Page Array – HealthCorps Thu, 26 May 2016 18:51:15 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Children and Teens with Chronic Headaches Need Psychiatric Evaluation Wed, 25 May 2016 11:00:00 +0000 We typically think of headaches as an adult disease. If a child or teen does complain of…

The post Children and Teens with Chronic Headaches Need Psychiatric Evaluation appeared first on HealthCorps.

We typically think of headaches as an adult disease. If a child or teen does complain of an occasional headache, we often assess them for head trauma. In kids and teens headaches can also be the result of a bad cold or fever. If a child or teen complains of chronic headaches, a new study suggests that they should be evaluated for psychiatric comorbidities.

The recent review in the journal Seminars in Pediatric Neurology, acknowledges that CDH (chronic daily headaches) are common in adults and psychiatric comorbidities may be contributing to the headaches, but there is little research that has evaluated the prevalence and etiology of CDH in the pediatric and teen population. A study from 2014 suggested the need for psychological therapies to help manage chronic recurrent pain in kids and teens. Among the chronic pain conditions listed in the study that were well managed with psychological therapies were chronic, painful headaches.

When it comes to children and teens who suffer with chronic daily headaches:

• Research suggests that there is a psychiatric comorbidity in 65.5% of kid and teen chronic daily headaches that are identified as migraines
• Data suggests that 7% of kids and teens suffer with CDH
• Pediatric patients with chronic daily migraines were more likely to have “comorbid anxiety” compared to the general pediatric population
• Comorbid depression was also higher in kids and teens with chronic migraines, compared to the general population
• Overall, teens with chronic migraines have higher rates of suicide, pain medication overuse, and truancy compared to teens who did not suffer with migraines.
• ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) rates were also higher in the teens suffering with chronic migraines.
• Pediatric-age patients with tension-type headaches had higher rates of psychiatric comorbidities, with anxiety the most commonly reported associated comorbidity.

Researchers suggest that when clinicians are evaluating chronic daily or frequent headaches in kids and teens, there should be a standardized screening tool for comorbid conditions (like stress, anxiety and depression). The screening is especially important when kids are transitioning into the teen age years. Identifying and treating psychiatric illness early allows for improved treatment, outcomes and quality of life for these patients. Trained health professionals should be responsible for the screening, which should be a comprehensive, in depth history and examination, so that more serious psychiatric comorbidities are not missed or misdiagnosed as anxiety or stress.

Screening options should include the SDQ or Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire that is available in many languages and is credited for its ability to identify psychosocial problems in teens that suffer with recurrent headaches. The DWBA or Development and Well-Being Assessment is another effective screening and diagnostic tool used worldwide.

HealthCorps curriculum includes lessons that support mental strength, helping teens to cope with and manage daily stress and anxiety.

Neurology Advisor
Pediatric Neurology
Clinical Pain Advisor

Also read: Teens with 300+ Facebook Friends Face Stress and Later-in-life Depression

The post Children and Teens with Chronic Headaches Need Psychiatric Evaluation appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0
Young Men Should Eat Less Meat Tue, 24 May 2016 11:00:00 +0000 According to a recent blog in the New York Times, teen boys are hungry all the time.…

The post Young Men Should Eat Less Meat appeared first on HealthCorps.

According to a recent blog in the New York Times, teen boys are hungry all the time. We certainly don’t need a blog to tell us this. If you’re the mom of a teen boy you’ve probably ended up with an empty fridge or pantry thanks to a group of teens visiting your home. The recent updated Dietary Guidelines suggest that among the many foods teen boys eat, they may be eating too much meat.

Growing boys seek protein

Teen boys need to consume a fair amount of protein to support their growing muscle mass and to supply energy for physical activity. Boys in the U.S. typically eat a lot of red meat, processed meats, chicken (with the skin on) and eggs. Meats are often grilled and charred, or coated and fried, which adds “more unhealthy” elements to these animal-based, highly saturated food choices. Plant-based proteins and fish are not mainstays of their typical diet. Obesity experts and health experts are concerned since this type of a western diet is linked to gaining excess weight, as well as being a risk factor for cancer and heart disease.

Growing teens are not meeting dietary goals

A male teen’s insatiable appetite is often not satisfied with quick grabs of fast food. They tend to binge on big meals and the nature of the foods they choose can cause blood sugar spikes, followed by blood sugar plummeting, which in turn leads to a desire for more food. Rarely do they eat meals filled with fiber, which would help to keep them satiated for longer periods of time. Both girl and boy teens eat limited fruits and vegetables.

