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Tell Those Bugs to BUZZ OFF: Handling Pesky Summertime Pests

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Just like we have been cooped up all winter, so have been a number of those creatures that we've come to despise: insects.

With summer in full bloom, insects are also in full swing and are ready to attack when necessary.

So, what do you do to avoid these nasty creatures biting you?

Environmentalists suggest that the best way to deal with insect bites and stings is to prevent them before they happen.

Ways that you can avoid or prevent bug bites include:

Applying repellents to exposed skin. Do not apply repellents directly to your face, instead spray the repellent into your hands and apply to your face that way.

Wearing shoes when walking around outdoors. Avoid going barefoot whenever possible.

Do not swat or attempt to hit a flying insect. This will only make them mad and attack you more frequently.

Covering food when it is outdoors. Insects flock to food and the less chance you give them to get to the food, the greater your chance of avoiding them all together is.

Avoiding bright colored clothes when you are outdoors for extended periods of time as insects are attracted to bright colors.

Trying not to wear heavy smelling perfumes outdoors as insects are also attracted to the smells.

Keep these tips in mind before you head outdoors and you won't be dealing with insects biting or stinging you this summer.

Bug bites are going to happen now and then, but enjoy your summer while it lasts ,winter will be here before we know it!

 

Straight From the Headlines: Learn CPR Today to Save a Life!

Written by Lisa Jillanza

According to a report on CNN.com, “getting CPR within minutes is crucial for someone who's suffered from cardiac arrest, as brain death and permanent death start to occur just four to six minutes after the heart stops.”

Unfortunately, the report also states that more than 95 percent of cardiac arrest victims die before reaching the hospital.

But, if more people would learn CPR, then many of these deaths may not occur. Many people do not want to take the time to learn how to perform CPR, but medical experts say that learning how to do it is much easier than it used to be.

As stated on CNN.com, Dr. Kenneth Rosenfield, an interventional cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, once had a patient whose life was saved because the man's quick-thinking wife knew to perform CPR to the rhythm of the song “Staying Alive”. As a result of a one minute American Heart Association spot she heard on the radio she knew to push very hard, 100 times per minute to the tune of “Staying Alive”.

According to Rosenfield, “You should take a class, but it's easier than it used to be. There's no mouth to mouth. You push on the chest very hard and don't worry about breaking a rib.”

Anyone interested in learning where they can take a CPR class, can visit either the American Red Cross or the American Heart Association to find a class in your area.

It's Pool Time: Stay Fit While Afloat

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Whether we like it or not, the warm weather marks the beginning of swimming pool season. The opening of public as well as home pools will soon have people breaking out their bathing suits for another season of swimming.

Swimming can be a good way to wind down after a long day or as another means of exercise. It is an excellent way to lose weight and strength train while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. It's also an activity that can be continued for a lifetime. It's an exercise that keeps your heart rate up but takes a lot of the stress off of your body and joints.

According to swimming.about.com, exercise experts recommend swimming as a form of exercise because of the great cardiovascular workout you get from swimming. It is considered a great aerobic exercise because by definition it is an action that maintains an elevated heartbeat for a minimum of 20 minutes. Swimming burns calories at a rate of about 3 calories a mile per pound of body weight. If you weigh 150 lbs. and it takes you 30 minutes to swim one mile (1,760 yards or 1,609 meters), then you will be using about 900 calories in one hour.

In addition to burning calories, swimming also builds endurance, muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. It can also serve as a cross-training element to regular workouts. You can use the pool for a warm-up session before hitting the gym if you like. You can also swim after an intense work out to help cool-down and help your muscles recover while gliding through the water. Or you may want to add swimming to your pre-existing aerobic workout to help switch things up and keep your workouts fresh. Alternate days that you decide to use swimming as your cardio for that day, so you don't get bored with any one workout.

Instead of staying indoors and using the treadmill or elliptical for a day, get outdoors and swim laps in the pool for the cardio portion of your workout and you will find that exercising comes much easier when you aren't sticking to the same routine day in and day out.

Like any exercise, you should also start any swimming workout routine by stretching first. You may not realize the affect swimming has on your entire body until it is too late, so be sure to stretch appropriately before you begin. Then start off slow by swimming strides and gradually increasing your speed in the pool. This will help to elevate your heart rate at a safe pace and help you to last longer during your workout.

