Chapstick, it’s the BALM

Submitted by emily.griffin on

We often are too busy or have other things going on to realize how much of a difference one thing can make. We often get into the habit of using the same products and having the same routines daily. One thing you should include in your routine if you already have not done so, is using chapstick every day. Chapstick has so many benefits and is simple and easy to use. Some of the outside forces chapstick protects you from are:  

Sunburn:  

Everyone knows what sunburn is and has had it. What we might forget is how to prevent sunburn. The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends that everyone wears sunscreen everyday with at least an SPF of 30 or higher, water resistance and broad-spectrum protection. The AAD wants to make everyone aware that skin cancer also can form on the lips. To protect your lips, apply lip balm or lipstick that contains sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.  

Windburn: 

HealthPages say that windburn occurs when our skin is exposed to dry, cold air. One of the primary signs that you have windburn is when your skin develops redness with a burning sensation after being exposed to cold air. Other symptoms of windburn include:  

  • Soreness 

  • Irritation 

  • Peeling 

  • Dryness 

There are many ways to prevent wind burn, but the two simplest ways are wearing sunscreen and wearing chapstick. What a coincidence.  

Dry and cracked lips:

The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) has written seven tips about how to prevent and heal dry and cracked lips. The tips are: 

  • Use non-irritating lip balm, lipstick or other products that you apply to your lips 

  • Apply a non-irritating lip balm (or lip moisturizer) several times a day and before bed 

  • Slather a non-irritating lip balm with SPF 30 or higher before going outdoors 

  • Drink plenty of water 

  • Stop licking, biting and picking at your lips 

  • Avoid holding items made of metal at your lips (Paperclips, jewelry, etc.) 

  • Plug in a humidifier at home 

The AAD also recommends staying away from harmful ingredients in lip balm such as camphor, eucalyptus, flavoring (cinnamon, citrus, mint and peppermint flavors can be especially irritating to dry, chapped lips), fragrance, lanolin, menthol, octinoxate or oxybenzone, phenol (or phenyl), propyl gallate and salicylic acid.  

If you would like to learn more, check out these resources:  

 


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Chapstick, it’s the BALM

Chapstick has so many benefits and is simple and easy to use. Some of the outside forces chapstick protects you from are:

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How to beat shin splints

Submitted by emily.griffin on

If you do any type of exercise with lots of running, you have probably had shin splints at some point. In that case, you know it is no fun. So, take our short quiz to prevent getting them again or what to do in case it happens. 

 

 

If you think you have shin splints, you should contact your doctor. Although they typically get better with rest and the tips provided in this article, occasionally, it could be something else.  

 


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How to beat shin splints

Take our short quiz to prevent getting shin splints again or what to do in case it happens. 

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Understanding water safety

Submitted by emily.griffin on

Are you ready to make a splash this summer? Make sure you stay safe as well. The best way to ensure you and your loved ones are safe is through water competency.   

 

According to the American Red Cross, “Water competency is a way of improving water safety for yourself and those around you through avoiding common dangers, developing fundamental water safety skills and knowing how to prevent and respond to drowning emergencies.”    

 

In addition to water competency, here are some tips to keep you safe all summer long no matter what kind of water you’re enjoying.  

 

Swimming safely in pools  

Whether it’s a pool at your home or a public pool, being vigilant is important for the safety of children and adults alike. Here are some tips from the American Red Cross.

 

  • Secure your pool during non-swim times: Oftentimes drowning deaths occur when children aren’t expected to be near the water. Keep your pool secured to prevent any accidents.   

  • Keep inexperienced swimmers safe: Make sure they wear approved life jackets and stay within arm’s length of them.  

 

Enjoying hot tubs safely  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends following HOT steps for hot tub safety.

 

  • Heed (H): Heed rules about hot tub safety. Don’t go in if you’re sick, don’t swallow any water and don’t allow small children to get in. 

  • Observe (O): Observe the hot tub and its surroundings. The temperature should not exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit, there shouldn’t be a strong odor and the filtration devices should be working appropriately.

  • Talk (T): Talk to the hot tub’s owner and other users to make sure it’s been inspected and is in working order.  
     

Swimming safely in lakes, streams and rivers  

Swimming in natural water is different from swimming in a pool or a hot tub for many reasons. There are weather concerns, animals, vegetation, currents and waves. Check out these tips from The American Red Cross. 