Teens do seem to be eating more protein than is considered healthy, with a big uptick of protein consumption during ages 9-13 and again through early to mid-adulthood years. Unfortunately, most of the research looking at teen food patterns covers female eating patterns (weight loss and eating disorders). The Dietary Guidelines suggest that teen boys should eat more vegetables and fruit, and the intent was to have them swap out some of their unhealthy protein choices for plant-based proteins, fish, and fruits and vegetables.

Male teens gravitate to protein

Teen boys typically want to bulk up and build more muscle mass, so they gravitate to protein as a major part of their diet. If these boys eat excess protein they are also likely getting extra calories, fat and even sugar, since bread is usually part of that hot dog or burger. High protein shakes and smoothies are also a popular part of the male teen diet, and again, they are loaded with sugar, fat and protein.

Getting teens to understand nutrition

Male teens need to realize the value of choosing appropriate portions of lean meat proteins, fish, eggs, beans and legumes, and include low fat and fat free dairy sources as well. They also need to increase consumption of vegetables and fruit. Protein powders should be consumed cautiously and they should be secondary to food sources of protein. With all the attention given to girls and their food issues, it’s important to remember that boys also have image issues that directly influence their food choices.

Programs like HealthCorps, which include lesson plans focused on nutrition education, can help to guide teen girls and boys to embrace healthier dietary patterns.


Sign up for our newsletter to get updates on health and our organization

The post Young Men Should Eat Less Meat appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0
BORGO FOOD STATION HOSTS FIRST-EVER POP UP BRUNCH FOR A WORTHY CAUSE Tue, 24 May 2016 11:00:00 +0000   MEDIA CONTACTS: Rachel Ebersole ( Karen Henry ( The PR Boutique 713.599.1271 MEDIA ALERT * MEDIA…




Rachel Ebersole (

Karen Henry (

The PR Boutique





Gastro Market Invites the Public for Breakfast Style Bites in Celebration of Worthy Nonprofit


WHO:             Borgo Food Station, a Houston owned and operated gastro market specializing in fresh made offerings.


                        HealthCorps, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that gives teens the tools to improve physical and mental health so they can learn to live more productive and happier lives.


WHAT:           Calling all brunch enthusiasts! Shake up your Saturday routine and head to Borgo Food Station for a delicious brunch and an even better cause. The European style neighborhood market will be serving complimentary breakfast style bites on Saturday, June 11th to kick off their 5-day campaign benefiting HealthCorps, a nonprofit organization empowering teens to exceed and excel. Twenty percent of all sales from Monday, June 13th through Friday, June 17th will be donated to the nonprofit’s Houston chapter.


WHEN:          Saturday, June 11, 2016



WHERE:        Borgo Food Station

                        3641 West Alabama Street

Houston, Texas 77027



ELSE:            Borgo Food Station is a Houston owned and operated gastro market specializing in fresh made offerings. Located at 3641 West Alabama Street, Borgo Food Station is dedicated to providing Houstonians the chance to experience quality food that is locally sourced and reasonably priced, along with elevated customer service. Operation hours are Monday-Friday 7:30am-7pm and Saturday 8:00am-6:00pm. For more information, please call 832.940.2126 or visit Follow us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (@borgofoodstation)

HealthCorps is a national non-profit organization that gives teens tools to improve physical and mental health so they can learn to live more productive and happier lives. HealthCorps students exercise more, eat better and practice positive thought. The program will impact almost 1 million students across 19 states in 2016. The HealthCorps curriculum has been refined and developed in its in-school Living Labs program since 2003, where a full-time Coordinator is placed inside a high-need high school to mentor hundreds of students, teach health related workshops, and promote a variety of during and after school activities. Coordinators are recent college graduates who go on to careers in medicine, public health policy or wellness practices.  HealthCorps University is an intense professional development program that certifies participants to bring HealthCorps’ innovative health and wellness curriculum to their organization whether it’s a school system, community organization or corporation.In 2015, HealthCorps teamed with CK-12 to distribute free, interactive and customizable versions of the HealthCorps curriculum for educators and students to use. For more information please visit





]]> 0
8 Affordable Pieces of Home Gym Equipment Mon, 23 May 2016 11:00:20 +0000 The biggest roadblocks to a regular exercise habit are cost, availability and time commitment. Maybe a gym…

The post 8 Affordable Pieces of Home Gym Equipment appeared first on HealthCorps.

