How to Stay Hydrated in the Blistering Summer Heat

It’s summer time again, and that means record-breaking temperatures are in effect all around the country. Whether you’re planning a vacation, engaging in outdoor summer-time projects, or just having fun in the sun with friends, hydration should be your number-one priority. You may think you have hydration covered with a cooler or refrigerator full of beverages, but don’t mistake quenching your thirst for hydration.

To stay hydrated, you need only one thing: water, and lots of it.

The advantage of water over every other drink option is that it serves only to replenish and keep you hydrated. Sugar-laden drinks, like sodas and fruit juices, can be tough on your stomach when dehydrated. Additionally, caffeine is a diuretic, which means you lose much more fluid when urinating—a factor you want to avoid when hydration is a priority.

Sports drinks can be a good choice for those engaging in strenuous activities like exercise, but alongside the electrolytes can be added sugar and calories, both of which you may want to avoid for dietary purposes. Lastly, fruits and vegetables are a healthy, food-based source of water, so consider them as snacks over the alternatives.

So, exactly how much water should you be drinking? The general consensus is a pint of water per pound of sweat lost, but since you’re not always going to have a scale around to see how much weight you’re losing in sweat, knowing the signs of dehydration will tell you when you need to be drinking more water.

The first sign of dehydration is thirst. If you’re thirsty, then dehydration has already set in. Next, the color of your urine is a key indicator of your state of hydration. The darker it is, the more dehydrated you are. You want it to be as clear as possible. Lastly, if you’re not sweating during rigorous activity, then you might be nearing the extreme form of dehydration known as heat exhaustion.

 

You now have all that you need to see to it that you stay hydrated in the most extreme heat summer time throws at you. Know the signs of dehydration, make sure you have access to plenty of water, and you’ll beat the summer’s heat and stay safe and healthy.

Lost Weight? These 5 Tips Will Help You Keep it Off!

Losing weight can be one of the most rewarding yet challenging experiences in a person’s life; however, statistics show that keeping the weight off is where most people tend to lapse in their weight loss journey. Indeed, transitioning one’s lifestyle to include regular, long-term health habits can be difficult, but with the following 5 tips, you’ll be armed with the strategies you need to succeed where others have failed.

  1. Track your health progress daily in a notebook or application. Note what you eat, drink, and all activity you clock-in. This will help you to not only flesh out the best habits for yourself, but also expose any weaknesses in your daily regimen.
  2. Stick to a strict meal plan, seeing to it that you don’t skip any meals. When you miss meals, you tell your body that it needs to kick into conservation mode, so instead of burning calories, your metabolism slows down and prepares to store them. Adhering to a meal plan will also prevent you from gorging yourself to make-up for how hungry you feel.
  3. Stay active! Naturally, the more exercise you can commit to, the better, but even if you can only walk for 10 minutes on any given day, keep building on the momentum of being active each and every day.
  4. Find a support system that will help you through the tough times and keep you on-track. No one is infallible, so don’t let ego or false notions of perfection get in the way of reaching out for help if/when you need it. Returning the favor and being there for someone else during their tough times will also help reinforce your own good habits.
  5. Weigh yourself only as one component of an overall strategy. The number you see can be indicative of any number of variables: fat loss/gain, muscle loss/gain, water loss/gain, etc. If you’re simply looking to maintain a healthy weight, then weighing yourself every 2 weeks or so will help give you a general idea of your progress. Don’t obsess over the number you see; just let it keep you on track.

 

Taking these 5 points into consideration, you can now go forth and build a lifelong strategy that will help you maintain a realistic lifestyle that adheres to your weight loss goals.

How to Avoid Blowing Your Weight Loss Plan During the Holidays

The holidays are a hard time for dieters because of all of the parties and special events going on. 

Cookies and other treats, along with the fattening food frequently on offer during the holidays, can put an end to your healthy eating habits and leave you consuming lots of food that packs on the pounds. So, how can you avoid blowing your weight loss plan during the holidays? Consider following these simple tips:

  • Take the focus off of food. When you throw holiday parties or plan events, try to find things to do that aren't focused on heating. Have a tree trimming party instead of dinner out, for example, or play games at your parties instead of just sitting around the buffet. 
  • Be a discerning eater. When you arrive at a party or event, don't eat anything the first 30 minutes you arrive and check out all of the available food choices.  Then, decide what you most want to eat and pass over things that don't look very good. 
  • Keep one hand busy. Holding a drink or other items in your hands while you are at a party will keep you from mindlessly reaching for food to eat. 
  • Mix some non-alcoholic or low cal beverages in. Eggnog and alcohol both have a lot of calories and are frequently served at holiday parties. Skip the alcohol and eggnog when you can, or at least mix in some water instead of making every drink one that is likely to lead to weight gain. 
  • Avoid appetizers or limit yourself to healthy appetizers only. This allows you to save more room for the meal, rather than just eating all night.  You may want to chew sugarless gum to avoid the temptation to give into eating appetizers or finger foods. 

