KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Weekly Wellness Weekly Wellness en-us Copyright 2020, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Mon, 17 Feb 2020 HH:02:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Weekly Wellness: Have you developed a food allergy? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-have-you-developed-a-food-allergy-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-have-you-developed-a-food-allergy-/ Weekly Wellness Wed, 12 Feb 2020 10:52:35 AM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Have you developed a food allergy?

COLUMBIA- Did you know that you’re not just born with allergies? Did you know that you can develop allergies as an adult? It’s true! And, actually, fairly common.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, food allergy symptoms can appear at any age and impact up to 4 percent of adults. And the really unfair part is that you can develop an allergy to foods you have eaten for YEARS before.

There is a difference between food intolerances (which cause discomfort) and food allergies (which can cause severe reactions) that can be life-threatening. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports that approximately 30,000 American adults go to the ER every year to be treated for severe food allergies (and up to 200 Americans die every year from allergic reactions to food).

Possible symptoms that indicate a food allergy are:

  • Hives
  • Itchiness
  • Swelling of the lips and tongue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Throat-tightening
  • Rash
  • Anaphylactic shock

If you experience any of these symptoms within minutes of eating a food, note the symptoms to discuss with your physician. If the reaction is throat-tightening or shortness of breath, go to the ER right away.

I really hope that you don’t experience an adult allergy to your favorite food (or any food) but if you do, don’t ignore it. As it could be worse the next time.

(Source: https://www.self.com/story/9-signs-youve-developed-a-food-allergy-without-realizing-it)

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Weekly Wellness: Watch the Salt! https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-watch-the-salt-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-watch-the-salt-/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 4 Feb 2020 6:11:39 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Watch the Salt!

COLUMBIA- Two recent studies are further strengthening the case against the high amounts of salt found in restaurant and packaged processed foods.

The first study was in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This study found a link between body weight and salt consumption. Data was collected from 4,680 men and women in four different countries. American adults who tested for the highest salt intakes were 24% more likely to be overweight or obese.

Foods that often contain generous amounts of added salt tend to pack on pounds. There’s a chance that constantly having too much sodium can play a direct role in weight gain.

The second study was from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. This study randomly assigned participants to diets with differing sodium levels and discovered that those consuming the most sodium reported a greater incidence of bloating. The research team also concluded that lowering sodium consumption might mitigate the bloating associated with eating a high-fiber diet.

The recommended daily intake of sodium is 2,300 mg. Keeping that in mind, the average daily consumption is 3,400 mg. Paying attention to your sodium intake is very important – especially if you have high blood pressure or are at risk of heart disease or stroke.

Tips to monitoring your sodium intake:

  • Check the nutrition labels. Look for “soda” and “sodium” and the symbol “Na”
  • Chicken: use fresh, skinless poultry what isn’t enhanced with sodium solution.
  • Soup: try low-sodium varieties
  • Choose foods with potassium to counter the effects of sodium

(Source: https://www.ideafit.com/personal-training/more-strikes-against-eating-too-much-salt/)



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Weekly Wellness: Should you trust social media influencers about health advice? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-should-you-trust-social-media-influencers-about-health-advice-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-should-you-trust-social-media-influencers-about-health-advice-/ Weekly Wellness Thu, 30 Jan 2020 11:20:19 AM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Should you trust social media influencers about health advice?

COLUMBIA- There has been a lot of attention on social media these days. The validity of information found on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter has been questioned quite a bit. This problem is extending to health and wellness through social influencers.

The definition of a social influencer is “a person with a loyal audience and following online, who receives compensation in exchange for leveraging their platform to influence their audience.” In other words, these are people who get paid to promote stuff online. This can be dangerous when it comes to health issues.

A study by a team at University of Glasgow found that just one out of nine leading UK bloggers who were making weight management claims actually provided accurate and trustworthy information. The health researchers studied the country’s most popular influencers (based on those who had more than 80,000 followers on at least one social media site) and who had an active weight management blog.

What they found was shocking. The majority of the blogs could not be considered credible sources of weight management information. The bloggers were found to present opinion as fact and failed to meet the country’s nutritional criteria.

The team examined whether the health and diet claims made by influencers were transparent, trustworthy, nutritionally sound, and included evidence-based references. They also looked at the role of bias in what was put online.

Influencers were regarded as having "passed" the test if they met 70% or more of the criteria. Researchers also examined the latest 10 meal recipes from each blog for energy content, carbohydrates, protein, fat, saturated fat, fiber, sugar, and salt content.

 Of the advice-based blogs, only one by a registered nutritionist with a degree passed overall, with 75%. The lowest compliance, 25%, was from an influencer without any nutritional qualifications.

The conclusion of the study is that social media influencers are not credible resources for weight management.

If you are looking for credible information for weight management and other health and wellness issues, reach out to your healthcare providers, certified health coaches, registered dieticians, etc. Don’t rely solely on social media.

(Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/social-media-influencers-give-bad-health-advice-90-percent-of-time-study-shows-2019-4)


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Weekly Wellness: Tips to Take Care of Your Mental Health https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-tips-to-take-care-of-your-mental-health/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-tips-to-take-care-of-your-mental-health/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 21 Jan 2020 12:22:13 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Tips to Take Care of Your Mental Health

COLUMBIA- It has taken a long time but, finally, the negative stigma and taboo-ness of mental health issues is starting to lift. Mental illness is as controllable as developing a cold or flu – we need to take care of our physical wellness AND our mental wellness.

Here are some ways to help us to work on our own mental wellness:

  • Give yourself permission to take a mental health day when you need it. Try to take a day to relax and recharge – before you get so worn down that you end up actually sick.
  • Do something else besides watching television before bed. If television shows tend to rile you up and suck you in, it might be better if you try to read or journal or something else a bit more calming before bed.
  • Bring a little vacation-life into your daily life. We have a tendency to chill out when we’re on vacation. Think about some of the activities or attitudes that we have when we’re on vacation and try to incorporate those into your week.
  • Meditate for five minutes. Sit quietly, focus on your breathing, and recharge your battery.
  • Cut back on sugar and increase magnesium. Cutting back on sugars can help to stabilize your blood sugar levels which can help to balance energy levels. And magnesium can help to alleviate headaches and fatigue so add some dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, avocados and figs into your diet!
  • Get professional help. If you’re experiencing mood changes that aren’t going away, it might be time to reach out to a healthcare provider, mental health professional or a friend.
  • Find a therapist who is uniquely qualified to treat you (especially if you are a person of color). Recognizing the role that racism and racial micro-aggressions could be playing in your mental health. Race and racism play a significant role in a person’s vulnerability to mental health struggles.
  • If your mental health is affecting your work, time to talk with your boss or HR department. If your mental health is affecting your job, you might need to discuss your options with your employer. You might need to take a longer lunch (to make a therapy appointment) or arrange to work from home while adjusting.
  • Consider cutting back on alcohol (if you feel worse when you go out drinking). For many people, drinking in moderation is fine. But if you find that you are using alcohol as an escape or you feel a morning-after panic attack, it might be time to assess the role that alcohol plays on your moods.
  • Stop glorifying being busy and get some necessary sleep. If you’re making time for every other activity except for sleep, there might be a problem. Sleep is necessary. And if you’re not getting enough, it can cause your mental state to suffer.
  • Use an affirmation jar! Write down positive affirmations and healthy coping mechanisms, put them in a jar and use them when you need them!