The biggest roadblocks to a regular exercise habit are cost, availability and time commitment. Maybe a gym membership is too expensive. Maybe there are no gyms close to where you live or work. Maybe you are a mom or dad juggling work and kids, or someone who simply works incredibly long hours with little time to spare for travel to and from a gym plus the actual workout time. Maybe you can’t afford to invest in expensive exercise machines and equipment so you can work out at home.

Working out at home is a solution to some of these constraints, and you can afford the basic elements of a home gym.

A workout mat is an affordable investment that will allow your feet to grip the rubber for stabilization when you perform a range of exercises. It also provides a padded surface for plyometric exercises like jumping jacks. If yoga is your forte, then a mat will provide a safe surface for your moves. Most sturdy mats cost under $35.

Jump ropes are all the rage because they allow you to get a moderate to strenuous aerobic workout for minimal costs. You can also jump rope in any open space, indoors or outdoors. Take a lesson from a boxer’s playbook – this exercise modality is not just for kids. A weighted rope is often easier to work with and many cost under $25.

Exercise bands come in all shapes and levels, and are usually color-coded so you can recognize the amount of tension they offer. Many elastic bands and Thera-bands (flat elastic bands) come in packs of two or three and are quite affordable. Make sure to follow the directions so you maintain the bands and prevent the rubber from cracking due to weather fluctuations.

A step can be a great way to incorporate increasing levels of challenge to your workout. They come in molded plastic, pressed foam or other materials, and also have a variety of price points. Performing a lunge on the floor is one level of challenge. When you add an inclined surface, it can make the move even more challenging. Steps can also be used in lieu of a workout bench, so you can perform certain chest and upper body exercise that require your body to be supine and off the ground, for full range of motion. There are some that allow stacking for greater height options and most fit in a closet or under a bed.

An ab wheel can allow you to work your core abdominal muscles effectively, adding another level to basic crunches. You hold on to two grips located on either side of a small rubber wheel, and extend your body from a kneeling position to full length and then roll it back in. Many prototypes cost under $20. Just make sure you have no back issues and consider this tool more appropriate for moderate to advanced exercisers.

Stability balls, those large blown up colored rubber balls, allow you to perform sit ups and crunches on a more forgiving surface. You can also perform core strengthening exercises when you sit on the ball with only one leg on the floor. The ball can also be held as a “weight” when you perform plies and squat exercises. You can also put the large ball between your straight legs as you lie on your back on the mat, so you can work your inner thigh muscles by squeezing them against the resistance of the rubber ball. Some people also sit on the balls at their workstation to improve core muscle strength while at work.

One or two sets of free weights can be added to your home gym set up so you can perform a variety of upper body exercises, with or without lower body exercise moves. Compound exercises like “a lunge with a bicep curl” are especially challenging. Buy a light set and a heavy set so you can do a variety of levels of exercise.

Foam rollers have become popular tools for your stretching period. You can roll different parts of your body on the rollers to self-massage, and self-roll the rollers on the upper parts of your leg to help increase circulation and to massage specific areas of your body during your stretch period.

Music or DVDs are the mainstay of a good workout for most people, providing motivation and guidance. You can also follow TV or online fitness programming or YouTube instructional videos as well.

Also check out: Top Fitness Trend Predictions for 2016

For updates on HealthCorps and more health news sign up for our newsletter

The post 8 Affordable Pieces of Home Gym Equipment appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0
Is Your Teen Suffering With Neck Pain? Thu, 19 May 2016 15:00:00 +0000 Neck Pain (NP) has become a very common complaint, with reports that it is increasing among teens…

The post Is Your Teen Suffering With Neck Pain? appeared first on HealthCorps.

Neck Pain (NP) has become a very common complaint, with reports that it is increasing among teens between the ages 16-18 years old. Little research has been done to investigate how NP affects head posture and endurance in the neck muscles of teens.

New research recently published in the journal Manual Therapy examined how NP affects head posture and its impact on variables related to neck muscle strength. The study found that teens with NP have less ability for normal forward head posture, less neck flexor and extensor endurance, and greater asymmetry in the relationship between neck flexor and neck extensor endurance capacity.

