How to Have a Healthy Start to 2016

Now that the new year is officially underway, you can focus on all the things you want to accomplish during 2016. For many people, improving their health is one of those goals. Whether you want to lose weight, feel better on a daily basis or do a combination of those things, you don’t need to wait to start making positive changes in your life. In fact, starting now means that you can accomplish a lot by the time you reach the end of the year.


To help you make 2016 your best year yet, we’ve put together a collection of tips that you can use to start and maintain healthy momentum throughout 2016:


1. Get a Check-Up


If it’s been awhile since you’ve had a physical, getting one now will help you understand exactly where you’re at in terms of your health. Knowledge is definitely power when it comes to living a healthy life, so take advantage of ourfamily care services and get your medical check-up appointment scheduled.


2. Consider Monthly Changes


One of the reasons that so many people struggle to stick with their resolutions is they want to change everything at the same time. While it’s normal to have multiple goals, it’s more effective to spread them out over the year. That’s why a great option is to make a list of your resolutions and then dedicate a full month to focusing on each one.


3. Stand More


In the past few years, a lot of research has been published about the dangers of sitting all day at work. That’s why making a conscious effort to stand more throughout the day can have a positive impact on how you feel and your overall health. If you’re interested in trying out a standing desk, you can find kits online that make it easy to add this functionality to your existing desk without requiring you to invest in a completely new desk.


4. Pay Attention to What You Eat


The food you eat on a daily basis affects everything from your weight to how much energy you have. Instead of starting the year off with a strict diet that’s going to be extremely hard to maintain, a more sustainable approach is to simply pay attention to what you eat. By thinking about why you’re eating a specific type of food or choosing to have a second serving, you’ll be able to make incremental improvements that add up to something quite significant.


5. Sleep More


In addition to standing more, you should also make it a priority to sleep more. Even though we live in a society that celebrates all-nighters and functioning on as little sleep as possible,sleep health is very important. Weight gain, heart disease, impaired reaction time, a weakened immune system and memory issues are just some of the issues that can arise from not sleeping enough. That’s why people who go from being sleep deprived to getting enough sleep are often amazed at just how much their overall quality of life improves from this single change.



Now that Fall has arrived you may be wondering what is making your allergies so bad?

For most of us it is the Ragweed. Ragweed starts releasing pollen as early as August when the days are hot and the nights are just barely cool and it can last for months. One single Ragweed plant can release one billion pollen grains per season and it can travel around 350 miles in the wind.


Ragweed can be found from inside the cracks in your sidewalk to in the gutter on the roof of some homes and buildings. In cold areas the first frost occurs about the time Ragweed pollination is ending. In regions down South, ragweed can pollinate throughout the winter.


Some of the other weeds that are probably adding to your misery are lambs quarters, pigweed, curly dock, goldenrod, sagebrush and sheep sorrel.


Another allergen that is probably messing with you is Mold. Mold can be found in moist grass, on wet leaves, in soil, compost piles and can easily send spores into the wind. They are common airborne allergens because they are light and very tiny. So tiny and light you are breathing them in and dont know it.


How do I protect myself? Well, we know that windy days are particularly bad when it comes to fall allergies. Wind pollinated plants like Ragweed have special flowers that produce large amounts of pollen that is easily released into the wind. Large amounts of this pollen are produced in the early morning hours and people that suffer from fall allergies have a hard time in the morning.


Here are some things that you can do to help ease the suffering.


  • Avoid yard work if you are a bad sufferer

  • If you must work in the yard wear a face mask

  • Use a clothes dryer instead of air drying laundry

  • Shower frequently removing pollen from your skin



If you do all of these things but still have a very hard time with your allergies then you should consider seeing a doctor to get tested to see what exactly is causing your misery. There are treatments that may be just perfect for you.

Ways to Stay Healthy as Winter Rolls In

As summer fades away and the winter rolls in there are some things that you can do to make sure that you stay healthy. Here are some of the things that you can do.


Add beans to your diet. They are high in protein and easy to add to many different dishes. You should eat about 3 cups of beans each week. Any type of bean will work from Lima beans, black beans and garbanzo beans to pinto beans. They all contain folic acid, iron, potassium and fiber.

Make fitness fun. Try something new this year like renting a bike to ride on the seawall or taking a fitness class at your gym. You can do something like Yoga, Pilates or even Kickboxing if you like the intensity.

If your budget allows, buy a bicycle and go for a ride. The whole family can enjoy this exercise and when you get serious you can Google places to go ride. Find some trails that just right for your experience and begin riding often and increasing your ability to ride. Pretty soon you will find yourself riding the more challenging trails and loving it. That is when exercise becomes more of a fun thing to do that a chore.

Make sure to get good sleep. Well duh... This is said all the time but it is said all the time because it is super important. I you find yourself having a hard time to fall asleep and you tend to sleep a little later than you would like, there are things you can do about it. When you first wake up go outside right away and get some bright light on you for a while. This will help you natural body clock to wake up.

If you find it hard to fall asleep you should avoid bright light for a few hours before bed time. Bright light can trigger your natural response and make you more awake so staying away at bed time is a good idea.

Relieve stress with friendships. Doing these things with a friend has been proven to help motivate you to stick to it as well as to work hard at it. It also has been proven to relieve stress. Having that close friend with you when you are working out is great at lifting your emotions and giving you a positive outlook on your day.

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.