(Source: https://www.self.com/story/take-care-of-your-mental-health)

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Weekly Wellness: Choosing the Right Athletic Shoes https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-choosing-the-right-athletic-shoes/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-choosing-the-right-athletic-shoes/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 14 Jan 2020 12:19:41 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Choosing the Right Athletic Shoes

COLUMBIA- It probably won’t be a surprise to you that January is one of the best times to buy athletic shoes. With the new year can come resolutions for lifestyle change – including more exercise. So, retailers will take advantage of this peak in activity and usually have sales on shoes and athletic apparel.

Not all athletic shoes are the same. Shoes are made specific for the activity they are to be used for. If you are in the market for some new athletic shoes, here are some tips to make sure you get exactly what you need:

Don’t make shoes multitask. Walking shoes are made stiffer than running shoes. Running shoes are made more flexible with extra cushioning to handle more impact, etc.

Know your foot. Feet come in a variety of shapes. You need to take into account your arches (or lack), whether you overpronate, supinate. Do you need more of a stability shoe?

Feet change. As we age, our feet change. So, we need to measure our feet frequently.

Shop towards the end of the day. Feet swell over the course of a day (and they also expand while exercising) so we want to choose shoes that will fit our feet at their largest.

Bring your own socks and orthotics. If you wear a specific type of sock, bring it to try on with the new shoes. Also, if you wear orthotics, we want to make sure they work in those shoes too.

“Breaking them in” is a myth. Shoes should feel comfortable as soon as you put them on. Walk around the store to make sure they feel good in action.

Understand the features of your shoes. Models of shoes have specific features for specific needs. Extra cushioning, shock absorption, etc.

Don’t overpay or underpay. A good quality shoe is going to be more expensive – and worth it (generally speaking). However, if a shoe is associated with a celebrity, they may be pricier due to the name association.

Know when to replace them. Most shoes are meant to be replaced after 350-400 miles of use. If monitoring the mileage isn’t something that you’ve been doing, go by how the shoes look and feel. Look for worn out areas, and pay attention to whether they feel uncomfortable or less supportive.

Following this guidance will help you to get exactly what you need. However, we are also very luck here in Columbia to have a few stores that have staff who are trained to help you determine your needs. Specialty stores like Fleet Feet and Tryathletics are more than merely retailers. They know shoes and they know feet. If you’re struggling to find what will help you reach your goals, visit these establishments.

(Source: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/how-choose-athletic-shoes#1)

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Weekly Wellness: New Year, New Habit of Journaling? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-new-year-new-habit-of-journaling-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-new-year-new-habit-of-journaling-/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 7 Jan 2020 10:12:54 AM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: New Year, New Habit of Journaling?

COLUMBIA- A fresh new year. A clean slate. An opportunity to create (and start) new habits. One habit that has been found to help people with our emotional and mental state is journaling. There is increasing evidence to support the notion that journaling has a positive impact on physical well-being. University of Texas at Austin psychologist and researcher James Pennebaker contends that regular journaling strengthens immune cells. Other research indicates that journaling decreases the symptoms of asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Pennebaker believes that writing about stressful events helps you come to terms with them, acting as a stress management tool, thus reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health.

When you begin journaling you may begin to experience these benefits:

  • Clarification of your thoughts and feelings
  • Know yourself better
  • Reduce stress
  • Solve problems more effectively
  • Resolve disagreements with others

If journaling is something you have considered before and think it might be something you want to try again, here are some tips to getting started:

1. Make it a regular habit. Creating a routine with journal will provide you with checkpoints of your day. Whether you choose to start your day or end your day (or both!) with journaling, the routine will allow your journaling to be successful.

2. Keep your journal handy. If you keep your journal with you, there’s no reason not to keep your routine going and stick to it.

3. Use your journal in moments of need. Journaling is a great resource to help you work through arguments, decisions, creative pursuits, as well as, working through emotions and symptoms related to a health experience.

4. Make your journal a judgment-free zone. It is important to allow your journaling to be free of judgment. No censoring. When we censor ourselves, we significantly limit the impact that our journaling can have in our lives.


(Source: https://www.self.com/story/how-to-start-a-journaling-practice)

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Weekly Wellness: Bad Habits to Break to Live a Better Life https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-bad-habits-to-break-to-live-a-better-life/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-bad-habits-to-break-to-live-a-better-life/ Weekly Wellness Thu, 2 Jan 2020 12:41:33 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Bad Habits to Break to Live a Better Life

COLUMBIA- As this year comes to a close, it’s time to start looking towards the next. Some people love to come up with New Year’s Resolutions and that’s GREAT! Do it! But maybe that’s not your thing. So, this year, with the help of an article, I’ve found a list of bad habits to break. Maybe this will help you to find something that resonates with you and will allow you to make some positive changes for yourself in the new year.

1. Hitting the snooze button: Hitting the snooze button regularly can actual make you feel even more tired, make you late, make you miss breakfast, etc.

2. Skipping breakfast: Skipping breakfast can cause you to snack more throughout the day, gain weight and cause you to have low energy.

3. Going to bed late: Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep as often as possible.

4. Smoking or vaping: I’m pretty sure you know the “why” on this.

5. Letting fear stop you: Stop waiting to do that thing you want to do. There’s no “right time.” Start now.

6. Saying Yes to everything: Do you need to be on one more board or part of one more organization? Are you already feeling overwhelmed? It’s OK to say no.

7. Complaining: Don’t make complaining a habit. Focusing on the positive can actually physiologically transform your mood and transform your life.

8. Spending too much time on your phone: Instead of looking at photos and videos of other people living their lives, how about you put the phone down and live more of yours.

