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Our Wellness Team provides weekly items to enhance your health & well-being!

 

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Personal Self-Defense

Posted Dec. 21, 2021

January is National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month – And here are a few words from a Tae Kwon Do 5th Degree Black Belt, Food Service Director Caren Johnson:

As a Wellness group, we were all sitting around discussing what would be good blog topics for this page each month. Using the internet we discovered that January is National Personal Self-Defense Month. That discovery prompted me to share something that most people in our workplace do not know about me. Personal Self-Defense is a very important part of my life. I hold a 5th degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and for the last 20 some years have helped others learn and develop skills to keep themselves safe while continuing to learn about my own safety.

I am not the typical person who started youth Karate at the YMCA when I was 7, or a teenager who found a love of martial arts tournaments at 13. My journey in martial arts did not start until I was 22 and had moved to the area. Looking back now, I wish I would have learned some of the skills and awareness I have been given as a younger student, definitely during my teenage years and before I went off to college. One can always look back and think “If I only knew then, what I know now”, and this definitely is one of those cases where I feel like my ignorance back then could have easily been taken advantage of and realize how lucky I am. I had a few narrow escapes from assault in my late teen and college years because of ignorance and lack of self awareness. However, your experiences shape you to what you are, and without those experiences I do not know if I would have put as much passion and effort into learning the skills as I have.

What I have learned over the last 22 years of martial arts practice is that it is never too late to learn to protect yourself. I had the honor a few years back to watch an 82-year-old grandfather test for his second-degree black belt. And just last month I also watched a 73-year-old woman test for her sixth-degree. Her self-defense routine is not something I’d want to be on the receiving end of.

My physical abilities have changed over the years and no one self-defense skill will work for everyone. As I have gotten older, I realize that my first line of defenses I would use now, are quite different than what I would have done in my early 20s. I have taken “Women's Self Defense” classes taught by both men and women. I have also taught these classes myself. I have learned that you have to learn what is useful to you, discard what doesn’t work for you, and then practice your strengths and weaknesses. Your strengths will help make that muscle memory work for you when you are in times of stress and need to react fast. Practicing those weaknesses will help you persevere through struggles that last longer than you want them to. When I teach classes in self defense, I always try to teach multiple ways to escape a situation or hold. The first thing I like to teach is awareness and avoidance. The best way to stay out of trouble is to not be in it in the first place.

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Click for a video of Dr. Lynn Wagner giving detox tips

Time to detox?

Posted Jan. 4, 2022

If you overindulged over the holidays, here are some quick tips from Dr. Lynn Wagner, Integrative Medicine at Baycare Clinic, to help you feel better faster.

  • Don’t drink too much
  • Get enough sleep
  • Drink lots of water and add some lemons
  • Do not take Tylenol
 

Have you tried exercise snacking?

Posted Dec. 21, 2021

An exercise snack is a short, easy form of exercise that gives you similar benefits as longer, more sustained workouts, according to Bluezones.com. Famously, blue zones populations don’t specifically “exercise,” they simply naturally move every 20 minutes or so.

Alisa Cook from Bluezones.com states, “Exercise snacks don’t need to be highly structured, either. They can be as simple as including short bursts of speed during a daily walk, or when climbing stairs. Dancing a few times a day is an exercise snack that’s fun for the entire family. When you’re talking on the phone, walk in place, or around the room. Set an alarm to get up and move at least once an hour to do some walking, squats, jumping jacks, or some household chores like sweeping, gardening, or handwashing dishes.”

Cook interviewed Dr. Martin Gibala, Professor of Kinesiology at McMaster University Hamilton and author of “The One-Minute Workout,” who explains: “There are proteins in the body that serve as molecular ‘fuel gauges,’ and trigger physiological remodeling in response to the stress of exercise. Brief bouts of vigorous effort can activate these proteins similar to traditional endurance training, and despite a lower time commitment.” As Dr. Gibala maintains, “Brief bouts of activity spread throughout the day can be as effective as one long period of structured exercise [e.g., see here]. There is even some evidence that suggests the intermittent approach may be better. But the bottom line is there is no single ‘best’ method and all activity counts.”

Cook also recommends getting the family involved. A family-friendly way to incorporate exercise snacks is to make a game of it! The free Blue Zones MOVE Activity Cube can be placed in a high-traffic spot in your home and will act as an environmental nudge to move every time you pass it.

More resources about the benefits of exercise snacking:

All you need is a wall, a chair for balance and sturdy shoes for this workout from Chris Jordan, director of exercise physiology at the Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute.

 

Check out Lynn's Ted Talk on why “Sometimes you have to lose to win!”

Welcome Lynn Roethke!

