Winter Weather Exercising Tips

Winter weather doesn’t mean the end of your outdoor exercise routine. If you plan to continue to run or bike after the mercury drops, consider following these tips so you can stay safe and warm while exercising in the cold.

Know the weather conditions before heading outdoors – In addition to the temperature, those heading outside to exercise need to understand how wind and precipitation can affect your health.  These factors, combined with the length of time spent outdoors need to be taken into consideration before beginning an outdoor exercise regime.

Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia –Frostbite is most common on exposed skin, such as your cheeks, nose and ears. It can also occur on hands and feet. Early warning signs include numbness, loss of feeling or a stinging sensation.

Hypothermia is abnormally low body temperature. When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Hypothermia signs and symptoms include intense shivering, slurred speech, loss of coordination and fatigue.

Get out of the cold and seek emergency help right away if you experience symptoms of frostbite or hypothermia.

Dress in layers – Dressing too warmly is a big mistake when exercising in cold weather. Exercise generates a considerable amount of heat — enough to make you feel like it’s much warmer than it really is. The best option is to dress in layers that can be removed as soon as you start to sweat and then put layers back on as needed.

Protect your head, hands, feet and ears – When it’s cold, blood flow is concentrated in your body’s core, leaving your head, hands and feet vulnerable. Ways to protect these parts of your body include wearing a thin pair of glove liners under a pair of heavier gloves, purchasing exercise shoes one size larger to allow for thick thermal socks or an extra pair of regular socks. And don’t forget a hat to protect your head or headband to protect your ears.

Use proper safety gear – If it’s dark when you exercise outside, wear reflective clothing. If you ride a bike, both headlights and taillights are a good idea. Also choose footwear with enough traction to prevent falls, especially if it’s icy or snowy.

It’s as easy to get sunburned in winter as in summer — even more so if you’re exercising in the snow or at high altitudes. Wear a sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen. Protect your eyes from snow and ice glare with dark glasses or goggles.

Drink plenty of fluids – Don’t forget about hydration, as it’s just as important during cold weather as it is in the heat. Drink water or sports drinks before, during and after your workout, even if you’re not really thirsty.

These tips can help you safely and enjoyably exercise in cold conditions. Closely monitor how your body feels during cold-weather exercise to help prevent injuries. While exercise is safe for almost everyone, even in cold weather, if you do have certain condition such as asthma or heart disease that could limit you ability, you should check with your doctor first.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

History of Thermometers

Hundreds of years ago scientists realized  they could measure changes in temperature by using primitive glass devices filled with liquids that expanded when they were warm and contracted when they cooled. Alcohol and mercury were the liquids most commonly used.
Thermoscopes were the earliest types of thermometers and they only showed changes in temperature but didn’t show numerical values. One of the first thermoscopes was developed by Italian inventor, Galeleo Galilei in 1593.It used water as the liquid and glass bulbs inside an open tube. The glass bulbs rose and fell with the changes in temperature. In 1612, another Italian inventor, Santorio Santorio, used a numerical scale on the thermoscope but it was very rudimentary.  In 1654 the first sealed glass tube was developed by Ferdinand II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. It contained alcohol and had a numerical scale, but wasn’t very accurate.
The more modern thermometer was invented in 1709 by Daniel Fahrenheit. It was an enclosed glass tube that had a numerical scale, called the Fahrenheit scale. The early version of this thermometer contained alcohol and in 1714 Fahrenheit developed a mercury thermometer using the same scale. He assigned the freezing point of water at 32 degrees, the boiling point of water as 212 degrees and the normal body temperature as 98.6 degrees. Later on in that same century, the inventor Anders Celsius developed a numerical scale, called the Celsius or Centigrade scale. This scale was based on a scale of zero to one hundred where the freezing point of water is zero, the boiling point of water is 100 degrees and normal body temperature is 37 degrees. The first real medical thermometer was invented by Sir Thomas Allbut in 1867. It was six inches long and took about five minutes to take a person’s temperature.
For almost a hundred years thermometers were basically unchanged. They contained alcohol or mercury and were considered to be very accurate. More modern thermometers were developed after World War II that used infrared technology and placed in the ear. They utilized tiny electrical circuits and numerical readouts  that could measure temperature more quickly and with more precision than the liquid filled glass tubes. Today modern thermometers use some type of electrical sensors to measure temperature but the same numerical scales developed in the 1700’s by Fahrenheit and Celsius are still being used.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that mainly affects people who are middle aged or older, but it can affect anyone at any age. There are more than three million people in the United States and 60 million people worldwide who suffer from glaucoma.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness. Typically the disease starts to develop suddenly, often without symptoms,  and once vision is lost, it is permanent. As much as 40 percent of vision can be lost before some people even notice a problem. It usually starts with loss of peripheral vision. Glaucoma  is caused by damage to the optic nerve so that the  brain isn’t able to receive images from the eyes. There are two types of Glaucoma, Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma where pressure inside the eye increases on its own and damages the optic nerve and Secondary Glaucoma where another disease causes the pressure in the eye to increase and that results in optic nerve damage. Both types will eventually lead to blindness.
Early detection of Glaucoma can help to slow down the progression of the disease. Regular eye exams are very important. To schedule an appointment with an eye doctor at Flushing Hospital, please call 718- 670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Maintaining Sobriety in The New Year