9. Not having any savings: Whether it’s an emergency fund, a 401(k), or savings account, putting some money away is very important. And can be a stress reliever.

10. Feeling guilty: Feeling guilty about some things is normal, but feeling guilt about almost everything is not. Accept that you’re doing the best you can and be OK with that.

11. Not staying in touch: In today’s busy world, taking a moment to write a note, make a call or invite a friend to coffee is vital. Life is busy, yes, but it’s also incredibly short. Don’t waste it.

12. Sweating the small stuff: Let’s all learn to let go of the little things. There’s (unfortunately) going to be bigger stuff that is going to need more effort. Let the little stuff go.

13. Apologizing for everything: Stop apologizing for every little think you think you do wrong. Ask yourself which situations require an apology and let the others go.

14. Skipping self-care: it goes back to my flight attendant speech. You’re supposed to put YOUR oxygen mask on first before you help those around you. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t be expected to take care of anyone else. Have you tried to pour anything out of an empty cup? Yea, doesn’t work.

Let’s try to live our best lives this year.

 (Source: https://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/bad-habits-to-break-46670939)

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Weekly Wellness: Stress and The Holidays https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-stress-and-the-holidays/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-stress-and-the-holidays/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 23 Dec 2019 4:37:14 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Stress and The Holidays

COLUMBIA- If life were a Hallmark holiday movie, we would all be happy and joyous in a perfectly-decorated home with a perfectly-decorated tree with a beautiful fire in fireplace and carolers at the front door. For me, it’s soooooo not like this. The holidays (no matter if or what you celebrate) can create stress out of nowhere. Parties, shopping, cleaning, baking, cooking, AHHHH.

When I was preparing the segment for this week, I asked my husband “what’s a good topic to discuss for this week?” and he said “how about taking a break?” I said, “what do you mean?” He said, “Everyone seems to be running crazy the week of holidays. Trying to do everything and get everything done and still maintain the usual schedule with work and going to the gym, etc. It can be exhausting. Maybe tell your viewers that it’s okay to take a break this week.”

So, here we are. And I’m here to tell you (with the blessing of my husband) that it’s okay to take a break this week. Let’s try to minimize the stresses that we can control and let the rest of it go.

Here are some holiday stress tips from the Mayo Clinic that might be helpful too:

1. Acknowledge your feelings. If you’ve recently experienced loss and feel some sadness and grief around the holidays, it’s ok. Don’t force yourself to be happy. Take care of what you need for you.

2. Reach out for help. If you feel lonely, isolated or overwhelmed, it’s okay to ask for help from a friend, counselor, or church group.

3. Be realistic. We do NOT live in a Hallmark movie. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

4. Set aside differences. You’re hard-pressed to find a family where everyone is on the same page – politically or otherwise. During family get-togethers, set aside those differences and save those hard conversations for another time.

5. Stick to a budget. Finances can cause a BIG stress for most of us. Don’t go overboard. Create a budget that you can handle and stick to it.

6. Plan ahead. If you know you’ll have people over this week, do your shopping early. Prepare so that you’re not scrambling.

7. Learn to say no. You can’t do everything. You can’t be everywhere. Seriously, it’s okay to say no.

8. Don’t abandon your healthy habits. Don’t let the holidays be a free-for-all. If you need to alter your routine, totally fine. But don’t completely neglect your healthy routine.

9. Take a breather. When those stress-y feelings start to take over, you might need to step away from the holiday madness for a moment or two. Go for a walk, go to a coffee shop and read a book, get a massage. Take some time for you.

10. Seek professional help if you need it. If you are still feeling sad or anxious, you might need professional help. Talk with your physician or mental health professional.

(Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20047544)

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Weekly Wellness: Blood Pressure Creeping Up? Do This! https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-blood-pressure-creeping-up-do-this-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-blood-pressure-creeping-up-do-this-/ Weekly Wellness Wed, 18 Dec 2019 2:35:57 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Blood Pressure Creeping Up? Do This!

COLUMBIA- According to some estimates, about 1 in 3 adults has high blood pressure. While that is a scary statistic, even scarier is that only around half of them have the condition under control. That’s a dangerous situation for the other half, since high blood pressure puts you at greater risk for heart disease and stroke.

Normal blood pressure is 120 systolic and 80 diastolic, or 120/80 mmHg. If you’re between that number and 139/89 mmHg, you’re considered at risk for high blood pressure, and above that, you’re in the high blood pressure group.

If you’ve noticed that your blood pressure has been creeping up, here are some strategies to try:

KEEP MOVING: Over the years there have been loads of studies that link exercise to heart health. And the older advice was centered around a certain amount of time at a certain intensity. Today, the focus is more about just moving. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Parking further from the store and walking through the parking lot. Increasing your physical activity throughout the day will add up.

Movement of any kind helps lower blood pressure, and improves the heart’s ability to draw oxygen from the blood. That increases its efficiency over time. Ideally, you’d want to add some higher-intensity exercise into the mix, whether that means a brisk walk or swimming some laps, but everyday, regular movement is also highly beneficial.

REDUCE STRESS: One of the top modifiable factors for blood pressure is how frazzled and overwhelmed you are. When you’re under chronic stress, your “fight or flight” hormones like cortisol go zooming upward, and so does your blood pressure. That can increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

Of course, simply telling yourself to calm down isn’t always a useful strategy. Strategies that DO work are: getting better sleep, getting more fresh air, trying deep-breathing exercises, practicing yoga, trying meditation, starting a gratitude journal or even listening to your favorite music.

FOCUS ON HEALTHY EATING: It’s no surprise focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, good fats and lean proteins comes with major heart and blood pressure benefits. The Mediterranean diet appears to be one of the best heart-healthy diets one can follow. Food choices like avocado, olive oil and salmon help lower inflammation in the body, which helps blood pressure regulation and also allows you to better absorb certain fat-soluble vitamins and minerals.

WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR: So, you’ve done all of the above and you still have high blood pressure? It may be out of your control and you may need some medical assistance. Risk factors that we can’t control are things like age (your blood pressure tends to rise as you get older), genetics, your race or ethnicity (African Americans tend to develop high blood pressure more often than other ethnic groups), etc.

If these kinds of factors apply to you, or you’re simply not seeing improvement after a few months of healthy strategies, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to figure out a potential treatment plan.