This suggests that neck pain in teens should be taken seriously.

It’s also important to note that since NP can become chronic and persist for many years, understanding its evolution and discovering strategic interventions is key to preventing the pain from becoming an ongoing and long term quality-of-life issue. Many of the tests that assess neck weakness and neck pain are geared to full size adults, so researchers also wanted to see whether the available clinical tests are appropriate for evaluation of the teen age group.

The study

The small study involved 70 teenagers in grades 10-12 during the 2013/2014 academic year. The researchers screened all 452 students using a self-reported questionnaire, and excluded any students with confounding health disorders, congenital neck abnormalities or teens who had head and neck trauma history. In the resulting test group, 25 girls and 10 boys had neck pain, while 22 girls and 13 boys never experienced neck pain (control group).

The researchers assessed forward head posture, neck flexor endurance, and neck extensor endurance, using standard and accepted clinical tests. The 35 teens with NP were also asked to describe intensity, frequency and duration of neck pain, and whether the pain interfered with activities of daily life.

Neck pain findings

The researchers found teens with NP had:
• Less forward head posture than the asymptomatic teens
• Less neck flexor endurance than the asymptomatic teens
• Less extensor endurance than the asymptomatic teens

Study limitations included the fact that the clinical assessment tests were geared to adults with NP and not validated specifically for teens; this was not a double-blind study, which is considered the golden standard in clinical studies; the teens got easily distracted during the tests, which can have an impact on test results and reliability of the findings.

The study’s value

The researchers still feel that the results confirm the importance of identifying neck pain and intercepting it in the teen population since it has long term impairment consequences. Given the prevalence of tech devices in the teen population, with “staring down for hours” a daily phenomenon, even young children could be at risk of early neck pain. The average head can weight up to ten pound. That weighted pull on neck muscles as the head bends to stare down at an iPhone while you text, or an iPad or laptop that a teen works on for hours, if you count school worktime and playtime, means an almost constant pull and tension on neck muscles. Strategies that limit the number of hours a teen bends their neck and that increase neck strength as preventive measures should be an important focus in child and teen physical training and exercise efforts.

If your you or your teen are experiencing neck pain, see your doctor and find out if you can alleviate the pain by performing these basic neck exercises to improve strength. He may also suggest that you or your teen see a rehabilitation specialist or a physical therapist to address neck weaknesses.

Clinical Pain Advisor

Also read: Weight and Fitness Contribute to Children’s Cognition

The post Is Your Teen Suffering With Neck Pain? appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0
Daphne’s Saint’s Salad Wed, 18 May 2016 03:59:59 +0000 The post Daphne’s Saint’s Salad appeared first on HealthCorps.

Daphne Oz

The post Daphne’s Saint’s Salad appeared first on HealthCorps.

It Takes a Village Tue, 17 May 2016 18:43:41 +0000 Herbert Hoover High School -Rosa Sanchez   (Comité Organizador Latino de City Heights yoga session and meeting)…

The post It Takes a Village appeared first on HealthCorps.

Herbert Hoover High School -Rosa Sanchez



(Comité Organizador Latino de City Heights yoga session and meeting)

While the HealthCorps program is geared towards educating and motivating students within high schools across the country, we are always thrilled to see when parents, motivated by their teens progress, rally together to make a difference. Comité Organizador Latino de City Heights, is one such group. A group of parent volunteers, this committee organized a series of workshops to inform parents about preventing childhood obesity and living a healthier lifestyle.

Numerous parents got the chance to participate including Rosa Sanchez. When asked about what she got out of the series of workshops, Rosa said, “I was impacted a lot and it brought me joy that others were getting involved. I had been suffering from nasal hemorrhages and it was because of my high blood pressure. Clínica Móvil confirmed that I had been doing a good job taking care of my blood pressure.” La Maestra’s Clínica Móvil is an RV that can locate to any site to provide basic health and dental needs. “These workshops informed me that even though I’ve improved my health, there are many other ways to continue improving. Even though I’m busy working, I am looking to exercise more,” said Rosa.

Delia, Vice President of Comité Organizador Latino de City Heights, explained that Univision, a popular Spanish language television network, came to interview members of the Comité. “They took hours filming our segment and we were excited to show them what we do. We’re very proud of all we’ve accomplished,” said Delia during the Hoover High Wellness Council meeting. Delia says their number one goal is to do outreach to their community and help other people around City Heights through workshops and events. Comité Organizador Latino de City Heights HealthCorps salutes you!