Maintaining sobriety in the New Year is a common resolution for those who are overcoming alcohol addiction. As with other resolutions, maintaining this goal can be difficult as there are many challenging obstacles you can encounter.

Resisting the temptation to drink at social gatherings is often one of several difficulties you may face. However, there are measures you can take to avoid relapse and maintain your sobriety while socializing. Creating a plan ahead of time to avoid temptations and triggers is one of your best defenses against jeopardizing your sobriety.

When creating a plan, these are some factors you may want to consider:

  • On-call sober friend/sponsor – Choose a person you trust to call if you are experiencing the desire to drink.
  • Alcohol alternatives – Bring or ask the host to have non-alcoholic beverages available.
  • Eat a sweet – If an urge to drink hits you, eat or drink something sweet. Since alcohol is a sugar, eating a sweet can satisfy the part of the brain that triggers the need for alcohol.
  • Bring a Friend – Ask a sober friend to accompany you to the party for moral support.
  • Get rest – Take some time to nap, meditate or just to remain quiet. It’s best to try and relieve stress before going to a gathering.
  • Work on your response – Not everyone knows you are in recovery. They may ask you if you’d like a drink.  A response that works well is, “I have plans early in the morning tomorrow or I’m driving tonight.”
  • Pick and choose your events wisely – If you are invited to an event where there will be excessive amounts of alcohol served, remember you have the right to decline the invitation. Many recovery groups organize non-alcoholic mixers and sober holiday events.
  • Limit time with triggers – If you know your “drinking buddy” is going to be at an event you are attending, you can limit the time you spend with them and surround yourself with people who are aware of your sobriety or “safe-zones.”
  • Be honest – Honesty just may be the best policy. If you are honest with the people around you, they can help support you in maintaining sobriety.

While alcoholic beverages may be served at events, keep in mind that social gatherings are not only about drinking. You can have an exciting time while staying sober.

The road to recovery can be difficult but it is one that you do not have to travel alone. Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Addiction Services Division provides support and treatment for alcohol and chemical dependence through our Inpatient Chemical Dependence Unit and Reflections Outpatient Program.  Our highly trained staff utilizes a medical and holistic approach in helping our patients to address addiction and the impact it has on their lives. These approaches help patients to build coping skills so they can better reflect and focus on their goals. To schedule a consultation, please call 718-670-5087.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Blood Pressure – Keeping it Under Control in the New Year

It is the beginning of the New Year and many of us will make resolutions to do things better than the previous year. For many people this means living healthy, losing weight, and keeping our blood pressure under control.
High blood pressure affects one in three Americans. If not controlled well it can lead to kidney problems, damaged blood vessels, stroke, and heart attacks. There are many factors that can cause blood pressure to be elevated including obesity, stress, smoking, high sodium diets and elevated cholesterol. Ideally, managing some of these factors can help to maintain a blood pressure that is as close to normal range (120/80mmHg) as possible.
There are many ways that doctors can help us to control our blood pressure, Your doctor can prescribe medication that will help. Additionally other methods include:
• Quitting smoking
• Lose weight
• Stress reduction
• Exercise regularly
• Eat less salty food
• Eliminate beverages that contain caffeine
• Eat dark chocolate
• Cut back on sugar
• Drink less alcohol
Keeping your blood pressure under control is probably one of the most important things you can do to keep yourself healthy. Speak to your doctor about methods that would work best for you.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with a doctor at Flushing Hospital to discuss how you can lower your blood pressure in 2018, please call 718-670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

How Much Post-Holiday Drinking IsToo Much?

The holidays are behind us, but some habits may linger.  After the merriment of the season, you may want to ask yourself, “How many drinks are too many?”

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Answer: According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism: men should not exceed four drinks per day or a total of 14 per week and women should not to exceed three drinks a day or a total of seven per week.