 (Source:  https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/what-a-cardiologist-recommends-to-reduce-high-blood-pressure)

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Weekly Wellness: Vaping vs. Smoking Cigarettes https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-vaping-vs-smoking-cigarettes/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-vaping-vs-smoking-cigarettes/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 3 Dec 2019 1:52:04 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Vaping vs. Smoking Cigarettes

COLUMBIA- The debate is ON. Which is better? Vaping or traditional cigarettes? Well, if you’re going to ask a health coach personal trainer like me, the answer is NEITHER! But if you are truly curious, here’s some science to back up my claim.

The CDC states there are more than 1,000 cases of vaping-related lung injury across 48 states (including 18 deaths). And our youth are the victims with 80% of those affected are under 35, and about 20% are between the ages of 18 and 21. So what’s the lung injury that’s occurring? A new study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the lung injuries in 17 patients look more like chemical burns rather than the result of inflammation due to inhaling fats in vape liquid.

In addition to the vaping-related lung illnesses, there are other risks associated with vaping nicotine. It can cause withdrawal symptoms, including mood changes and difficulty concentrating.

According to the CDC, smoking causes about 480,000 deaths in the U.S. every year. Smoking strongly raises your risk for many serious diseases, including lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), stroke, and heart disease. What about vaping? There is some evidence that vaping nicotine can increase your risk for cardiovascular issues (albeit nowhere near as much as traditional cigarettes).

Some people have been using e-cigarettes to try to quit smoking cigarettes. So this whole debate is totally frustrating. These folks are really trying to do the right thing. But here’s the thing: e-cigarettes were not really designed or regulated for that.

Recent large-scale studies about vaping as a form of nicotine replacement therapy are somewhat encouraging but also flawed. One study, published in 2013 in PLOS One, was a yearlong randomized controlled trial involving 300 smokers who weren’t interested in quitting. The participants were broken up into groups of 100 people. The first group got e-cigarettes with 7.2 milligrams of nicotine cartridges for 12 weeks. The second group got e-cigarettes with 7.2-milligram cartridges for six weeks, followed by six weeks of lower-dose cartridges. The third group got cartridges with no nicotine for 12 weeks. All participants then came in for nine visits to report their cigarette use per day and get carbon monoxide breath testing.

Results showed that all groups reduced their consumption of tobacco cigarettes over the course of the study. At week 52, 13% of participants in the first group, 9% in the second group, and 4% in the third group had quit. But here’s the problem with this study: First off, because the participants weren’t intending to quit, it’s kind of hard to call this a smoking-cessation study. Also, a considerable chunk of participants (40%) didn’t make it to the final follow-up. And as with most e-cigarette studies, the model of vape tested here isn’t current anymore, so we don’t know how well the results would generalize to other devices.

Another study, this one published later, in 2013, in The Lancet, followed 657 participants over six months. Participants were randomized to receive e-cigarettes, nicotine patches, or placebo e-cigarettes without nicotine. After six months, researchers concluded that “e-cigarettes, with or without nicotine, were modestly effective at helping smokers to quit, with similar achievement of abstinence as with nicotine patches, and few adverse events.”

There’s also some evidence to suggest that vaping is actually more difficult to quit than smoking based on the amount of nicotine in the product and measures including the number of attempts users have made to quit, how long they’re able to go without a craving, and the severity of their withdrawal symptoms.

The CDC’s recommendation for anyone who vapes right now is to stop vaping entirely, including avoiding e-cigarettes and THC-containing products.

The tools meant to be used for smoking cessation (which can be used for cigarette and e-cigarette cessation) are gums, patches, and lozenges (which are FDA-approved for smoking-cessation purposes and designed to be used for a few weeks at a time.)

And if you’re frustrated with the lack of clear guidelines and lack of information about a product you might be addicted to, you are not alone. This is not a simple problem. Talk to your doctor and the FDA so we can get the research and regulations we need to make actual recommendations based on evidence.

(Source: https://www.self.com/story/vaping-vs-smoking)


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Weekly Wellness: Can Yoga Help Your Posture? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-can-yoga-help-your-posture-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-can-yoga-help-your-posture-/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 25 Nov 2019 3:44:58 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Can Yoga Help Your Posture?

COLUMBIA- It seems like our entire world is set up to create bad posture. Think of how often we put ourselves in a position where we are slouching or rounding forward: Sitting at a computer, sitting when we drive, reclining in a recliner, sitting at the dinner table, and on and on. It’s so easy to let our posture get sloppy – especially since most of us actually think we have better posture than we actually do.

This week we are going to answer the question: can yoga help your posture? The short answer is: YES! Yoga can be a great way to help reverse bad posture. If we stretch and strength the shoulders, chest, back and trunk (the areas affected by sitting all day), we can help to relieve the discomfort that comes from long hours of sitting and the bad posture that accompanies this.

There are a LOT of yoga postures out there so I’m only going to focus on a small handful that should be relatively easy to do (without any equipment).

Plank Pose: Plank is a core strengthener.

  • Spread the fingers wide and bring your feet hip-width distance apart
  • Press the floor away with the hands and keep all muscles of the legs active – thighs lifting the kneecaps and extending energy through the back heels
  • Lift your hips to be in line with shoulders – don’t allow them to sink or sag towards the mat
  • Keep the core active, drawing navel in towards spine
  • Hold for as long as you can (working up to 30 second intervals)

Cobra Pose: Cobra Pose strengthens the arms while opening the upper back and shoulders.

  • Laying on the belly, place your hands beneath the shoulders
  • Spread the fingers wide and press down evenly to lift the head, neck and chest off the mat
  • Squeeze the elbows in tight to the sidebody and slightly tuck the chin without putting any strain on the neck
  • Hold for three to five breaths for two or three rounds
  • Release and press back to Child’s Pose

Wide Leg Forward Fold: this pose is a great way to lengthen the entire spinal column.

  • From standing, heel toe your feet wider than hips distance apart – typically about four feet apart (or what feels good)
  • Interlace your fingers behind your back
  • Inhale to lift the gaze and open the chest towards the ceiling, drawing the palms closer together
  • On the exhale, fold forward and allow your arms to hang up and overhead
  • If it is uncomfortable to keep your fingers interlaced, hold a yoga strap behind your back to create the same stretch but less intense
  • Breathe here for 30 seconds
  • Engage the core and inhale with a straight back to bring your body back to standing

Downward Facing Dog: Down Dog strengthens the arms, shoulders, and core; and opens the hamstrings, back, chest, and shoulders.

