Health and Fitness

Happy Nurses Week

This past week, we observed national nurses week. It begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale‘s birthday. It is an opportunity for us to pause and and say thank you for all the hard work and caring that nurses provide on the front lines of healthcare.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses are more in the spotlight, and their tireless efforts as healthcare heroes have been spotlighted. This is recognition that is long overdue. Nurses provide the majority of the bedside care which is the backbone of our healthcare system. This explains why the theme for this year‘s nurses week is “Frontline Warrior“

Trusted Health wrote that “Nurses Week is an annual celebration of all that nurses around the world to do for our communities. It is time to recognize, appreciate, and invest in the nurses we know or work with every day as well as the entire nursing industry as a whole.“

With all that is expected today of nurses, it is important to know that they are appreciated. They get pulled in a million different directions throughout their day, doing what needs to be done for their patients, while trying to adhere to extensive documentation requirements.

Dr. Patch Adams once said “You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you’ll win, no matter what the outcome.“ Because of this truth, nurses win every day.

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Relative Risk

According to Wikipedia, the relative risk or risk ratio is the ratio of the probability of an outcome in an unexposed group to the probability of an outcome in in an exposed group. Together with risk difference and odds ratio, relative risk measures in the association between the exposure and the outcome.

Clearly, the risk of blood clots from the vaccine is extremely low. It is actually lower than your risk of being struck by lightning.

Another common analogy that I came across when thinking about this topic was seatbelt usage. Approximately 30,000 people die in the United States every year in motor vehicle accidents. It is estimated that seatbelts save approximately 14,000 lives per year. Clearly however, there is a small percentage of people the die because they had their seatbelt on either from being trapped in their car or from direct trauma from the belt itself. Virtually no one however, is arguing that you should not wear your seatbelt because it is not safe.

The risk of catching, and the potential devastating consequences of the COVID 19 infection are exponentially worse then any potential side effects of the vaccine. Further, you can’t catch the COVID-19 infection from the vaccine because it does not contain live virus.

As a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician, I evaluate risk and reward all the time. I unfortunately see the consequences in patients that engage in high-risk behaviors and suffer devastating injuries. Activities such as racing a motorcycle without a helmet or speeding without a seatbelt greatly increase the probability of a negative outcome.

We’ve been given a great opportunity, with the development of three safe and thoroughly evaluated vaccines. This is our opportunity to protect the health of ourselves, our friends and family, and allow society to reopen.

When you consider the great history of vaccine safety and effectiveness, and all that they have done to eradicate diseases, and protect the health of ourselves and our children, it is clear that the relative risk is greatly in our favor!

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Your Health is an Investment, Not a Cost

The Aultman Working on Wellness team provides health screenings and education at no cost to lead our community to improved health. This is a great example of a group in our community helping you to invest in your health. They provide health education and resources as well as referrals, as needed.

The analogy of health investment as a financial investment is a good one. If you want to be financially healthy and secure, you have to continuously work towards this goal. The same is true for your health. Pay yourself first and continue to “invest” in your health in good times and in bad

The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely absence of disease. To earn this return, you need to consistently invest in healthy lifestyle habits including a good diet, exercise, adequate sleep and stress reduction.

Invest in your health today to fight and prevent future diseases. This may pay further dividends including reduced overall health care cost, increased happiness, more productivity at work, and being more available for your family and for leisure activities.

People that have suffered severe illness, say that health is like money and that they never have an idea of its true value until they’ve lost it.

I came across a read by Jim Rohn. He said “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.“ Makes a lot of sense!

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Transit Time

The title of this blog may catch you off guard. When I say “transit time“ I don’t mean the time it takes to get across town. I’m talking about how long it takes for the food that you eat to travel down your esophagus, to your stomach, through your small intestines, your large intestines and then be expelled through your anus.

I’ve always thought that eating raw vegetables could cover up or buffer other bad dietary habits. Science has shown that my hunch was correct. This is because they decrease the transit time through our a gastrointestinal tract as well as providing the many other well-known health benefits.

Digestion takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hrs.. The average transit time is 30 to 40 hours in someone who is not constipated. The three best ways to speed things up are 1. Eat more fiber. 2. Drink more water. 3. Exercise daily.

A unique way in which faster transit time greatly affects your body weight is through the hunger modulating hormones. Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells that decreases your appetite. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite and also plays a role in body weight. Studies have shown that fiber-enriched meals decrease post prandial glucose, insulin and ghrelin. These high-fiber meals provide the additive effects of decreased fat storage and decreased hunger.

To decrease your transit time and more easily achieve an ideal weight, eat more vegetables, especially brassica vegetables such as kale cauliflower or broccoli. Further, increase your consumption of legumes, beans and lentils, as well as colorful, organic, seed-containing berries

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson was a dynamic baseball player, best known for erasing the unofficial color barrier in major league baseball. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbet’s Field. The class and dignity that he displayed might even have outshined his dazzling offensive and defensive skills.

This past week, and on April 15 every year, major-league baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson day. He will always be remembered for breaking down barriers and opening up opportunities for minorities in professional sports. Even more important however was his fight for equality as a businessman, public speaker, and in politics. Every year on April 15, baseball honors Jackie Robinson‘ s legacy by celebrating his life, values and accomplishments.

Years ago I listened to an autobiography of Jackie Robinson while on a road trip. I was fascinated to learn of his philosophies on life success and justice. When researching this current blog post, I read many of the quotes that were attributed to Jackie Robinson. They give a snapshot of his wisdom and dignity.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.“ “The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity. “ “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.“

It is clear that this phenomenal baseball player made an impact not just with his play, but also with his words. With eloquence and dignity, he spoke out against injustice and stood for fair and just treatment of all. He said that “Your time is limited, so don’t waste a living someone else’s life and to keep rising every time we fall.

He’s truly an American hero.

Stay well!