When following these guidelines here are some factors to consider:

.Portion size: Standard portions in the United States include 12-ounces of beer, 8-ounces of malt liquor, 5-ounces of wine and 1.5-ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor.

  • Alcohol content: There are differences in alcohol percentages between red and white wines, as well as between light beers and lagers.
  • Gender: Women have less body water than men and hence retain a higher blood-alcohol concentration than men from a single drink.
  • Food:  An empty stomach speeds up alcohol absorption. Food slows absorption rates in men and women.

Remember, everyone metabolizes alcohol differently and moderation is key. Make smart choices when enjoying dinner or a night out with friends and NEVER drink and drive.

If you think you have a problem with alcohol, please contact Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s Addiction Treatment Division at 718- 670-5486.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

New Year’s Eve – Do You Prefer to Stay Home or Go Out ?

Everyone knows that New Year’s Eve is the most popular night of the year to party.  It is a night to go out with family and friends to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. Some people prefer to spend a quiet night at home though. The reasons are varied but commonly people don’t want to spend the money, don’t like the crowds, and think that the night is much a-do about nothing.

Which do you prefer?

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Holiday Heart Syndrome

Holiday Heart Syndrome, coined in 1978, is a real syndrome in which the heart’s vulnerability to certain arrhythmias is increased by excessive alcohol ingestion (binge drinking) and the onset of a heart rhythm disturbance in people who are otherwise healthy.

The most frequently seen arrhythmia during the holiday season is atrial fibrillation, in which the top chambers of the heart quiver or fibrillate causing the heart to beat irregular and often quite fast.

Excessive alcohol intake in women is defined as consuming seven or more drinks per week or over three doses at one time.  For men, heavy consumption is defined as over 14 drinks per week or over four drinks at one time by the U.S. Department of health and Human Service.

Alcohol alone does not fully explain Holiday Heart Syndrome.  There are other risk factors for atrial fibrillation that are higher around the holidays such as:

  • Overeating
  • Stress
  • High levels of sodium consumption
  • Dehydration

Everyone has some degree of stress in their lives.  Health concerns, family and relationship issues, financial problems can all cause stress which can ultimately affect your health; the idea of “letting go” at a holiday event and consuming more alcohol than usual as a way to forget the present may have a negative effect on your future.

If you have any heart symptoms, it is best to seek medical attention immediately; even if your symptoms appear ON a holiday.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

Kitchen Safety Tips

The kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in a home, and even more so during the holiday season. Whether a person is a skilled chef or just someone preparing a basic meal, taking precautions in the kitchen is vital to making everything go safely.

Here are some basic safety tips to remember while working in the kitchen:

  • Always wear shoes in the kitchen
  • Avoid wearing loose clothing
  • Take your time, especially when using sharp objects
  • Never leave a stove unattended
  • Make sure everything is cleaned properly
  • Have a fire extinguisher handy
  • Keep children away from anything that is sharp, hot or electrical
  • While cooking on a stove, turn pot and pan handles inward
  • Wash your hands before and after touching raw meat.
  • Keep the floor dry
  • Put food that can spoil in the refrigerator until you are ready to use it
  • Make sure that everything is off when you are done cooking
  • Be careful of greasy foods that can splatter, especially near an open flame
  • Never leave the home while food is cooking

Following these precautions can mean the difference between a memorable meal and a meal that you might want to forget. If an accident does occur and it requires immediate medical attention, please remember to call 911 and ask for help.

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.

SafetyTips for the Holiday Season

We tend to cook and decorate more during the holiday season.  These activities if not exercised with caution and safety can lead to burn injuries, which is one of the most common problems emergency rooms face at this time of year.  Doctors are requesting that people pay close attention to potential hazards that can result in burn injuries and avoid them by following these safety guidelines:

  • Do not leave food unattended on the stove or oven for extended periods of time.
  • Avoid wearing loose garments around flames by the stove or fireside.
  • Keep flammable objects such as pot holders, paper towels or utensils made of wood away from the stove.
  • When buying a real tree make sure that it is green. Also remember to water your tree if it is real – a dry tree is a fire hazard.  If purchasing a synthetic tree be sure to check for a label that reads “fire resistant.”
  • Keep trees away from fire places or radiators.
  • Never leave candles or oil burners unattended.
  • Keep gifts and wrapping paper away from fireplaces.
  • Have chimneys cleaned and inspected each year.
  • Make certain that smoke detectors are working.
  • Always have a fire extinguisher within reach.
  • Do not overload extension cords.
  • Inspect holiday lights to make certain that wires are not cracked or frayed.

Please keep your holiday season safe and accident free by following recommended fire safety guidelines.  For a list of further safety tips please visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website www.NFPA.org .

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.