  • From Plank Pose, press the hips up and back, and press your chest towards your chest
  • Heels are hip-width distance apart and reaching down towards the mat (it doesn’t matter how close they get)
  • Fingers are spread wide with weight evenly distributed through the hands
  • Relax your head and neck, shoulders away from the ears, and send your gaze towards your toes
  • Stay here for five breaths (up to one full minute)

Bridge Pose: this pose strengthens the lower body while it opens the spine and neck.

  • Laying on your back, palms face down at your sides, bring the soles of your feet to the mat with your knees up. The feet should be close to the fingers and hips-width distance apart
  • On an inhale, lift the hips to the sky while pressing down through the soles of the feet and the hands
  • Stay here for three breaths
  • Releasing on an exhale, lower down one vertebrae at a time
  • (If you would like to progress: For the second round, begin the same as the first. Inhaling the hips to the sky. This time, option to clasp the hands behind your back and roll the shoulders underneath to get into a deeper backbend. Breathe here for another three breaths before releasing on the exhale, one vertebrae at a time.)

Supported Legs Up the Wall: this pose is fantastic for stress, resets the spine, helps the heart effectively distribute blood throughout the body, and reduces any inflammation in the legs.

  • Sit with your side close against the wall
  • Leaning back onto your hands, slide the back of your legs up the wall and recline onto your back with your feet facing the ceiling
  • Make any small movements necessary to inch your seat closer to the wall, removing any space between
  • From here, the hands can either rest on your belly or spread out to a “T” with palms facing up
  • Close the eyes and relax
  • Stay here for three to five minutes

For more information and other poses that are helpful for bad posture, I encourage you to visit a local yoga studio and take a class!

 (Source: https://www.yogiapproved.com/yoga/yoga-poses-bad-posture/)


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Weekly Wellness: Bad Habits that Affect Metabolism https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-bad-habits-that-affect-metabolism/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-bad-habits-that-affect-metabolism/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 18 Nov 2019 1:45:04 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Bad Habits that Affect Metabolism

COLUMBIA- The aging process. We need readers. We don’t recover from injuries or illness as quickly. We may look at your cross-eyed if you suggest going out later than 8pm (or, at least, I will). The other cruel experience of the aging process is the slowing of our metabolism. Dang it.

According to research published in the Public Health Nutrition journal, researchers found simply getting older is associated with progressive declines in basal metabolic rate. On top of that, there are many daily habits that can drain your metabolism even further. So let’s try not to make it worse, huh?

Here are the bad habits that can slow your metabolism:

1. Skipping breakfast. Your metabolism slows down during sleep. So eating can fire it up and help you burn more calories throughout the day. According to Rush University Medical Center, “When you eat breakfast, you’re telling your body that there are plenty of calories to be had for the day. When you skip breakfast, the message your body gets is that it needs to conserve rather than burn any incoming calories.”

2. Choosing the wrong breakfast. So we’re going to eat breakfast – great! Now we need to make sure you eat the right thing. Avoid sugary carbs (which will cause a crash later and not sustain you) and choose protein and fiber (i.e.  eggs, yogurt and berries or whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter) which will stay with you and leave you feeling satiated.

3. Sitting too much. Sitting in the car to the office. Sitting at the office. Sitting at lunch. Sitting at the office. Sitting in the car going home. Sitting at the dinner table. Sitting on the couch to watch your shows. Whoa! That’s a LOT of sitting. Sitting for extended periods puts your body into energy-conservation mode, which means your metabolism can suffer. According to the UK’s National Health Service, “Sitting for long periods is thought to slow metabolism, which affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and break down body fat.”

4. Not strength training. Cardio exercise can burn calories, but once you’re done running or cycling, your calorie burn quickly returns to normal. When you do HIIT and resistance-based workouts, your calorie burn stays elevated for longer as your muscles repair themselves. Per the American Council on Exercise (ACE): “Strength training is a key component of metabolism because it is directly linked to muscle mass. The more active muscle tissue you have, the higher your metabolic rate.” And, according to ACE, a pound of muscle burns an additional 4–6 calories each day compared to a pound of fat.

5. Not getting enough protein. Protein feeds your muscles, promotes satiety and is an important component to sustaining a healthy weight. We need protein to have muscle.  Also, protein requires more energy to break down than carbs or fat, so you’ll actually burn more calories during digestion. We aren’t talking about animal protein. We are talking protein. If you are curious about other sources of protein, do a quick google search for “high protein foods” and you’ll find a whole grocery list.

6. Not getting enough sleep. Long-term inadequate sleep is responsible for decreased metabolism and hormonal imbalances. It’s science.

7. Not drinking enough water. In a study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, researchers found drinking 500 milliliters of water (about 2 cups) increases metabolic rate by 30%, and that spike lasts for more than an hour. So, drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated, and you’ll get the added benefit of a boosted metabolism.

8. Stressing out. When stress levels increase, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol leads to increased appetite, makes us crave comfort foods, decreases our desire to exercise and reduces sleep quality (we just learned all about how those things impact our metabolism). I know we can’t always control our stress but we can do our best to manage it. Breathe. Meditate. Go for a walk.

Let’s start this season of eating and drinking in the best way.

(Source: https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/8-bad-habits-that-kill-your-metabolism/)

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Weekly Wellness: Improve Your Bone and Joint Health! https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-improve-your-bone-and-joint-health-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-improve-your-bone-and-joint-health-/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 12 Nov 2019 12:04:09 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Improve Your Bone and Joint Health!

COLUMBIA- By next year (2020), experts predict that one in two Americans over the age of 50 will develop (or be at risk of developing) osteoporosis! That is staggering! So what can we do to reduce this scary statistic in our own world? Well, you've heard me say it before and you'll hear me say it again… physical exercise and physical activity.

Exercise and physical activity are key to developing bone density. Now, with that said, once osteoporosis is present, there is limited evidence that exercise alone can improve bone density. Yet, research does suggest post-menopausal women can experience bone-mineral density improvements from high-intensity resistance and impact training.

If you are ready to try to start a new exercise program to specifically combat these bone and joint issues, and you are nervous, find a trainer who can help to guide you through a program that includes:

  • Balance
  • Resistance training
  • Spinal extensor strength

There are five great exercises that you can perform at home with little to no equipment. (Follow the link below to photos of each exercise if the instructions are difficult to grasp without visual assistance.)

Supine Limb Reach (to decompress the spine)

  • Lie supine with the feet planted.
  • Slide one foot out and bring the same-side arm by the ear.
  • Inhale and stretch the heel and hand in opposite directions.
  • Exhale and relax.
  • Repeat several times before switching sides.