By making smart eating choices during the holiday season, you can avoid blowing your diet and look good going into the new year.

How Often Should Adults Go To The Doctor?

Kids usually go to the doctor every year in order to get required school exams and vaccinations. For adults, however, an annual visit is not always necessary.  The frequency with which you should go to your doctor is going to depend upon your health situation, including your family and genetic risk of developing cancers and other serious diseases.   If you have a current medical condition or are at a higher risk of getting sick because of your family or medical history, going to the doctor often is important to get preventative exams done and to make sure any signs of a condition are caught early.

As a general matter, however, US News and World Report suggests that patients should go to the doctor twice while in their 20's, three times in their 30's, four times in their 40's, five times in their 50's and once per year when they reach age 60.  

Doctors can talk with you about symptoms you may be experiencing and about testing you should undergo, like skin checks or mammograms.  Doctors can discuss your lifestyle issues that are affecting your health and can answer any questions or health concerns that you may have. Your doctor can also help to make sure that you are up-to-date on vaccines, because adults should not stop getting regular shots in order to maintain their immunity from a wide variety of different medical issues. 

If you have a specific health concern or are showing symptoms, you should also go to the doctor right away. A condition that seems mild could be a sign of something more serious or could progress without prompt treatment, so do not hesitate to get qualified medical advice from an experienced professional as soon as you begin to notice that you are no longer feeling like yourself. 

Going to the doctor often is one of the best things you can do to help maintain your overall health, so be sure to get your exam scheduled soon if you have not been to the doctor in a while.

How to Stay Accountable for Losing Weight

Having willpower is a good starting place for losing weight. However, losing weight can be really hard to do on your own, and at a certain point, that willpower might not be enough to keep you on track to reaching your goals. That’s why it’s important to have ways to keep yourself accountable on your weight loss journey, so that in those moments when you’re tired, discouraged, and feel like giving up, you’ll stay accountable and keep moving forward.

How can you stay accountable for losing weight? Here are some simple tips and tricks to help you maintain accountability during your weight loss journey.

  • Weigh and measure yourself regularly—The scale can be a dieter’s best friend or worst enemy. While the scale will never give you the full story – daily fluctuations will occur, scales don’t account for muscle gained in place of fat burned, etc. – multiple studies have shown that those who weight themselves regularly tend to have better results. Extra pounds can creep up on you, so weighing yourself regularly can help you notice any undesirable trends and take corrective action. For best results, also have your body fat percentage measured by a professional regularly as well.

  • Create a food diary—Could you name every single thing you ate and drank yesterday? Probably not, unless you keep a food diary. The problem is many of us aren’t fully aware of everything we’re eating and drinking, and extra calories can easily slip into our diets without us realizing it. By writing down everything you’re planning to eat before you eat it, you’ll be more aware of your choices and make smarter eating decisions. There are plenty of great apps out there for tracking your diet and calories consumption. Use them!

  • Get a professional accountability partner—The idea of a weight loss accountability partner is nothing new. Having a supportive friend there to help make sure you make smart food choices and get to the gym regularly is certainly helpful, but unless they are a trained medical professional or dietician, there’s only so much they’ll be able to help you. That’s why it may be a good idea to work with an actual medical team who can design a nutrition and weight loss plan to help you achieve your goals. At Kaner Medical Group, we offer weight loss solutions and support to help you shed unwanted pounds and stay on track. You’ll work closely with a coach who will provide you with personalized weekly support and progress sessions as well as ongoing education to empower you to make better decisions.

 

Want to learn more about weight management solutions from Kaner Medical Group? Click here to get started!

Here’s What Can Happen If You Don’t Sleep Enough

Surveys have shown that the average American doesn’t get enough sleep. In fact, about 70 million Americans are believed to have a sleep disorder. These days, most people average about 6.8 hours of sleep a night. Back in 1942, the average American got a solid 8 hours of sleep each night. While this might not seem like much of a decline, it really is significant. It’s recommended that you get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to stay healthy.

