4 Ways to Have a Healthier and Happier Holiday

‘Tis the season to overeat, overspend, and overcommit—sound familiar? Although it’s often easier said than done, there are ways to buck these trends. Focus on health and happiness—rather than the number of gifts exchanged. That can bring priceless payoffs to you and your family. Here are a few simple ideas to consider.

  1. Eat well, but don’t deprive yourself. Do you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or another health condition that requires healthy eating choices? Or are you simply among the crowd that packs on extra pounds during the holidays? If so, plan ahead.

Have one or two strategies that make it possible to enjoy yourself without hurting your health. Here are a few examples: Bring a healthy dish to share at potlucks. Go easy on the liquid calories, especially alcohol. Treat yourself, but set limits—maybe limit sweet treats to once a week.1

  1. Do some healthcare “housekeeping.” The flu or other illness is sure to put a big damper on anyone’s holiday. Take steps to make this less likely for you and those around you. Wash your hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. Get your annual vaccines, if you haven’t already.

The end of the year is also a good time to check if you need any exams and to sign up for insurance, unless you’ve done so already. Also, take advantage of family time to flesh out your family’s medical history.2,3 If you or someone you know is making multiple trips a month to pickup medication talk to our pharmacist about consolidating those trips and even set up automatic refills so your medication is always ready.

  1. Focus on experiences, not things. Studies have shown that helping others can increase your own levels of happiness. This could be anything from volunteering at a local food bank to simply picking up prescriptions for a neighbor. There is no shortage of ways to get involved during the holidays—and all year long.

Here’s another way to focus on experiences: Create your own holiday traditions. Try some caroling with your family or friends. So what if your Uncle Charles is tone deaf? Just have some fun. And there’s another bonus: singing lowers stress.4

Or maybe you’d enjoy cutting down your own tree, taking in a high school performance of the Nutcracker, or turning your holiday cards into gratitude cards. By adding personal notes that express your appreciation, you can boost your own happiness as well.4

  1. Turn down the “doer dial.” Does it feel as though everything speeds up during the holidays? That can be really stressful. This is not a race. And no matter the messages you’re receiving, you don’t need to do it all. Take breaks when you need them. (Introverts, this especially applies to you!) Put another log on the fire, take a bubble bath, snuggle up with your sweetie, or sleep in—guilt free. Remember: if you take good care of yourself, you can be more present for the people you love. And after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

 

Sources

 

  1. Huffington Post: 8 Tips for Staying Healthy and Happy During the Holidays. Available at: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/leana-wen-md/holidays-health_b_2341813.html Accessed 11-3-17.

 

  1. CDC: 12 Ways to Have a Healthy Holiday Season. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/features/healthytips/index.html Accessed 11-3-17.

 

  1. Consumer Reports: 40 Tips for healthy holidays: 40 ways to get the most out of the season. Available at https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/11/happier-healthier-holidays/index.htm Accessed 11-3-17.

 

  1. Prevention: How To Have 31 Days of Healthy, Happy Holidays. Available at: https://www.prevention.com/mind-body/emotional-health/31-days-happy-healthy-stress-free-holidays Accessed 11-3-17.

 

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Protect Yourself from the Sun

Protect Yourself from the Sun

Did you know that skin cancer rates are on the rise in the U.S., where it is the most common type of cancer?1 It’s no wonder. Just in the past year alone, one-third of the adult population has been sunburned at least once. And that lobster-red look is a clear sign of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays—a known cause of skin cancer, which can impact any age, gender, or race.1,2

Risks of tanning. But you’re not off the hook if you stop at tanning. That’s your body’s response to sun injury.1 When you tan—either outdoors or indoors—you increase your risk of melanoma—the deadliest form of skin cancer. You also increase your risk of:

  • Premature skin aging—wrinkles and age spots
  • Damaged skin texture
  • Potentially blinding eye diseases1

Here’s the silver lining in this gloomy cloud: Avoiding the sun’s UV rays is one of the best ways to prevent skin cancer.1

General guidelines. You probably know the drill, but it bears repeating:

