frequently. Just like the skin, the eyes can be as vulnerable to damage from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. The eyes are often overlooked when people think of UV protection. Here’s what you need to know about how to keep your sight safe the next time you’re catching some rays at the beach, out for a run-in park, or just about anywhere.
There’s no better way to kick off the school year than with a healthy helping of activities to lift the spirits and get re-acclimated. The wellness team at Marcus Whitman Central School District pulled out all the stops for this year’s opening conference day, with at least 10 different activities worth diving into. Along with that stellar opening act, the wellness committee has continued offering up a variety of opportunities throughout the year.
The 2019 documentary The Game Changers is causing a buzz in the world of nutrition, in particular for plant-based eating proponents who say the movie dispels myths that diets heavy on animal protein are the most effective ways for athletes to build muscle.