 

  • Take care when entering the water: Always enter feet first, especially in shallow water or water you’re unfamiliar with. 

  • Don’t swim alone: Swim with a friend and stay sober. Make sure someone is always watching over the group to ensure your safety.  

 

Swimming safely in the ocean  

There’s nothing like a day at the beach. Keep these tips from the National Ocean Service in mind so your day stays sunny and fun.

 

  • Be careful of the ocean waves: Ocean water can be unpredictable. Rip currents (strong currents of water that can pull you out to the ocean) and shore breaks (when ocean waves crash against the shoreline) often occur. Always make sure to swim at beaches with a lifeguard on duty.  

  • Be aware of what’s in the water: Marine life like jellyfish and sharks, trash and debris and harmful algal blooms can be dangerous for swimmers and beachgoers.  

 


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Understanding water safety 

In addition to water competency, here are some tips to keep you safe all summer long no matter what kind of water you’re enjoying.  

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Surviving the test of time

Submitted by emily.griffin on

Why you should give Tai Chi a try  

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in alternative exercise options for adults. One such option gaining popularity is Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese martial art that combines slow, flowing movements with deep breathing and meditation. Here are some of the physical, mental and emotional benefits people discover when they start to learn centuries-old Tai Chi movements.  

Improved balance and flexibility 

Numerous studies have shown that regular practice of Tai Chi can significantly improve balance and flexibility in adults of all ages. This is particularly beneficial for older adults, as it reduces the risk of falls and related injuries. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Tai Chi reduced the risk of falls in older adults by 47%. 

 

Increased strength and endurance 

Despite its gentle appearance, Tai Chi engages multiple muscle groups, improving strength and endurance. Research suggests that Tai Chi can enhance upper and lower body strength, which is vital for maintaining functional independence.

 

Reduced pain and joint stiffness

Individuals with chronic conditions such as arthritis often experience joint pain and stiffness.  

Tai Chi has been found to alleviate these symptoms, offering a low-impact exercise option that promotes joint mobility and reduces discomfort.  

 

Stress reduction 

Tai Chi incorporates mindfulness and meditation, promoting relaxation and reducing stress levels.  

 

Cognitive function 

Research suggests that Tai Chi may have positive effects on cognitive function, including attention, memory and executive function. It is believed that the combination of physical movement and mental focus in Tai Chi contributes to these cognitive benefits. 

 

Sleep quality 

Insomnia and poor sleep quality are common issues among adults. Tai Chi has been shown to improve sleep patterns, leading to better overall sleep quality and increased energy levels during the day. 

 

Whether you are a young adult looking for a low-impact exercise option or an older adult aiming to maintain functional independence, Tai Chi can be a valuable addition to your fitness routine.  

 


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Surviving the test of time

Here are some of the physical, mental and emotional benefits people discover when they start to learn centuries-old Tai Chi movements.  

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The best-kept secret for anti-aging is already in your cabinet

Submitted by emily.griffin on

From serums to surgery, there is a huge industry dedicated to anti-aging skincare. However, one of the easiest and most affordable ways to prevent your skin from appearing wrinkled may already be in your home – sunscreen. 

Really? Sunscreen?

Yes, really. You already know sunscreen can significantly decrease your risk of skin cancers and skin damage from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Sunscreen also offers anti-aging benefits to our skin. According to a study from the National Library of Medicine, sunscreen can prevent premature skin aging caused by ultraviolet radiation, including wrinkles, telangiectasia and pigmentary alterations. 

There are more options for sunscreen than ever

Don’t worry – if the idea of putting on goopy, white sunscreen or sticky spray sunscreen every day makes you shudder, many other options are just as effective. 

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, many sunscreens now blur the line between skincare and sunscreen, offering different formulas that are more lightweight on the skin or pull double duty and offer additional benefits to your skin. 

When you’re choosing a sunscreen, the American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends choosing one with at least 30 SPF and broad spectrum protection (protects against UVA and UVB rays). If you have questions about a particular sunscreen or if it will be effective, talk to your primary care provider. 

So next time you decide to skip sunscreen because your sunburn won’t be “that bad” or “it’s not even that hot out,” remember these benefits to your skin. You might discover you’re a bigger fan of sunscreen than you thought. 

 


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The best-kept secret for anti-aging is already in your cabinet

From serums to surgery, there is a huge industry dedicated to anti-aging skincare.