So, what happens if you don’t get the recommended amount of sleep each night? Losing sleep isn’t just about being a little tired. There are a number of issues associated with sleep deprivation, including the following:

  • Weight gain—Those who are chronically underslept often have hormone imbalances that can lead to a greater appetite and reduced impulse control. This dangerous combination leads to one thing – weight gain. Yes, you burn more calories when you’re awake, but it’s not enough to balance out the extra calories you’ll end up eating when sleep deprived.
  • Heart disease—Researchers have found that those who don’t get enough sleep have a higher heart rate and higher blood pressure. Furthermore, C-reactive protein levels, an indication for heart disease, increase in those who don’t get enough sleep. Heart disease is the nation’s #1 killer. Getting some sleep can literally save your life!
  • Impaired reaction time—A lack of sleep can make you slow, sluggish, and distracted. It can significantly affect your reaction time and impede your ability to make quality decisions. You need to get the recommended amount of sleep each night to keep your mind and reflexes sharp.
  • Weakened immune system—Sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system, making you more vulnerable to illness and infection. In fact, one study showed that vaccinations are less effective in sleep deprived individuals due to their compromised immune systems. Simply put, if you don’t sleep, you’ll probably get sick.
  • Memory issues—Your brain needs ample rest and recovery time, and when you don’t get enough sleep, cognitive performance suffers. Researchers have found that people who sleep more tend to have sharper memories. A lack of sleep could be linked to elevated levels of beta-amyloid, a biomarker for Alzheimer’s disease. 

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, you should seek medical help before you experience the serious side effects of sleep deprivation. Click here to learn more about how our sleep studies and treatment could help you. 

Allergy Testing: When Should You Get Tested?

It has been estimated that about 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. Some experience severe allergic reactions to numerous triggers, but others may only experience mild symptoms from time to time. If you suspect you might be suffering from allergies, you may want to consider getting tested, but before you do get an allergy test, there are some important things you need to know so you don’t waste your time or money. 

First things first, if you aren’t experiencing symptoms or haven’t had a medical evaluation that indicates you may have an allergy, you probably shouldn’t get tested just yet. Why not?

The truth is that a random allergy test usually isn’t all that helpful. These days, you’ll see grocery stores and drugstores offering free allergy screenings. You can even buy your own take-home allergy test so you can give yourself a screening at home if you want. Sounds great, right? The problem is that random allergy testing often complicates things. 

A random test could detect certain allergic responses in you that you don’t actually experience in real life. So, in other words, a random allergy test may tell you you’re allergic to something that you don’t actually experience any real allergic reaction to in daily life, so the information isn’t all that helpful. This could lead you to make changes in your lifestyle that aren’t even necessary or helpful, stressing you out and just making matters worse.

Another issue is that the wrong kind of allergy test can cost you money. If you don’t have certain symptoms or haven’t had a medical evaluation that indicates an allergy, spending money unnecessarily on an allergy test could be wasteful.

Who Really Needs Allergy Testing?

Allergy tests do serve a very important purpose, and there are a lot of people who can benefit from them. If you’ve been experiencing allergy symptoms (e.g. sneezing, sniffling, watery eyes, etc.) and OTC drugs haven’t helped, you should see a doctor to schedule an allergy test. A medical professional will be able to better assess your symptoms and give you the right kind of allergy test to get helpful results that could play a key role in diagnosing your allergy and treating it with the greatest effectiveness.

Kaner Medical Group’s Allergy Center offers allergy screenings and therapy to help you beat your allergies once and for all. Click here for more information.

3 Mistakes to Avoid when Trying to Lose Weight Safely

The desire to lose weight often drives people to take drastic, unsafe measures. The point of losing weight is to get healthier, but when you do it in the wrong way, you can actually do more harm to your body than good.

If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you avoid these 3 key mistakes.

Mistake #1: Setting unrealistic goals

Having goals is a good thing, and there’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars…with time. You really can do anything you set your mind to, but it’s important to remember that safe, long-lasting weight loss results take time to achieve. After all, how long did it take for you to put on those excess pounds that you want to lose now? Probably a long time, right? Well, it’s going to take a little bit of time to get rid of those pounds now.

A safe, realistic weight loss goal is to try to lose 1-2 pounds each week. If you’re trying to lose any more than this, you might be forced to resort to dangerous dieting practices that could put your health at risk. 

Not to mention, having unrealistic goals can lead to discouragement when you don’t make as much progress as you think you should, and this often leads to giving up altogether.