Ab Prep (to activate the deep lumbopelvic stabilizers that help with standing balance and postural control)

  • Lie supine with the feet planted.
  • Press the hands into the thighs while exhaling and engaging the deep core muscles (we call this the “zipup.”) Be sure the belly does not pop up.
  • Inhale and release. Repeat six to eight times.

To increase the intensity of this movement, lift the legs into a 90/90 position with the feet at the height of the knees and the shins parallel to the ceiling. Press the hands into the thighs when exhaling and posteriorly tilt the pelvis so the lumbar spine flattens. Again, draw the belly in toward the mat. Hold for several seconds before releasing and repeating.

Knee Lifts (working the shoulder, trunk and hips to build endurance for spine and shoulder alignment while strengthening the back, abs and thighs)

  • Move into a quadruped position (hands and knees) with the toes tucked.
  • Exhale and hover the knees and lift the belly without rounding the back. Extend the neck to avoid the “dangling head syndrome.”
  • Lower the knees and inhale to repeat.

To increase the intensity of this movement, lift a foot when lifting the knees or add a crawl forward and back.

Back Extension (for targeted spine strengthening, better balance and improved alignment)

  • Lie prone with the hands by the hips; the palms should face up. Gently press the pubic bone into the mat to lift the belly.
  • Hover the head and arms while looking down. Keep the feet down and isolate the effort into the muscles surrounding the upper thoracic spine. Hold for several seconds and repeat. Focus on reaching through the crown of head.

To increase the intensity of this movement, add 2- to 3-lb weights in each hand without compromising form. Or, circle the arms to the sides and to the ears without the shoulders shrugging.

Squats (to strengthen the hips, improve mobility and function, and load the skeleton)

  • Stand with feet a little more than hip-width apart in slight external rotation. Hold 2- to 3-lb weights in each hand. 
  • Sit back while hinging at the hips and reaching the arms forward; return to the starting position. Keep the knees over the toes during the squat, the shoulders relaxed and the gaze forward. Repeat eight to 10 times.

To increase the intensity of this movement, hold the squat and shift the weight to one leg when rising, alternating sides. Or, put the weights aside and add a punch forward with alternating arms while holding the squat.

(Source: https://www.acefitness.org/education-and-resources/professional/expert-articles/7374/5-movements-to-improve-bone-and-joint-health)


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Weekly Wellness: The Truth about Coughing & Sneezing https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-the-truth-about-coughing-and-sneezing/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-the-truth-about-coughing-and-sneezing/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 4 Nov 2019 1:01:56 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: The Truth about Coughing & Sneezing

COLUMBIA- ‘Tis the season… for sneezing and coughing and illness (oh my!) It seems that everywhere we go we are around someone who is sniffing. At work, in a coffee shop, on an airplane. Enclosed spaces – eek! So, when do we need to worry about our own health when around someone who is seemingly ill? How far can germs be spread when people sneeze and cough?

There are a few modes of transmission:

Large droplet transmission: This refers to the droplets sick people expel when they cough, sneeze, or talk. If someone else inhales those secretions, they can get sick, too. Illnesses like the flu, the common cold, and pertussis (whooping cough) are thought to mainly spread this way.

Airborne transmission category: Illnesses like measles, tuberculosis, and chickenpox are in this category. Unlike large droplets, which need to quickly come into contact with someone’s mucous membranes in order to cause an infection, airborne transmission allows potential pathogens to remain suspended in the air for some time after someone coughs, sneezes, or talks. Then someone else can breathe in those particles and get sick.

Both at the same time: Some illnesses can infect people via both forms of transmission. For instance, the flu mainly spreads through large droplets, but the CDC notes that it can be airborne as well.

So, how far can germs actually make it through the air? There are really only estimates regarding how far germs can travel – depends on how forcefully a person can cough or sneeze.

Large respiratory droplets containing pathogens like influenza can travel up to 6 feet when a sick person coughs or sneezes, according to the CDC. A 2014 study by MIT scientists published in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics suggests this number may be way higher for smaller airborne particles. Researchers used high-speed video upwards of 1,000 frames per second to record sprays of mist as well as human coughs and sneezes, finding that smaller droplet particles traveled as far as 2.5 meters horizontally through the air. That’s more than 8 feet. (The study also recorded smaller airborne droplets spraying 13 to 20 feet vertically in the air, which researchers noted was theoretically high enough to enter and travel through some ceiling ventilation systems in some buildings.)

The problem with airborne pathogens isn’t just how far they can spread, it’s also how long they can hang out in the air and on objects. Measles, for instance, can live for up to two hours in the air and on surfaces, according to the CDC. This illness is so contagious that 90 percent of people who are close to a person with measles but who aren’t immune (like through vaccinations) will catch the illness.

What can we do to prevent getting ill from the coughers and sneezers around us?

  • Wash your hands! Soap and water are most effective at preventing transmission of illnesses like the cold and flu. Also keep alcohol-based (60% alcohol) hand sanitizer at the ready for the times you can’t wash your hands.
  • Try to avoid touching areas like your mouth, nose, and eyes, since those are possible portals for pathogens.
  • If someone around you is sick, the CDC advises avoiding close contact if at all possible.
  • Disinfect common surfaces (like doorknobs) often.
  • Keep your immune system strong with adequate sleep, proper food and managing stress.

If you ARE sick, what can you do to not share your germs?

  • Cover your face when you sneeze and cough – but don’t use your hands! The CDC recommends coughing or sneezing into a tissue and then throwing it away, or sneezing into your upper shirt sleeve or elbow, completely covering your nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. (Especially if you slip up and cough or sneeze into your hands.)
  • Try to keep your distance from people (including staying home from work if you can).
  • Frequently disinfect surfaces you’re always touching.

Let’s do what we can to get through this flu season unscathed!

(Source: https://www.self.com/story/germs-sneezing-coughing)



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Weekly Wellness: Do Color Blindness-Correcting Glasses Actually Work? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-do-color-blindness-correcting-glasses-actually-work-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-do-color-blindness-correcting-glasses-actually-work-/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 29 Oct 2019 5:03:16 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Do Color Blindness-Correcting Glasses Actually Work?

COLUMBIA- I am a total sucker for those tear-jerker viral videos. The videos of the military parents surprising their kids at graduation. The videos of first-responders saving the choking babies. The videos of people putting on special glasses that allow them to view colors for the first time.

But, I’m curious, how well do the color blindness-correcting glasses actually work?