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Don’t look into the blue light

Submitted by emily.griffin on

We are all guilty of using our phones right before bed. Throughout the day, we might not have enough time to look at our phones due to work, our kids or any other responsibilities. It is not healthy for us to start this habit. We want to go to sleep and wake up on time. Staying up late looking at that last social media post is not going to help.  

 

What is blue light?  

Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum. About one-third of visible light is considered blue light. The sun produces blue light, but the more common and artificial source is from fluorescent lights such as smartphones, LED TVs, computer monitors, and tablet screens.   

 

How harmful blue light can be 

The amount of harmful exposure to blue light from your screen compared to the sun is small. A lot of people think our smartphones, TV screens or our computers are going to strain our eyes and give us permanent eye damage. While there might not be severe permanent damage, there is a possibility of blurred vision, burning, stinging or tearing of the eyes with too much use of digital devices. The University of Alabama at Birmingham states these symptoms are common with digital eyestrain and can lead to dry eyes or straining muscles that help our eyes focus. Digital eyestrain is caused when we do not blink as much as usual when we look at screens that produce blue light.  

 

Special glasses can help 

There are blue light glasses that can help with digital eyestrain. The lenses in the glasses have an orange or amber tint to help filter more blue light. The glasses are becoming more and more common since most of us look at screens all day due to jobs or for personal use. 

 

20-20-20 rule 

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has come up with ways to help with digital eyestrain if you do not have blue light glasses. The 20-20-20 rule is when you take a break every twenty minutes to look at something, that is not a blue light screen, twenty feet away for twenty seconds. The rule causes you to blink more and helps battle digital eyestrain.  

We want you to take digital eyestrain and the effects of blue light into consideration for your everyday life. If you do not want the glasses but still want to take prevention, then we recommend giving the 20-20-20 rule a try. Sometimes, we just need to unplug from blue light screens and enjoy the nice weather outside.  

 

If you want to learn more about eye strain, check out our other blogs: 

 


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Don’t look into the blue light

Learn about blue light, how harmful it can be, and ways to reduce eye strain.

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Keep your feet and toes in tip-top shape

Submitted by emily.griffin on

Your feet carry you everywhere. Make sure you give them the love they deserve. Here are some easy tips from the American Academy of Dermatology to care for your feet and prevent some of the most common issues.  

 

Wear shoes that fit properly  

Wearing the right pair of shoes goes a long way to prevent problems like corns and blisters. When choosing your shoes, you want to make sure they aren’t too loose or too tight. Get your feet measured to ensure you have the perfect fit. Want more tips for choosing the right shoes? We’ve got you covered.  

Trim your toenails  

If your toenails are too long, it can also cause corns. It can also lead to ingrown toenails, which can be painful. Keep your toenails short by trimming them regularly. Trim your toenails by cutting them straight across. Make sure to sanitize your nail tools after use.  

Moisturize your feet after bathing  

One of the easiest ways to deal with dry or cracked heels is to moisturize them. Instead of applying it on dry skin, apply the cream after your shower or bath when your feet are still damp to lock in the moisture. Look for moisturizers with 10-25% urea, alpha hydroxy acid, or salicylic acid.  

Wear shower shoes or sandals in areas like gyms, locker rooms and pools  

Spending time in humid environments like spas and locker rooms can increase your risk for nail fungus and athlete’s foot. Wearing flip-flops or shower shoes instead of walking around barefoot can keep your feet safe.  

Keep a clean, fresh pair of socks  

No one likes the feeling of wet socks, but worse than that, excess moisture can lead to nail fungus. Change your socks after working out or doing yard work. Wearing moisture-wicking socks can also keep your socks fresh longer.  

If you have any questions or concerns about the health of your feet, contact your primary care provider or dermatologist. 

 

 


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Keep your feet and toes in tip-top shape 

Your feet carry you everywhere. Make sure you give them the love they deserve.

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Listen to your gut, prevent colorectal cancer

Submitted by emily.griffin on

When it comes to colorectal cancer, listening to your gut proves critical. Colorectal cancer begins in the colon or rectum (a.k.a the digestive system, a.k.a. the gut). Although colorectal cancer is a common cancer, the good news is that colorectal cancer is known as one of the most preventable cancers, according to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.  