  1. Seek shade and stay out of the sun, if you can, when UV rays are strongest—from 10 am to 4 pm.
  2. Be extra careful at higher altitudes where skin burns faster.
  3. Limit exposure to water, sand, snow, and concrete—surfaces that reflect light.
  4. Use sun protection even on cloudy days, when certain types of UV rays can be stronger.
  5. Rely on diet and supplements to get your vitamin D, not the sun.2,3

Sunscreen. Don’t use a product that combines sunscreen and insect repellant. Reapplying it will expose you to too much of the repellent’s ingredients. Also, avoid spray tans and bronzers—they won’t protect your skin from UV rays.4

Do choose sunscreens that:

  • Block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Are labeled with sun protection factor (SPF) 30 or higher.
  • Are water resistant—they’re more protective when you sweat.
  • Are products you will use consistently. Generally, creams are best for dry skin and the face, gels work well for hairy areas, and sticks are easier to apply near eyes. Mineral-based sunscreens—such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide—work well if you have sensitive skin.2,3

Wear sunscreen every day, even if you plan to be outside a short time. For best results, apply it generously 15 to 30 minutes before you go outside to all exposed areas—don’t forget your feet and ears. (A lip balm works best for your lips.) Always reapply after swimming or sweating and about every two hours or as often as the package suggests.2,3

Sun-protective clothing. In addition to sunscreen, wear clothing that can better protect you such as:

  • A hat with a wide brim. This works better than a baseball cap or visor for shielding your whole face from the sun.
  • Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Loose-fitting, unbleached, tightly woven fabrics.
  • Special clothing that absorbs UV rays.3

Don’t forget to protect those parts of your body that may be in constant sunlight— your nose, forehead, and eyes.  Questions about sun-protection products or other ways to protect your family in the sun? Remember, I’m right here—your ready resource.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources:

  1. CDC: “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer.” Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/pdf/consumer-booklet.pdf Accessed 6-6-17.
  2. American Academy of Dermatology: “Sunscreen FAQs.” Available at: https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/sunscreen-faqs Accessed 6-6-17.
  3. MedlinePlus: “Sun Protection.” Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000378.htm Accessed 6-6-17.
  4. FDA: “5 Tips for a Healthy Vacation.” Available at: https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm389469.htm Accessed 6-6-17.

Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Sun Praire, WI, April 11, 2017

Bridgett Edgar, pharmacy technician at Pharm A Save in Monroe  recently attended the IPC Independent Pharmacy Conference in Scottsdale, AZ.  At the three day conference she participated in nearly 10 hours of continuing pharmacy education courses.

Meeting organizers said that during the educational sessions attendess were updated on the latest trends in prescription medications.  They were also brought up to date on the latest rules and regulations affecting the practice of pharmacy.   Edgar says she was pleased with the information she gained and will use it as she strives to insure her patients get the maximum benefit from the medication Pharm A Save provides.   Edgar participated in the meeting as the official pharmacy technician representative of the Washington State Pharmacist Association.

According Don Anderson, President and CEO of the Independent Pharmacy Cooperative (IPC) said a primary goal of the meeting was to provide formal business classes and a forum where pharmacy owners can learn from others whose experience will help them take better care of their customers.

About IPC: Formed in 1983 IPC is the nation’s largest group purchasing organization.  The cooperative serves the needs of nearly 6000 independent pharmacy owners across the country.  With locations in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin and Phoenix, Arizona, IPC prides itself on providing access to programs and services that enable pharmacy owners to operate more modern, up to date and profitable pharmacies.    Continue reading Pharmacy Conference Helps Local Pharmacy Technician Improve Professional Skills

Vionic Sandals – Spring Sale! 40% off!

We are all looking forward to better weather , and some of you have been lucky enough to have a vacation planned for some warmer weather! Don’t forget about your feet!

Don’t wear those flat $ 1.00 flip flops. If you haven’t figured it out yet, those puppies may be such a great price, you can afford them in several colors and styles. But, at what expense? Plantar Fasciitis?