Genetic color blindness is caused by an absence of, or problem with, one or more of the three types of color-sensing cone photoreceptors in the retina. People who have difficulty detecting green light or red light experience an overlap between some of the light wavelengths that the brain interprets as red or green color.

The special color blindness glasses are made to absorb and filter out some of the wavelengths between green and red that could confuse the brain. Some of the light coming through the glasses is blocked so that the remaining red and green light wavelengths don’t overlap as much. With less color overlap, the brain gets a clearer signal to help distinguish between the problem colors.

Color blindness-correcting glasses will not change color perception for people whose deficiency is caused by a complete absence of red or green photoreceptors. The glasses change what the people who wear them see, enhancing the distinction between red and green. But the experience will vary widely among individuals, and color blindness-correcting glasses don’t give people a true equivalent of natural color vision.

Some things to consider:

  • Because they reduce the amount of light getting to the eye, it might not be a good idea to wear color blindness-correcting glasses at night. Reducing the amount of light getting into the eye might especially be a problem for people who have other eye conditions such as cataracts or macular degeneration.
  • Color blindness-correcting glasses are generally not covered by insurance because color blindness doesn’t affect a person’s health, so treatment isn’t medically necessary.
  • There are other devices designed to enhance contrast between colors (i.e. hunting glasses and contrast-increasing filters for photography). But products other than color blindness-correcting devices weren’t developed specifically to address the experience of people with color blindness.

(Source: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/do-color-blindness-correcting-glasses-work)

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Weekly Wellness: Plastic vs. Glass for Food Storage https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-plastic-vs-glass-for-food-storage/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-plastic-vs-glass-for-food-storage/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 22 Oct 2019 6:25:09 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Plastic vs. Glass for Food Storage

COLUMBIA- Recently, my husband and I replaced all of our plastic food storage containers for glass. I wanted to do this for both health reasons and environmental reasons. (And, before you ask, we recycled our old plastic containers). Let’s learn a bit about both plastic and glass.

Do you know about the plastic numbers?

Plastic #01: These are plastics that are commonly found in soda and water bottles, peanut butter jars, etc.

  • These plastics can be recycled into fabric, bags, carpets, sleeping bags etc.
  • They also have been known to grow bacteria easily.
  • Can leach toxic compounds.

Plastic #02: recycle plastic number two 2 food storage containers

  • These are plastics that are commonly found in shampoo & juice bottles, milk jugs, etc.
  • These plastics can be recycled into plastic lumber, benches, recycling bins etc.
  • This plastic is considered safe and has a low-risk of leaching

Plastic #04: These are plastics that are commonly found in grocery bags, bread bags, some food wraps, etc.

  • These plastics can be recycled into compost bins, trashcans, plastic lumber, etc.
  • These plastics are *considered* to be safe.
  • Not all curb-side recycling pick-up these plastics (check with your region)

Plastic #05: These are plastics that are commonly found in yogurt containers, ketchup bottles, medicine bottles, etc.

  • These plastics can be recycled into outdoor furniture, bins, bicycle racks, etc.
  • These plastics have a higher heat tolerance, and therefore aren’t as prone to chemical leaching.

Plastic Summary:

  • #03’s, #06’s, and #07’s should be avoided.
  • #01’s should also be avoided if possible, and should be recycled but not reused
  • #02’s, #04’s, and #05’s are the friendliest plastics as far as how well they can be recycled.

No plastic should be heated.

Now let’s take a closer look at glass:


  • Overall safer than plastic for food storage containers.
  • Glass is a non-porous material, meaning bacteria has nowhere to hide.
  • You can use glass over and over and is easy to clean.
  • Glass can be heated in a microwave or can be home to hot food without the worry of chemical leaching.


  • Glass is overall better for the environment (when compared with plastic).
  • Glass, once obtained, can be held onto almost indefinitely. No need to throw away containers frequently.
  • Glass can be recycled


  • Glass is easy to clean because of its non-porous surfaces and can be cleaned in the dishwasher.
  • Glass can store frozen-food and be presented on the table.
  • There are types of glass that are oven safe.
  • Glass doesn’t absorb smells from food.
  • Glass is very durable and can last a lifetime in the kitchen (unless dropped.)


  • Glass is most-commonly heavier than plastics and can make it harder to travel with.
  • Glass can be harder to find a secure lid.
  • Glass requires safer handling than plastic since it is more fragile.
  • Glass containers are initially more expensive than plastic ones.

In the world of food storage, it appears that the argument for glass containers is a strong one. If you don’t choose to use glass, at the very least, pay attention to the types of plastic you are using and don’t reheat foods in it.

(Source: http://www.andthebee.com/food-storage-containers/)

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Weekly Wellness: Lets talk about blue light glasses https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-lets-talk-about-blue-light-glasses/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-lets-talk-about-blue-light-glasses/ Weekly Wellness Tue, 15 Oct 2019 11:25:03 AM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Lets talk about blue light glasses

COLUMBIA- Have you noticed advertisements for glasses that claim to filter out blue light from computers, smartphones and tablets? Yeah, me too (My husband is even wearing them while playing video games). The advertisements claim that overexposure to blue light can cause problems ranging from dry eye to digital eye strain, sleep disruption and macular degeneration. But here’s the thing: there is no evidence (at this time) that the kind or amount of light coming from computer screens is damaging to the eyes.

There is evidence that some kinds of light exposure can cause eye damage under certain conditions. For example, too much exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun does raise the risk of some eye diseases (including cataracts) and cancer. The amount of radiation coming from computer screens has never been demonstrated to cause any eye disease. The Radiation Protection Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology summarizes current research about computer monitors’ radiation saying “there are no data to suggest a health risk from exposure to the electromagnetic fields associated with the use of monitors.”

Staring at digital screens CAN cause eye strain and dry eyes (due to decreased blinking). You can protect your eyes from strain if you work with computers all day:

  • Sit about 25 inches (arm's length) from the computer screen. Position the screen so you are gazing slightly downward.
  • Reduce screen glare by using a matte screen filter if needed.
  • Take regular breaks using the “20-20-20” rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.
  • When your eyes feel dry, use artificial tears to refresh them.
  • Adjust your room lighting and try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.
  • If you wear contact lenses, give your eyes a break by wearing your glasses.

At this time, the American Academy of Ophthalmology does not recommend any special eye wear for computer use.