The post It Takes a Village appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0
May 2016 Coordinator of the Month: Sinead Torres Tue, 17 May 2016 15:19:07 +0000 HealthCorps is excited to announce Sinead Torres as our May Coordinator of the Month! Layla Ronan, the Social…

The post May 2016 Coordinator of the Month: Sinead Torres appeared first on HealthCorps.

HealthCorps is excited to announce Sinead Torres as our May Coordinator of the Month!
Layla Ronan, the Social Media Specialist at HealthCorps, spoke with Sinead about what influenced her to become a coordinator.


(Sinead Torres and one of her students)

Name: Sinead Torres

Age: 25

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

College Attended / Major: UCLA, Psychology Major

HealthCorps School Placement/State/City: Kurt Hahn Expeditionary Learning School, Brooklyn, NY

Fun Fact: I really love quotes. Whether I find them in books or articles, or hear them in everyday conversations, I always journal ones down that really speak to me in a small pocket book I like to carry around.

Layla Ronan: How did you become involved with HealthCorps?

Sinead Torres: During my last quarter at UCLA, I realized that a new chapter of my life was right around the corner. And like most students getting ready to graduate, I had a good idea of what I wanted my future to look like, but I wasn’t 100% sure where I was headed. All I knew for certain was that I wanted to start this new chapter of my life doing something meaningful and impactful with purpose. I came across HealthCorps on UCLA’s career web page, and immediately I felt this instantaneous connection. I remember sitting in the living room of my college apartment and saying to myself, “I want this. If I don’t give this a shot, I know I’m going to regret it.”

LR: What has been the highlight of your placement so far?

ST: It’s so hard for me to pin point one highlight because quite honestly there have been so many. I would have to say that out of all of them, a highlight that has impacted me the most has been experiencing the actual change that I am making in my school. This has been the most rewarding experience of my placement by far, and personally, I experience this the most when I teach. Whenever I see my kids so engaged and so absorbed in my lesson and in what I am teaching to the point where we can’t even get to our last planned activity because of the amount of questions they have and the discussions it leads to, that’s when it really hits me. It makes me realize the impact I am having and the difference that I am making. Regardless of the magnitude and what other people may think or say, to me, a positive difference is a positive difference. And when I catch myself in moments like these, I can’t help but think “Wow. I am one of the lucky ones.”

LR: Outside of the classroom, what are some of the activities that you are involved with?

ST: When I’m not teaching in the classroom, I host an after school Volleyball Club where my students brush up on their volleyball skills, practice their technique, and then put on their game face for a little friendly competition. It’s absolutely hilarious. I love seeing their competitive nature shine during these games! Additionally, I enjoy reaching out to my community, and right now I work very closely with East Flatbush Village, a community partner in my school and fellow non-profit organization, on several projects. Right now we work very closely together on overseeing the after school Peer Tutoring Program at Kurt Hahn. What I love most about this program in particular is that it builds student leaders. It allows them to not only demonstrate and exemplify leadership within their community, but it allows them to take initiative and full ownership of their work. Coupled with that, we are also in the process of collaborating to develop and facilitate health and wellness workshops at Meyer Levin Junior High School right next door to Kurt Hahn. I am so excited to branch out into other school communities, and to build strong student leaders to carry out this project.

LR: What do you plan to pursue after your service to HealthCorps is complete?

ST: Working for HealthCorps as a Coordinator has really solidified what I am currently passionate about, and at the same time, it has also awakened new passions I seriously never thought I had! I’ve realized that teaching is what gives me purpose, and with my love and heavy background of research, I plan to earn my teaching credentials and pursue dual Doctorate degrees in Public Health and Education after my service to HealthCorps.

LR: What is one thing you have learned from your placement that you will be able to carry with you as you move forward in life?

ST: Looking back, I remember feeling really nervous about stepping into a role not knowing what to expect, and feeling really intimated by my placement knowing that I had big shoes to fill. But as I found my place within my community and became accustomed to my school, I began to realize how important it was and still is, to propel myself outside of my comfort zone, and to become comfortable with challenging myself. I love the feeling of refusing to settle, and I love going to work knowing that each day is going to be different and a challenge in a good way. I actually have this quote hanging in my office that I think perfectly summarizes my answer to this question: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.”