Or, maybe you do not get the opportunity to wear those cute flip flops, because your knees, back and feet say “No Way!”. What if I told you that Pharm A Save Monroe has a solution?

Vionic shoes – Reclaim your footprint. www.vionicshoes.com

Feet were designed to walk on soft, natural elements like soil and sand, not the hard, flan man-made surfaces that make up so much of our modern world. With Vionic’s innovative biomechanical technology, Vionic shoe and sandals hug your arches like a matural footprint, giving you all-day support.

With all that, to the point ALL VIONIC SANDALS, SHOES AND SLIPPERS are on sale now thru April 31st, 2017! How about this — 40% off.  (In Stock Items Only!) 

Make your feet happy – Walk.Move.Live.

Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

“Why can’t I lose weight?” is a question that many of us have asked ourselves. However, effective weight loss means dealing with several variables.

  • Poor diet: Most of us eat ethnically or habitually, or follow the recommendations of the processed food and fast food industry who encourage us to eat much more than we need to and more poorly than we should. This also extends to the oversized food portions being served in the more popular restaurants.
  • Lack of exercise: The purpose of food is to provide us with the energy that we require for activitiy. If we consume more calories per day than what we expend in activity, we store the excess calories as fat. As we increase exercise, we decrease fat.
  • Lack of accountability: Successful weight loss is best accomplished by being accountable to someone
  • Failure to commit: Successful, healthy weight loss can require a commitment of six months to two years, with a LIFETIME commitment to a new healthy lifestyle to keep it off.
  • Psychological make-up: Food as a reward mechanism is common in American culture.
  • Genetic make-up: Research has found that some individuals possess a genetic profile which makes it difficult for them to lose weight. However, genes only indicate predisposition; they do not mandate outcome.
  • Hormones: There are a number of hormones that can come into play in weight loss, including thyroid hormones, adrenal hormones and dopamine. Hormones can impact metabolic rate,weight gain and food craving.

What ANY animal is designed to eat for a healthy life is known as its diet. A weight loss plan is not a diet, but a special program designed to encourage consumption of calories that are being stored in the body as fat. A weight management diet is used to retrain and recondition the body so that weight does not return. Popular weight management diets are the Mediterranean Diet, the Elimination Diet, the Gluten Free Diet and the Paleolithic Diet. Generally, a weight loss plan is used for 30 days and then followed by 30 days of a weight management diet, with the sequence repeated until the desired weight is lost. For successful weight loss, an individual cannot return to the diet that created the weight gain to begin with.

In designing your personal weight loss plan:

  • Correct all variables to insure that you have the ability to undertake a serious weight loss plan.
  • Design a nutritionally sound meal replacement weight loss plan.
  • Limit the weight loss plan to no longer than 4 weeks. Then, move on to the weight management diet for 3-4 weeks. The weight management diet will support the weight loss that occurs during the weight loss plan. Repeat this cycle until desired weight is lost.
  • To insure that your weight loss plan and your weight management diet is nutritionally sound, seek out the advice of a healthcare professional.

 

Written by: Wellness Works – Monthly Nutritional Practice www.wellnessworks.com

Pharm A Save is an authorized retailer of Wellness Works Nutritional Products. Pharmacist Recommended !

 

Spring Fever….

As soon as the weather changes, as soon as we get to at least 50 degrees, I am opening the doors in my house, opening the windows and letting all of the fresh air in. My mind goes into overdrive and I am wanting to get outside and work in the dirt that I call MY garden. If anyone else looked at the mess,  they would wonder why I waste my time with that mess. It is MY rewarding mess.

As soon as the days get longer, we feel the need to clean out and purge. That’s a good thing. Get rid of all of the stuff that has been building up with no use or no where to put it. This happens also when families are trying to find useful places for old medical equipment that is no longer needed.

If you have a wheelchair, a walker, used hospital bed, you can donate it to Good Will or maybe post it on a board at your local senior center. Once the word gets out that these type of items are available, they will go quickly. Remember to clean them up so they are clean and ready for the next user. A little Pine Sol or Clorox mixture go along way.