 

Want to do everything possible to prevent colorectal cancer? There’s no guaranteed way to sidestep colon cancer, but researchers have found these seven health and lifestyle choices make a difference: 

 

1. Get screened. 

The number one way to prevent colorectal cancer is to participate in regular screenings beginning at 45 years old. Here’s why: It usually takes 10 to 15 years for abnormal cells to grow into the polyps that develop into colorectal cancer. Thanks to screenings, physicians can identify and remove most polyps before they morph into cancer. Plus, when detected early, colorectal cancer has a 90% survival rate. 

 

2. Know your family and personal history. 

Talk with a doctor about your family and personal history to decide if early screening is necessary. A history of cancer, genetic conditions and diagnoses such as Chron’s disease may warrant an early screening. 

 

3. Look for red-flag symptoms. 

Talk to a doctor if any of the following show up: 

  • Bowel habits change  

  • Persistent abdominal discomfort  

  • Rectal bleeding 

  • Unexplained weakness or fatigue 

 

4. Live an active life. 

Studies on the MDPI scientific journal publishing website have shown that physically active people have a 25% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer. Exercise supports blood flow, metabolism and - you guessed it - the gut.  

 

5. Stop smoking. 

While known as the main preventable cause of death due to any cancer, heavy smoking specifically increases the risk of colon cancer by 40%. Plus, those with colorectal cancer who smoke double their risk of not surviving compared with people who do not smoke. 

 

6. Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption. 

Moderate to heavy social drinkers have a 20 to 40% increased risk for colorectal cancer, depending on consumption frequency. Grab a water instead. 

 

7.Replace some red meat with poultry, fish, dairy and whole grains. 

A high intake of red and processed meat means a 20 to 30% increase in the likelihood of colorectal cancer malignancies. On the flip side, eating whole grains and dairy products can help reduce the risk of colon cancer. 

 

While it may feel tempting to pick one of the above seven tactics to focus on, a recent trial on the American Association for Cancer Research website found that addressing a combination of risk factors maximizes success in preventing colorectal cancer. So, look at the list, and then make as many healthy choices and improvements as possible to prevent colon cancer.  

 


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Listen to your gut, prevent colorectal cancer

Researchers have found these seven health and lifestyle choices make a difference in preventing colorectal cancer.

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Want a long, healthy life? Start exercising.

Submitted by emily.griffin on

The American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and almost every other health organization and health system recommend that exercise is good for your health. This is nothing new. Do you know the long-term benefits of being active? 

 

When you exercise enough to raise your heart rate and work your muscles, you are helping almost every system in your body. According to Harvard Health Publishing, the long-term benefits of exercising include reducing the risk of: 

  • Heart disease 

  • Stroke 

  • Type 2 diabetes 

  • Dementia 

  • Depression 

  • Cancers including bladder, breast, colon, endometrium, esophagus, kidney, lung and stomach 

 

Harvard Health Publishing also states exercising: 

  • Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure. 

  • Keeps harmful plaque from accumulating in your arteries. 

  • Reduces inflammation. 

  • Improves blood sugar levels. 

  • Strengthens bones. 

  • Combats depression. 

  • Improves sleep. 

 

The American Heart Association reports that being physically active and maintaining a healthy weight can lead to living seven years longer than non-active and obese people. Plus, they say those extra seven years are healthier.  

 

In addition to living longer and healthier, exercise can also help you live happier. Based on a study, Karmel Choi, a clinical and research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said, “We saw a 26% decrease in odds for becoming depressed for each major increase in objectively measured physical activity … (meaning) if you replaced 15 minutes of sitting with 15 minutes of running, or one hour of sitting with one hour of moderate activity like brisk walking.” 

 

There are also several short-term benefits of exercising. For information on these, read our blog, Need motivation to exercise?

 

Before starting any workout program, talk to your family doctor for recommendations so you can safely begin at the appropriate level.  

 


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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.

Want a long, healthy life? Start exercising.

Do you know the long-term benefits of being active? 

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Here is the bottom line for tips on preventing colon cancer

Submitted by emily.griffin on

Colon cancer is the third most frequent form of cancer in men and women. So many younger adults are getting it that the American Cancer Society reduced the recommended screening age to 45 a few years ago.  

 

What if you are not 45? Are you doing all you can to lower your risk factors? Take our quiz to find out. It could save you from an embarrassing conversation, and more importantly, it could save your life.  

 

 


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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.

preventing colon cancer

(Quiz) Are you doing all you can to lower your risk factors for colon cancer? Take our quiz to find out. 

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