(Source:  https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/are-computer-glasses-worth-it)


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Weekly Wellness: October is Dental Hygiene Month https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-october-is-dental-hygiene-month/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-october-is-dental-hygiene-month/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 7 Oct 2019 4:26:05 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: October is Dental Hygiene Month

COLUMBIA- A beautiful smile is much more important than you think. The importance of proper dental care habits (like brushing and flossing) is bigger than just your smile. Oral health plays a critical role in some systemic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease, and oral health complications during pregnancy.

Diabetics are more prone to several oral health conditions, including tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, dry mouth and infection. Diabetic patients should contact their dentist immediately if they observe any of the symptoms of periodontal disease, including red, swollen or sore gums or gums that bleed easily or are pulling away from the teeth; chronic bad breath; teeth that are loose or separating; pus appearing between the teeth and gums; or changes in the alignment of the teeth.

Studies also have shown that periodontal disease may be linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, bacterial pneumonia, preterm births and low-birth weight babies. Research suggests that people with periodontal disease are nearly three times as likely to suffer from heart disease. Oral bacteria can affect the heart when it enters the blood stream, attaching to fatty plaques in the heart’s blood vessels and contributing to the formation of clots.

Pregnant women are at greater risk to develop inflamed gums, which if left untreated can lead to periodontal disease. A five-year study conducted at the University of North Carolina found that pregnant women with periodontal disease are seven times more likely to deliver a premature, low-birth-weight baby.

Oral health problems can lead to difficulty speaking, chewing and swallowing, affecting your ability to consume the nutrition your body needs to stay healthy, participate in daily activities and interact with others. Poor nutrition also can lead to tooth decay and obesity. In a recent study, researchers examined 65 children, ages two through five, who were treated for cavities in their baby teeth. Nearly 28 percent of them had a body-mass index indicating they were either overweight or obese.

To keep your teeth, gums and body healthy:

  • Provide your dentist with a complete health history, including any illnesses and medication use.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily to help remove plaque, the sticky film of bacteria that gets stuck between your teeth and under your gums.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and professional cleaning to help prevent any problems and detect possible problems in their early stages. The mouth is often the location used to diagnose a variety of diseases.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet, which will help you maintain a healthier immune system, help prevent heart disease and slow diabetes disease progression.
  • If you smoke, talk to your dentist about options for quitting.


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Weekly Wellness: Signs You Might Be Stressed https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-signs-you-might-be-stressed/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-signs-you-might-be-stressed/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 30 Sep 2019 3:45:02 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Signs You Might Be Stressed

COLUMBIA- Everyone experiences stress. Stress is the body’s response to the mind’s perception of whatever we are going through. There are many different forms and levels of stress: financial troubles, relationships, health problems, work… there’s quite a list of things that can make us feel overwhelmed.

Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system. Remember learning about fight or flight back in science class? This fight or flight response sends our body a signal that causes our brain to release chemicals and hormones. This can create actual physical signs that our stress level is too high.

The manifestation of stress can appear as:

1. Neck pain: Muscle tension is one of the first physical manifestations of stress, and it tends to be most pronounced at the base of the head.

2. Headaches: Stress is the most common cause of tension headaches, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also trigger other types of headaches, like migraines, or make an existing headache worse.

3. Nausea: Stress can have a wide range of GI consequences because digestion is often disrupted and slowed down when your nervous system is trying to cope with stress. Irritable bowel syndrome can also be linked to stress, and those with IBS tend to have colons that are more reactive to stress, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.

4. Hair loss: Hair loss can occur due to really long sustained periods of high levels of stress. Experiencing a life-altering event, like a death of a loved one or a huge career change, can actually cause your hair to stop growing temporarily as your body dedicates its efforts to surviving.

5. Weight gain: High stress means high levels of cortisol coursing through our veins. Cortisol is a stress hormone that prompts us to eat and retain calories.

6. Acne: Cortisol surges can also lead to cystic acne.

7. Rapid heartbeat and chest pain: The release of cortisol and other stress hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) can cause a short-term increase in heart rate and blood pressure and cause chest pain. Over time, chronic stress can lead to cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association suggests that stress can cause high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, plus encourage other habits that are linked to heart disease like smoking, physical inactivity, and overeating.

8. Insomnia: When we are stressed out, we have a difficult time turning our brain off at night.

9. Getting sick more often: Research shows that stress impacts the immune system and makes us more prone to getting sick.

10. Irregular period: Too much cortisol can interfere with the sex hormones that regulate ovulation and make your period irregular.

11. Fatigue: If you're not sleeping well, you're probably walking around all day exhausted. When you're tired, you get more irritable and it's harder to cope mentally with stress, creating a vicious cycle.

Tried and true stress relievers like exercise, mediation, taking some time for yourself, and even massage or acupuncture, can help relieve tension and calm your mind and body.

 (Source: https://www.self.com/story/11-physical-signs-of-stress)

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Weekly Wellness: Are you properly hydrated? https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-are-you-properly-hydrated-/ https://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-are-you-properly-hydrated-/ Weekly Wellness Mon, 23 Sep 2019 3:56:30 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: Are you properly hydrated?

One of the most important things I counsel my clients on is hydration. There are so many important reasons to make sure you are properly hydrated. We all have heard the phrase “your body is made up of mostly water!” How true is this statement? Well, fairly accurate. Our bodies are primarily composed of 60% water and every major system is influenced by fluid balance.

Water is critically important to transport nutrients to organs and cells, carry toxins away, lubricates joints and bones, helps to regulate body temperature and impacts brain function. Without water, we will not survive.

The Institute of Medicine recommends 3.7 liters/day for adult men and 2.7 liters/day for adult women; however, you may need more if you’re physically active, breastfeeding and/or during the warmer months. It’s also important to keep in mind that water losses vary from person to person, and some people naturally need more fluid than others.

So what counts as hydration? It is recommended that 80% of hydration should come from fluids such as water, sparkling water, milk, tea. The last 20% can come from high-water foods:

  • Low-sodium beef/chicken/vegetable broth
  • Cucumber
  • Cabbage
  • Zucchini
  • Celery
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Radishes
  • Bell peppers
  • Asparagus

Common signs of dehydration include:

  • Thirst
  • Brain fog, fatigue and irritability
  • Constipation
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Dry mouth
  • Sunken eyes and dry skin
  • Reduced urine or sweat output
  • Headache, joint pain and cramps
  • Elevated body temperature

The tip I use with my clients is to have a reusable cup/water bottle so that you can monitor the amount of water you are drinking. Challenge yourself to finish your daily goal before the end of the workday. That way, anything you drink after work is sprinkles on top!

(Source: https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/essential-guide-to-hydration/)

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