Mistake #2: Starving yourself

Yes, if you want to lose weight, the first place you’ll need to focus is your diet. Chances are that you’ll probably need to eat a little less than you’ve been eating, and you’ll need to clean up your diet some to incorporate healthier foods. However, that does NOT mean you should starve yourself. Starving yourself is not a safe, healthy, or even effective dieting tactic. Even if you did lose weight in the short term, there is no way you’d be able to sustain those results without getting seriously ill from malnutrition.

The key is balance. Yes, you’ll need to watch what you eat, but that doesn’t mean you have to go hungry. It’s all about making healthier eating decisions that help you burn fat.

Mistake #3: Overtraining

Exercise plays a key role in losing weight. Being active helps burn calories and melt fat away, making it much easier to reach your weight loss goals than by simply dieting alone. However, you have to make sure you aren’t pushing yourself too hard, too fast when it comes to exercising. Overtraining can lead to injury, lack of energy, and could hamper your immune system. So, make sure you start off your exercise regimen slowly, building up your strength and endurance over time before you go all out. 

13 Questions to Ask Your Doctor about Heart Disease

Have you been diagnosed with a heart disease? Right now, you might be scared, confused, and desperate for answers. It’s okay. You’re not alone, and with a qualified medical team in your corner, you’ll get the best possible treatment for achieving optimal health. To better understand your condition and to get more peace of mind, it’s important that you ask the following questions of your heart doctor at your next appointment.

 

  1. What exactly is my condition?

  2. How severe is my heart disease?

  3. What’s the cause of my heart disease?

  4. What treatment do you recommend for my heart problem? Why?

  5. What are some realistic outcomes I can expect from treatment?

  6. Are there any possible side effects to the treatment you recommend?

  7. What are the consequences of not seeking treatment?

  8. What do I do if I notice my symptoms worsening?

  9. Is there anything I can do to manage my condition and keep it from worsening or coming back?

  10. How will my heart disease affect my day-to-day activities, like working, exercising, having sex, etc.?

  11. Should I change my diet?

  12. How does stress affect my condition, and what can I do to reduce my stress levels?

  13. How often will I need to come in for a doctor’s visit?

 

Being an educated patient plays an integral role in your recovery. The more you know, the better you can manage your condition and beat heart disease. Make sure you’re asking your doctor the right questions so you can have a productive conversation and learn everything you need to know to stay as healthy as you possibly can.

At Kaner Medical Group, we can work with you to treat your heart disease and manage even the most complex cardiac conditions. Our goal is to empower you to live a healthy, happy, life. Click here to learn more about our heart disease therapies.

 

 

A Healthy Weight Helps You Have A Healthy Heart

Heart disease is the nation’s #1 killer, and while there are a number of causes of heart disease, one of the best things you can do to prevent heart disease and improve your cardiovascular health is to maintain a healthy weight. Studies have shown that exercises regularly and following a healthy diet can significantly improve heart health.

 

Make no mistake – being overweight or obese raises your risk for heart disease (along with a number of other diseases). Unfortunately, more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are considered overweight or obese, and nearly 36% are classified as obese.

 

 

The good news is there are steps you can take to losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight, and as soon as you start losing weight, you’ll be immediately reducing your risks for heart disease and a variety of other diseases, while also gaining more energy and improving your self-confidence and overall happiness.

 

How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off

 

Most diets fail. That’s just the cold, hard truth. Some dieters initially lose weight, but the vast majority gain it back and then some. It’s important to change the way you think about weight loss. It’s not just about focusing on losing weight. It’s about making small, sustainable changes to your lifestyle, like eating a little better and being more active, that will help you be more successful at losing weight and keeping it off.

 

To start, we suggest reading our articles “How to Keep Weight Off for Good” and “5 Ways You Can Eat Healthier in the New Year”. Both of these articles are loaded with helpful tips, tricks, and information that will get you on the path to losing weight permanently.

In addition, there are a few other important tips you should keep in mind when losing weight for health.

 

  • Make sure your goals are realistic and safe. Losing 1-2 pounds each week is reasonable and safe.
  • Make sustainable changes to your lifestyle that you can maintain for life. Totally depriving yourself of foods you enjoy and making yourself miserable will end in failure eventually.
  • Educate yourself on what you’re really eating. The more you understand about the food you’re putting into your body, the healthier the choices you’ll be able to make.
  • Get encouragement and support from your health care provider.
  • Reward yourself for making progress with something other than food (e.g. a spa day, a movie, etc.).

 

At Kaner Medical Group, our team of experts is here to support you in living a healthier, happier life. We work with patients who want to lose weight, keep it off, and be healthy.