The post May 2016 Coordinator of the Month: Sinead Torres appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0
Should You Join the Souping Revolution? Tue, 17 May 2016 11:00:37 +0000 The New York Times recently show-cased a trend poised to replace juicing. It’s called souping and it…

The post Should You Join the Souping Revolution? appeared first on HealthCorps.

The New York Times recently show-cased a trend poised to replace juicing. It’s called souping and it involves eating a bowl soup for all or some of your daily meals. Dieticians have often recommended having a low sodium broth before meals or especially before parties, to help fill you up so you eat less food and are less likely to blow off your weight loss diet plan. This new souping trend takes eating soup to a whole new level. There are even soup delivery services cropping up to provide you with ready-to-eat soup meals for the week.

These soups are hearty

Of course we are not talking about creamy corn or clam chowder, nor are we suggesting high sodium canned soup selections. The healthier version of this diet offers recipe plans or delivery services that provide hearty soups chock full of beans, tofu, chicken or pasta and loads of vegetables. These soups offer protein, fiber and a hearty dose of antioxidants in a liquid base. One of the biggest complaints about juicing is the blood sugar spikes it can cause. Another problem with juicing is that you’re not chewing food so you miss out on one component of satiation – actually feeling yourself chewing and swallowing foods. Souping provides portion control and fills you up.

Many of the soups and soup recipes in souping are nutrient-rich and chock full of herbs and spices to help limit sodium levels; many of the soups come in hot or cold versions. The cold soups sometimes offer chunky fruits, making them more like chunky smoothies. Most of the recipe plans or delivery services hover around 1200-1300 calories per day, which can be helpful if you are trying to lose weight. For many individuals, though, the daily calorie counts may be too low, especially if you exercise.

There are also a number of new souping recipe books recently published, so you can shop for ingredients and make your soups in the comfort of your own home. The ability to make large batches of soup to refrigerate or freeze makes the program quite affordable and convenient. Portability in a thermos or a container that’s microwave friendly means you can transport a soup for lunch to work.

Is souping really a cleanse?

Most experts feel that these types of diets should not be designated as cleansing diets though some food experts have suggested that souping can be a type of cleanse. Just cleaning up your diet by removing mostly processed and refined foods, limiting meat and treats is technically acleanse. The term also tends to refer to a temporary diet approach, which sets you up for weight gain once you abandon the program.

Having a hearty, healthy soup as one of your meals daily, preferably dinner, when you need fewer energy calories, might support weight loss or weight maintenance. It might also help you to reach your daily protein and vegetable goals. If you do want to exclusively eat soups for two or three days to jump start a weight loss program, and then shift over to foods, you can try the Dr. Oz 3-Day Souping Detox.

Remember to always talk to your doctor before beginning a weight loss program.

For updates on HealthCorps and more health news sign up for our newsletter

The post Should You Join the Souping Revolution? appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0
6 Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy Mon, 16 May 2016 11:00:51 +0000 The obesity epidemic is front and center in the news on an almost daily basis. Escalating rates…

The post 6 Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy appeared first on HealthCorps.

The obesity epidemic is front and center in the news on an almost daily basis. Escalating rates in the adult and child populations have garnered great concern from a public health standpoint. Recent studies suggest that obesity during pregnancy can cause a variety of complications for mother and baby. Already having obesity as you enter pregnancy can raise your risk of gestational diabetes. It can also raise the risk of having an abnormally large baby. Obesity during pregnancy may also set your offspring up for a much higher risk of developing obesity early in life.

Despite concerns decades ago suggesting that exercise during pregnancy is “dangerous,” we now know that maintaining a regular exercise habit during pregnancy offers a number of health benefits. It helps with energy balance and moderating excessive weight gain, helps to reduce stress, may help to maintain bone density, may prevent gestational diabetes and will help to build and maintain mom’s stamina which is needed for labor and delivery. It can also help to alleviate low back pain, a common complaint as pregnancy progresses.

Always check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. If you have been exercising regularly before your pregnancy, there is likely no reason to discontinue your exercise regimen, even if it is robust. Again, just check with your doctor so he or she is aware of your fitness regimen. As you get larger and gain weight, you may have to modify certain moves or possibly downgrade the intensity of your efforts.

