Tag Archives: health tips

Tips for Healthy Holiday Travel from STAT Health Urgent Care


Here are some healthy holiday travel tips:

1. Get Your Sleep

Research has shown skipping even a few hours of sleep can make you more susceptible to catching a cold the next day. Get a full night’s rest. Make sleep a top priority on the night before your trip. If you can’t, get a designated driver to help you out. And, if you’re flying, make use of that in-flight pillow, blanket and eye mask on the airplane to help you get some shut eye.

Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous than drunk driving.  Divide long rides between drivers and stop over if you need to.  If you’re worried about timing, remember it’s better to be a few hours late, then not arrive at all.


2. Stay active.

Don’t let the holidays disrupt your fitness routine. Exercise will boost your energy and mood while traveling. Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk around the airport terminal instead of sitting down to wait for boarding. And make a few trips up and down the aisle during your flight, even if you don’t need the restroom.  In the car, take breaks every two or three hours for a quick burst of fresh air and brisk walk around the service station. Plan family activities  that require moving around like sledding, skating or even caroling.


3.  Stay Hydrated

The dry air on a plane causes dehydration so  skip the in-flight cocktail, coffee and caffeinated beverages. Alcoholic beverages can have a stronger effect when you’re imbibing at high altitudes and may enhance jet-lag symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, headaches or mental grogginess. Your best bet is to drink plenty of water. If you know you’ve got a long wait at the airport and want to avoid spending $5 on bottled water, tote along an empty bottle and fill it up at a water fountain after you pass through security.


5. Don’t Stress

The holidays are a high stress time for many people. Make sure you are mentally prepared for delays and setbacks.  Account for traffic and flight cancellations in your plans and create backups.  Pack extra books, chargers and activities for the kids and yourself as well.  If your family is particularly stressful make sure you can take a few minutes to recharge, either by taking a drive or a walk for some peace and quiet.


6 Keep to your diet

Follow an 80/20 rule at dinner. Yes, you can have your holiday favorites, if you limit the portion sizes. Load up your plate with 80 percent fresh or steamed vegetables and fruits and 20 percent everything else. Avoid the holiday splurge-and-starve cycle. there’s a tendency to say ‘I overate at dinner last night, so I’ll just skip breakfast and lunch.’ Steer clear of that downward spiral. Better to break the cycle right away by starting the next morning with a quick walk and light, nutritious breakfast, and fill up with a snack and a glass of water before you sit down to the next tempting meal.

Importance of Sleep



November 1st we turn our clocks back and get an extra hour of sleep, but why is that sleep so important?

Lack of sleep clearly affects our thinking, or cognitive, processes. A sleep-deprived brain is truly running on four rather than eight cylinders. We’re much more likely to make errors. It’s because the brain’s engine hasn’t been replenished.

Sleep deprivation also affects us physically. Our coordination suffers. We lose our ability to do things with agility. Sleep improves muscle tone and skin appearance. With adequate sleep athletes run better, swim better and lift more weight. We also see differences in immune responses depending on how much someone sleeps.

Back To School Tips

Back to school is here again! Here are some tips to keep your kids happy and healthy for the start of the new school year.

• Establish a sleep routine

The National Sleep Foundation provides guidelines for the amount of sleep children should get at different ages. They suggest kids between the ages of 3 and 5 get 10 to 13 hours of sleep a night; ages 6 to 13 need 9 to 11 hours of sleep; and teens 14 and older should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night.
Going back to school means an end to staying up late. To help your child transition back to waking up early. Start with going to bed one hour earlier every night and waking up early until the new routine is established. It needs to be done a week or two before going back to school, not the night before school starts.
Studies have shown that the glowing light from cellphone and tablet screens can disrupt sleep cycles, so make sure kids put electronic devices away well before bedtime.

• Get an annual physical

Annual checkups should be done by a pediatrician before each new school year to ensure that your child’s medical records and vaccinations are up to date.The American Academy of Pediatrics has a complete list of vaccination schedules, by age group, posted on its website.
Also, be sure to schedule your child for a sports physical so they can participate in sports because physicals are valid for one year. Your child won’t be able to participate in sports if that is not done.

• Eye exams

Vision screenings are typically done as part of a child’s physical exam, so parents should ask pediatricians about checking their children’s eyesight before school starts.
Having poor vision can sometimes go unnoticed. Kids might not say anything or know that something is amiss with their vision, she said. If your child has to squint or strain to see the front of the classroom, it could show up as headaches during the day, poor school performance or even behavioral problems. Pediatricians can advise when a visit to a an optometrist or ophthalmologist is needed.

Healthy eating

A lot of kids spend the summer eating differently, with fewer rules and more treats, but now’s the time to rein that in. Before the new school year starts, get your child back into the habit of eating three regular meals a day: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Check with your child’s school to find out about lunch options and meal schedules before the school year starts. Be sure and inform the school if your child has any food allergies.


Backpacks full of books and school supplies can put strain on your child’s neck, shoulders and back. In addition to getting a backpack strong enough to carry a heavy load, talk with teachers to see if there are ways to lighten the load.
Kids should always use both shoulder straps when wearing a backpack. Also, check with your school to see if they allow rolling backpacks, which may be a good option for students who have a lot to carry.

• Homework and study habits

Children need a consistent work space in their bedroom or another part of the home that is quiet, without distractions, and promotes study. It’s a good idea to schedule a regular time for homework so the child gets into the routine. Make sure that homework time is free from distractions like TV or other electronic devices.
If your child is struggling with a particular subject or can’t focus, discuss this with a teacher or school counselor to determine the best solution.

Tips on Enjoying the Sun this Summer (But not too much!)

Summer is here and so is the summer sun! Before you grab your bathing suit and picnic basket don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful rays.

Sun damages the skin and even mild exposure can put you at risk for premature aging and even cancer. How do you protect yourself from the sun? Just follow these steps.

1. Wear Sunscreen…. Everyday

About 80 percent of the average person’s lifetime sun exposure is incidental.  Any more than 15 minutes you can be putting yourself at an unnecessary risk. So if you leave the house, put on sunscreen. If you use a moisturizer, save a step and use a moisturizer with SPF.

2. Protect Your Eyes

Did you know that your eyes can get sunburn? Ouch! Sunglasses help shield the skin around your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Opt for a pair clearly labeled to block 99 percent of UV rays. Wider lenses best protect the delicate skin around your eyes and keep them looking youthful.


3. Don’t forget your lips!

There are many lip moisturizers with SPF, apply and keep applying throughout the day to keep your smile safe.

4. Try on UPF Clothing

While regular clothes can shield you, too, provided they’re made of tightly woven fabrics and are a dark color. Some clothing is specially designed to keep out UVA and UVB rays. As with SPF, the higher the UPF (which ranges from 15 to 50+), the more the item protects.

Example: a dark-blue cotton T-shirt has a UPF of 10, while a white one ranks a 7. To test clothing UPF, hold the fabric near a lamp; the less light that shines through the better! Also, be aware that if clothes get wet, protection drops by half.

5. Watch the Clock

UV rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Try your best to keep in the shade best as you can.

6. Wear a Hat

Choose a hat with at least a 2- to 3-inch brim all around to  protect the skin on your face, ears, and neck. Wide brimmed hats are in ladies, rock them and your skin will thank you for it!

7. Keep that Sunscreen On

Sunscreen wears off with exposure to sweat and water (yes, even the ‘waterproof’ kind). Make sure you reapply throughout the day!