Posted Dec. 14, 2021

Lynn Roethke is our new personal trainer provided through the partnership with Advocate Aurora Health.

Lynn is an Olympic Silver Medalist, and a two-time Olympic team member in the sport of judo. She has been an A.C.E. certified personal trainer since 1997.

With her vast experience in her own program development, along with years of personal training, Lynn specializes in program design for all levels of fitness. Her clients range from beginning exercisers to world-class athletes. Lynn is known for her motivational skills and innovative programming. She teaches judo, cardio, kickboxing, boxing and circuit training at Club Olympia.

Additionally, Lynn holds a BS, BA from Marian College in business administration and travels around the United States teaching clinics and giving motivational seminars.

 

Horizon Staff 5K

Posted Dec. 7, 2021

Horizon’s Wellness Champion, Julie Dentz, is an amazing inspiration to the kids in her classroom, her co-workers, and is a wonderful addition to the PJSD Wellness team. Julie’s passion for promoting health and well-being is shared in her message below to her team regarding Horizon’s recent 5k fun run held on November 23, 2021.

Julie’s message about the 5K:

I LOVE our Horizon Family! Thank you so much to all those who braved the cold, windy afternoon to have a little fun in the fresh air! For those who missed it, here's a quick recap:

We started with the most beautiful sunset as our backdrop. The temperatures dipped, but that didn't scare us away. We started and finished with the same number of people, which is always a good thing. Our fingers and toes might've been frozen by the end, but we had lots of friends and laughter to keep our hearts warm.

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Can generosity lessen your stress?

Posted Nov. 30, 2021

Like a warm beverage or a bowl of soup, there’s something that gives us a warm, toasty feeling inside: generosity. There’s no doubt, donating money to charities and causes makes us feel good – and science confirms it causes neural changes in the brain associated with happiness. Plus, helping others is shown to lesson depression, reduce blood pressure and increase longevity.

5 ideas for giving

Learn more:

Can generosity lessen your stress?

 

Alzheimer's Disease

Posted Nov. 22, 2021

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month.

This is a time to heighten awareness about Alzheimer’s disease and show support for the more than 6.2 million Americans living with it

Learn more:

Visit the Alzheimer's Foundation of America website

5 warning signs
 
info on palliative care

Palliative care

Posted Nov. 15, 2021

You may have heard the term “palliative care” used recently in stories about health care. There is a good reason for that. Palliative care is increasingly recognized as a vital part of responsive health care, especially for those with serious or chronic diseases. But what is palliative care? Here are five things you should know.

  1. Palliative care is a medical specialty that focuses on helping people manage serious or chronic diseases. When dealing with an illness, patients often experience a number of stressors. They may worry about their symptoms and how they can affect their ability to enjoy life. They worry about how their condition is affecting their loved ones. At times, patients with serious disease feel that their lives are out of control. Palliative care is designed to help. It addresses pain, stress and other symptoms and provides an extra layer of support for patients at any point in their illness.
  2. Palliative care is provided by a team of experts. The team usually includes a physician who is board-certified in palliative medicine, advanced practice nurses, a social worker and, often, a chaplain. Other services are provided according to the patient’s needs.
  3. Palliative care helps patients in many ways. The palliative care team will work with the patient to develop a care plan focused on their needs and goals. They provide help with symptom management and with ways to cope with medical treatments. They listen to patients’ concerns, take time to explain things and answer questions, and suggest ways to reduce stress and anxiety. Importantly, the palliative care team will help give patients more control over what is happening to them.
  4. Palliative care is provided in a number of settings. Patients might be referred for palliative care services while they are still in the hospital. Many patients see their palliative care team in outpatient clinic settings—during the appointments the team members will review the patient’s care goals and determine if additional services might be needed. And, if it is difficult for patients to leave their homes for appointments, there is home-based palliative care.
  5. Palliative care is NOT hospice care. Though some patients—those suffering from life-limiting conditions—may eventually transition to hospice care, the majority of patients receiving palliative care are still actively treating their disease. Unlike hospice care, palliative care is often provided at the same time as curative treatment.

Source: https://www.ahchealthenews.com/2015/11/16/5-things-you-should-know-about-palliative-care/

Learn more:

For more information about hospice, palliative care and advance care planning, visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) website.

 

Caregivers

Posted Nov. 8, 2021

In today's blog, Chris Vetter, Parkview Health and Wellness Champion, shares an inside look at the life of a caregiver.

November is National Caregivers month. I was asked to write a blog about my experience as a caregiver for my mother Mary.

