Daily Activity Tips for a Healthy Ticker

We’ve been reminding you all month long that February is American Heart Month. Today we’re reminding you that lack of physical activity is one of the main risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Luckily in Florida we have beautiful weather (especially in February) so we can continue to be active all year long – no excuses! But if getting out there to exercise for the recommended 30 minutes a day seems impossible, fear not. Did you know you can get the same heart benefits from breaking up that 30 minutes into short bursts of activity you can fit in throughout the day? Come on, we all have time for 5 or 10 minutes here and there. Here’s how to get it done.

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Fight the Flu this Holiday Season…and Win!

The holidays are almost here, and there is nothing worse than being home for the holidays battling the flu. Even though only about 5-20% of people in the U.S. get the flu each year, the virus can be dangerous for elderly people, newborns, or individuals with chronic illness. Luckily for all of us, there are some things we can do keep from catching the virus. Read on to find out how to protect yourself this winter.

sick-dog

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Resource Guide for National Diabetes Month

Diabetes is a disease that affects millions of Americans. Whether you or someone you know suffers from diabetes in some capacity, our Health Sciences Library can provide you with access to top-notch resources to help you get educated about the disease and learn how to manage it. We’ll get you started with a few of our favorite places to start looking for patient information.

Notable Consumer Health Resources

Medline Plus

MedlinePlus is a resource produced by the National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library. You can rest assured that the information found within the site is reliable, up-to-date, and free. Each health topic typically includes a landing page which acts as a portal to more in-depth information. The diabetes page contains links to videos and tutorials, as well as patient handouts in multiple languages, among other quality resources. Perhaps most useful of all is that all information is presented in easy-to-understand language, so you don’t need to be an MD to make sense of the facts.
https://medlineplus.gov/diabetes.html

Center for Disease Control

The CDC houses information on a number of health topics. This month features a great page on managing diabetes, including tips for preventing complications and getting into healthy habits. The main diabetes page can direct you to a bevy of other useful resources, too.
http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/home/

Healthfinder.gov

Healthfinder.gov is another safe government resource for health information. It is simple to navigate – use the Health Topics A  – Z to search for the condition you are interested in.
https://healthfinder.gov/Default.aspx

Need any additional guidance or in-depth help? Our staff are happy to point you in the right direction. Stop by the library anytime between 8am and 5pm Monday – Friday to talk with one of us. While we’re certainly no substitute for the medical advice of your doctor, we’re experts at finding reliable health information that can help you as you both work together to make responsible decisions for your health.

Decoding Caffeine, the Nectar of the Gods

It’s no surprise that many of us love caffeinated beverages – many of us thrive (or survive, depending on the day) on the wakefulness and can-do attitude provided by our morning cup o’ joe. I’m personally obsessed with tea, and in the mornings, I often like it more than the people who try to talk to me before it’s kicked in. My fingers are currently flying over the keys thanks to a handful of chocolate-covered espresso beans.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone: more than 90% of American adults use caffeine regularly. But how much do you actually know about this substance that you ply yourself with every morning (and afternoon… and some evenings…)? We’ve taken it upon ourselves to decode caffeine – what it actually is, its effects on the body and our health, and the many ways to consume it.

art-heart-caffeine-coffee

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Summer Sun Safety

Summer is here and that means spending more time doing the things we love, like going to the beach, swimming, and just generally being more active outdoors. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who can’t wait to get a nice summer tan, read on. Did you know that skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States? This week we’re sharing some important information you need to know to be safe in the sun this summer.

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Be Spring and Summer Ready: What You Need to Know About Zika Virus

Spring is here and summer is right around the corner. In Florida that means one thing: mosquitos! Just when we couldn’t possibly hate those pesky insects any more, we now have to be concerned about getting bit by a Zika-virus-carrying mosquito. Or do we? Here’s what you need to know to arm yourself for spring and summer in the Sunshine State.

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Tips for a Healthy Spring

Springtime brings with it a flurry of activity and a sense of renewal. The flowers bloom, the weather warms, and I get an intense drive to clean my home and refresh it for a new season. Although this season abounds with fresh opportunities, it also brings its own health concerns (pollen, anyone?). Follow these tips to help you have a healthy spring and enjoy the best of the season!

blooming-springtime

How will you stay healthy this spring?

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Let’s talk turkey: The truth about tryptophan

Post-Thanksgiving NapThis Thursday after digging into your delicious Thanksgiving meal, you might find yourself slouching on your sofa, pants feeling a little snug, and you might find yourself feeling a dozy. Your first inclination will likely be to blame that delectable turkey and all of that tryptophan. Because turkey has tryptophan, and tryptophan makes us sleepy, right?

Well…

This may likely be a myth that we have all been telling ourselves. The science behind tryptophan is pretty clear: tryptophan is an essential amino acid that our bodies need to help make niacin and serotonin. Our bodies do not produce tryptophan, so we must get it from our diet. Serotonin is believed to help us sleep better and stabilize our moods. It would appear, then, if tryptophan helps us make serotonin, and serotonin helps us sleep, that consuming tryptophan would make us sleepy, right?

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Working Outside: Making it Work for You

Feeling a little down sitting at your desk? Or is the stress of the day making you irritable and overwhelmed? The remedy may be closer than you think – a short stint outside could be just what the doctor ordered!

In 2005, Richard Louv coined the phrase “nature deficit disorder” to describe the feelings of anxiety and depression that many people feel when they spend too little time outside. There’s a reason we all fondly remember recess from our childhood – taking a brief break from the hard chairs and florescent lights of our offices and classrooms can make a huge difference in our health and mood. This beneficial time outside is something adult Americans are largely missing. Read on to discover the health benefits of taking your work outside, as well as some tips on how to make working outside possible and productive.

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The College of Medicine Health Sciences Campus has plenty of greenspace to take advantage of!

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