If you have asthma, diabetes (Type 1) or heart disease, you do need to establish safe exercise practices with your doctor. You and your doctor also need to communicate about modifying exercise routines, should any complications arise during pregnancy including bleeding or spotting. As you move through the nine months, certain unexpected health conditions can arise. Close communications and monthly visits with your doctor will likely identify any new issues that preclude your from exercising vigorously or that require you to modify your fitness activities.

Six tips to help you to exercise safely during pregnancy:

If you’ve never exercised before, consider starting a walking program or using a stationary bike. Other good choices are low impact aerobics or a swimming program, after you consult with your healthcare provider. Aim for thirty to sixty minutes of exercise several days a week.. Remember that after you exercise it is still important to have physical movement throughout the day, to offset sedentary time.
Lifting weights will help to maintain muscle mass which helps to keep your metabolic rate stable. It will also help specifically with stamina during labor and delivery. If you were already performing weight training regularly, you can continue to the program. If you are new to weight training then it may be a good idea to have a couple of sessions with an experienced personal trainer.
• Avoid holding your breath during exercising. You do need to adequately breathe and oxygenate during exercise, pregnant or not. If you’re pregnant, adequate oxygenation is crucial to your growing baby’s health as well.
• Make sure you hydrate regularly before, during and after the workout. You are drinking for two and there is also a lot of water shifting internally during exercise and during pregnancy. Water and unsweetened tea are your two “best bets” when it comes to hydration.
• Always warm up and cool down when exercising since your heart rate affects your growing baby. Depending on the conversation you have with your doctor, your heart rate should not exceed 140-160 beats per minute. Those heart rate goals should be personalized and based on your fitness level and any risk factors you have.
• If you do lie down on a bench or the floor to perform any exercises, make sure to get up slowly and find your center of balance. This will help you to avoid dizziness and the risk of losing your balance, since your center of gravity changes when you are pregnant.

Introducing or maintaining an exercise regimen during pregnancy will benefit you and your baby. Just remember to be sensible and communicate any concerns to your doctor immediately.

Also read: Fried Foods and Risk of Gestational Diabetes

For updates on HealthCorps and more health news sign up for our newsletter

The post 6 Tips for Exercising During Pregnancy appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0
Food Allergy Awareness Week Wed, 11 May 2016 11:00:58 +0000 May 8th is actually the start of Food Allergy Awareness Week, and according to FARE (Food Allergy…

The post Food Allergy Awareness Week appeared first on HealthCorps.

May 8th is actually the start of Food Allergy Awareness Week, and according to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) one in thirteen children under the age of eighteen has a food allergy. Researchers estimate that 15 million Americans have food allergies. The economic cost of children’s food allergies is nearly $25 billion annually. Food allergies are on the rise but there’s no clear and obvious reason that explains this uptick.

A reaction to food can be mild, as in an itchy mouth, to severe, as in anaphylaxis, a severe and potentially deadly response. People who know they are potentially at risk for anaphylaxis carry epinephrine with them which can be administered at the first sign of food allergy symptoms. The medication is lifesaving.

If you have food allergies and asthma you are at increased risk of severe or fatal food allergy reactions. Failure to treat anaphylaxis within minutes can result in a fatality. Your risk of having a food allergy is heightened if you have other allergic-like diseases including eczema, asthma, or environmental allergies like hay fever. Food allergies can also be a trigger for or associated with other allergic-type conditions like atopic dermatitis and eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases.

The eight most common foods that instigate food allergy are: milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, wheat, fish and shellfish. Exposure to even trace amount of these or any food you are allergic to can instigate a serious allergic reaction. There have been cases of individuals who are so sensitive to a food, that kissing someone who just ate that food and merely being exposed to tiny remnants is enough to cause a life-threatening reaction.

Patients often wonder if they can outgrow their allergy. Nut allergies (peanut and tree nut) are often lifelong allergies, but allergies to cow’s milk, eggs and soy, which start in childhood can disappear in the teen or early adult years. Fish and shellfish may also be lifelong allergies. In recent years experts observe that it seems to take longer to outgrow these allergies. Still, most kids will outgrow these food allergies by age sixteen.

Once you’re diagnosed with a food allergy or multiple food allergies, you and your doctor will need to devise a detailed plan so you can avoid exposure to the foods or ingredients. You should also have an emergency action plan that close family members, friends, school or work employees are aware of, in the event you do experience an escalating life-threatening reaction.