In February 2017, my 72-year-old mother found herself in the hospital with complications from sepsis. Thankfully the medical treatment she received saved her life, however it permanently altered the quality of her health and forever changed the level of her independence. She was left with neurological brain damage that gives her symptoms of vertigo causing ringing in her head and head spins which affect her balance and make her feel nauseous. This also causes extreme GI issues. She also lost her hearing in her right ear and 50% of the hearing in her left.

After discharge from the hospital, my mother required home care and was unable to prepare meals for herself. We tried several in-home services and my mother’s health was declining. My sister and I were faced with a difficult decision on who would be the best caregiver for her. It was at this time when we agreed to have her live with me and my husband.

I have been a caregiver now for 10 months. We turned our office into a bedroom on the main floor - we own a typical two-story home and stairs are difficult for her and impossible on her own. In my mind, this is still a small price to pay knowing my mom is cared for and around “family”.

Some of the struggles of being a caregiver

• Constant preparation of small meals that need to be healthy and nutritious. She can only eat a very small amount of food at a time. She is a very picky eater – however loves sweets and often sneaks them before mealtime!
• Many doctor appointments that she needs to attend and at this moment all her doctors are in the Fox Valley.
• Needing to tell her where I am whenever I leave the house. And then checking in again when you arrive back home, and getting, “Well, that took a long time!”
• Her lack of hearing is a huge issue when she doesn’t use her hearing aids and she turns the TV up really loud. We have a remote speaker right next to her good ear that really helps, but knowing technology, it doesn’t always cooperate and I get the occasional “My speaker isn’t working!!” Ugh
• Taking care of daily tasks: paying bills, making appointments, getting her more juice, picking up something she dropped on the floor, and making sure she takes her medications, including eyedrops 2X a day
• Getting replacement caregivers to come into the home has proven to be a challenge because my mom would only like people I know to come check on her when I have to be gone. I have one caregiver proven capable and “awesome,” but am always thinking of others that would help in a time of need.

A few helpful tips

• Vacations and getaways are necessary, no matter how short.
• Get a Life Alert System for them to wear.
• Many of the little changes need to be made subtly so they feel a part of the decision-making. We have learned that leading her to ultimately make the decision on her own is a better solution when able.

All we can do is the best with what we are given and remember that you may be in this situation one day. A really good high school friend that has been where I am reminds me every time we talk, “I would do it all over again if I could have just one more day with my Mom.”

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diabetes effects

Diabetes

Posted Nov. 1, 2021

November is American Diabetes Month, & World Diabetes Day is November 14th.

Learn more:

Advocate Aurora Health explains how to deal with diabetes.

American Diabetes Association

 

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

Posted Oct. 25, 2021

October is National ADHD Awareness Month.

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting both children and adults around the globe.

Learn more:

What are the signs of attention deficit disorder and ADHD?

Everything you need to know about ADHD

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Domestic violence

Posted Oct. 18, 2021

Advocate Aurora Health recognizes October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is a pattern of coercive control that one person exercises over another.

It can take many forms and is present across all ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. It also can create long-term health issues.

 

Did you know?

Domestic violence comes in different forms.

 

You can help!

Take time this month to join the fight against Domestic Violence.

 

Time to wash up!

Posted Oct. 11, 2021

The Global Handwashing Partnership reminds us to celebrate Global Handwashing Day (Oct. 15th). It is important to wash our hands often to prevent the spread of germs, viruses and pathogens. You won’t forget to wash your hands after reading the “dirty secrets about germs”…

 

Learn more:

Global Handwashing Partnership

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covid vaccine info

Can I get 2 vaccines at once?

Posted Oct. 4, 2021

Is it safe to get both the flu and COVID-19 vaccines at the same time? According to the CDC, it is.

 

Learn more:

Visit the CDC Covid-19 Vaccines webpage

 

Take care of your heart

Posted Sept. 27, 2021

September is National Cholesterol Education Month, and September 29th is World Heart Day. These observances raise awareness about cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, and stroke.

 

Something to do:

Cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one killer, causing over 18.6 million deaths per year. Learn what you can do to reduce your risk.

 

Learn more:

Here is an article about ways to lower your cholesterol!

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Falls Prevention Week

Posted Sept. 20, 2021

September 20–24 is Falls Prevention Week, a nationwide effort to raise awareness that falls are preventable. Encourage older adults to be fall free and independent on September 22, Falls Prevention Awareness Day!

 

Something to do:

Test Your Knowledge of Falls

 

Learn more:

Here is an article with fall prevention tips!

 

Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

Posted Sept. 13, 2021

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – Do your kiddos get “hangry”? If so, try offering a healthy snack.

 

Something to do:

Help curb the hangry with this homemade dip recipe!

veggies and dip