Then there are the “soft goods” like packages of diapers, pads and washable pads. As long as they have not been used, the nursing homes, adult family homes and senior centers are always appreciative with that type of donation.

So , when the sun starts to shine,  the days get longer and the breeze starts to clean the air, remember that all of “the stuff” can be paid forward to be part of someone else’s stuff.

Let’s talk again,

** Remember, when you wake in the morning, Give thanks!

Sue Graafstra

Pharm A Save Medical Equipment and Supply

360-794-4641 ext 200

http://www.PharmASaveMonroe.com

A New Year – A New You?

A New Year—A New You?

Is there a person on the planet that hasn’t made a New Year’s resolution—and then failed to follow through? Setting goals may be the easy part, but turning those goals into results….? Well, we all know how hard that can be.

Whether you’re hoping to shed a few pounds, step up your level of exercise, or kick that smoking habit once and for all—you can take steps to improve your chances of success. Here are just a few ideas.

Set SMART goals. First of all, know how to set goals that will help you succeed. Here is an example of a SMART goal: “To help me lose weight, I will walk at least 10 blocks—instead of 7—at least 5 days a week for the next month. Here’s what makes this a SMART goal:

  • Specific: The goal is precise. Your goal isn’t just to walk more. With this goal, you will know exactly how many blocks you will walk each week.
  • Measurable: You can tell whether or not you have achieved the goal.
  • Achievable: Your goal should challenge you, but not be overwhelming. You’re already walking 7 blocks, 4 days a week. So you know that it’s likely you can walk 10 blocks, 5 days a week.
  • Relevant: This goal is appropriate because exercise is a key part of a weight-loss or weight-management plan.
  • Time-bound: Your goal is limited in time. At the end of a month, you can continue with this goal or commit to a new one. 1,2

Start small, think big. Starting with small steps can help you succeed. But as you set goals, keep an eye on the big picture: How does this goal fit in with the rest of your life? With the SMART goal above, for example, it may help to remember that exercise is good for your overall health, whether or not you lose weight.  It may give you more energy, decrease stiffness, and help you keep up with your kids—or grandkids.2,3,4

Stay motivated. Understanding the big picture is one way to stay motivated for the long haul. What else keeps you motivated?

  • Try the buddy system. Have someone who’s supportive join you. It really works.
  • Visualize success. Picture yourself walking through the neighborhood. You can also use positive self-talk to stay on track. “I feel so much better after I get out for a walk.”
  • Reward yourself. Once you’ve met your goal, reward yourself with something material, like a movie or CD—but not food. Or, you can try something less tangible like a quiet afternoon sitting by a lake.
  • `If you slip up, start over. This doesn’t make you a bad person. Congratulate yourself for your past successes, and begin again.5,6

How we can help. What if one of your goals has to do with managing your medications? Maybe you are having trouble remembering when or how to take them. Start with us. We can guide you. For example, we’ll show you techniques for taking your medications the right way. Or we’ll help you find products to jog your memory so you don’t forget to take your meds.

Now, that’s a great buddy system!

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources

 

  1. WebMD: S.M.A.R.T. Weight Loss & Your Fitness Device. Available at: http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/smart-weight-loss-fitness-device Accessed 12-5-16.

 

  1. gov: 3 Things to Keep in Mind When Setting Goals & Expectations. Available at: http://women.smokefree.gov/your-weight-loss-expectations-goals/3-things-to-keep-in-mind-when-setting-weight-loss-expectations-goals.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.

 

  1. gov: Goal setting: Eating, Physical Activity & Weight Loss. Available at: http://women.smokefree.gov/your-weight-loss-expectations-goals/goal-setting-eating,-physical-activity-weight-loss.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.

 

  1. gov: 3 Steps for Setting Physical Activity Goals. Available at: http://women.smokefree.gov/your-weight-loss-expectations-goals/3-steps-for-setting-physical-activity-goals.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.

 

 

 

  1. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “Guide to Behavior Change.” Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/behavior.htm Accessed 12-2-16.

 

  1. Nemours Foundation: Motivation and the Power of Not Giving Up. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/en/teens/motivation.html Accessed 12-2-16.