A lot of talk has been generated recently regarding gluten “allergy.” The more appropriate term is gluten sensitivity or non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS). Individuals with this condition do not test positive for celiac disease or a wheat allergy, nor do they have small intestine disease or tissue transglutaminase antibodies which is found in celiac disease. They do however have symptoms that may include: weight loss, iron-folate-vitamin B12 deficiency, abdominal bloating or distension, severe or recurrent loose bowel movements.

Many people “self-diagnose” NCGS, when in fact, they should speak with their healthcare practitioner to either confirm the diagnosis or identify what other disease process may be the cause of the symptoms. There is no benefit to removing gluten or wheat from your diet if you do not have celiac disease or NCGS.

Source: FARE
Also read: Does Gluten Free Benefit Athletes?

The post Food Allergy Awareness Week appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0
Six Top Food and Fitness Trends Tue, 10 May 2016 11:00:40 +0000 Food trends seem to be following a wellness revolution theme with juicing, kale and nut milks front…

The post Six Top Food and Fitness Trends appeared first on HealthCorps.

Food trends seem to be following a wellness revolution theme with juicing, kale and nut milks front and center. When it comes to fitness, there are always new and dynamic approaches to exercise entering the fitness scene. The market research group, Mintel, suggests that eight of twelve of the newest lifestyle trends in 2016 are related to health and well-being. Some of those trends include:

Make exercise your “fitness Prozac” – The idea is that exercise has a bounty of health payoffs including helping you to manage stress, anxiety and depression. When it comes to exercise, the mind-body connection and benefits are well documented.

Carbs are coming back, but be selective – Added sugars and white, refined carbohydrates (highly processed grains) are clearly contributing to obesity and diabetes, but not all grains are created equal. Whole grains, ancient grains and protein-rich grains are all superior sources of nutrients and should be included in a balanced diet.

Vegan is a bit more liberal a term these days – Not everyone wants to avoid all animal-sourced foods all the time, in an effort to eat healthier, but some individuals do want to mostly follow vegan principles. Some consumers choose to include cruelty-free eggs in their diet and suggest that they are moving towards veganism. Others choose to be flexi-vegans, meaning that they are vegan some of the time.

Souping is the new juicing – A number of health experts are not thrilled with juicing, finding that liquids are not as satiating as real food. Juicing also offers somewhat high-sugar beverages that raise blood sugar levels swiftly. Some folks are turning to hearty, thick protein-rich bean soups and bone broth as ways to fill up and meet daily protein goals.

Kombucha and fermented foods are front and center – Kombucha is a drink made by fermenting green and black teas with bacteria and yeast, and has become a “wellness drink of the moment,” though it has pushback from certain health experts. Seaweed, sauerkraut and other fermented foods are credited with being healthy, low calorie options that can be consumed daily.

Cauliflower rice or cauliflower pizza, anyone? If you’re trying to cut down on eating carbohydrates like rice, then you need a tasty and versatile swap out. Cauliflower heads can be grated and used as granules to sauté and flavor as a substitute for white rice. There are also loads of recipes that utilize grated cauliflower to make the base of a creative and yummy pizza. If you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, then these cauliflower recipes can offer additional options for tasty dishes that don’t involve grains.

Beans are hot – You can now find chickpea-based pasta, chickpea and other bean-based hummus spreads and new exotic beans like Lupino beans flooding the market. Consumers are aiming for more meatless days, and beans can help to fill the void.

New waters – Coconut water is almost passé these days. Newest to the market is maple water and birch water from trees. Do your due diligence to see if these are really worth the money they cost. Many waters have sugar or artificial sweeteners and flavors added. In this case, simple water might still be your best bet!!
Baobab from Madagascar and Africa is a fruit rich in vitamin C and quickly becoming a popular new fruit on the produce scene.

Savory yogurt and savory nutrition bars are hitting supermarket counters – Most of us are used to eating sweet yogurt or yogurts with sweet “add ins” like fruit, and most nutrition bars are sweet or nutty. Expect to see savory flavors hit these two food sectors with smoked paprika and vanilla-cardamom among others as a new way to enjoy old favorites.

Also check out: Debunking Nutrition Myths and Picking the right Nutrition Bar

The post Six Top Food and Fitness Trends appeared first on HealthCorps.

]]> 0