Experts suggest starting out swimming laps for approximately 20 minutes for women and 30 minutes for men. You can begin to increase your time as necessary and as you continue your workout over the course of weeks or months. Again, this will prevent you from getting too tired, too sore, wore out or disappointed in your swimming workout.

Try out different strokes when you are swimming, too. Do some laps using the breaststroke, then switch up and do the backstroke, or even the doggy paddle. Each swimming stroke using a different variety of muscles and therefore will give you the best overall workout.

Playing games in the pool is also a good way to get some exercise in the spring and summer. You can play water polo, water basketball, chicken fights, diving games, or even just do some aerobics in the water. You will get your workout in without even realizing it!

Be sure to wear your sun block (preferably a waterproof kind to avoid unnecessary reapplications) to fight the harmful UV rays of the sun while you are in the pool.

And lastly, keep it safe and have fun. Before you know it, the warm seasons will be over and we'll be looking for ways to exercise indoors again. Enjoy the beautiful weather while it lasts!

The Scoop on Seasonal Allergies

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Ahhh! Spring is finally here! After a long and cold winter, everyone is in their glory with the sunshine and warm weather. But with spring also comes seasonal allergies complete with the miserable sneezing, itching and sniffling.

So what are seasonal allergies exactly? Well, according to Allergies.about.com, a seasonal allergy is an allergic reaction to a trigger that is only around for certain seasons of the year. Such triggers can include pollen from trees, weeds and grasses. There are also perennial allergies that include triggers such as pet dander or molds.

More specifically, spring allergies are the result of pollen from trees that usually starts anywhere from January to April. Trees that commonly cause allergies include oak, olive, elm, birch, ash, sycamore, maple and walnut. These pollens are tiny egg-shaped powdery grains released from flowering plants and are carried by wind or insects. When pollen is in the air it can land in a person's eyes, nose, lungs and skin causing allergic reactions.

Pollens that are spread by the wind are usually the main cause of season allergies. This pollen travels long distances and the levels that are in the air vary from day to day. Pollen levels can also vary between different geographic regions and depending on what time of day it is. Pollen is considered highest in the morning from 5 to 10 a.m.

Anybody who suffers from allergies probably knows immediately when their allergies have kicked it into high gear in the spring. However, most seasonal allergy symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, and an itchy nose.

There are ways to avoid pollen exposure, however, including:

Keeping windows closed to prevent pollen from drifting into your home

Minimizing early morning activity when pollen is usually emitted -- between 5-10 a.m.

Keeping car windows closed when traveling.

Staying indoors when the pollen count is reported to be high, and on windy days when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air.

Traveling to a more pollen-free area, such as the beach or sea.

Avoiding mowing the lawn and freshly cut grass.

Machine-dry your bedding and clothing. Pollen may collect in laundry if it is hung outside to dry.

 

Simple Home Remedies for Headaches

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Millions of people suffer from the pain and discomfort of headaches; in fact more than 45 million people get repeat headaches, day after day. Headaches are one of the most common complaints and the most widely treated with home remedies. Physical and emotional stress and lack of sleep are common triggers for headaches but there can be an array of reasons why you're constantly getting headaches. Oftentimes, simple lifestyle changes and relaxation can often remedy these pains. But if you have consistent headaches that do not respond to treatment you may want to get in touch with your health care provider.

There is also an assortment of home remedies that may help your headache pain go away that is as easy as a quick trip to your pantry. Here are some ideas from Home-remedies-for-you.com:

Lemon- Useful as a remedy for various types of headaches. The juice of three or four slices of lemon squeezed in a cup of tea often causes immediate relief. You can also take the crust of a lemon, pound it into a fine paste and applied to the forehead or temples.

Apple- Also a remedy for all sorts of types of headaches. Remove the upper rind and inner core of a ripe apple and eat with a little salt on an empty stomach.

Henna- Useful for headaches resulting from exposure to hot sun. Rub henna flowers in vinegar and apply to the forehead.

Cinnamon- Useful for cold air headaches. Mix cinnamon with water to create a fine paste and apply over the temples and forehead.

Marjoram- If you have a nervous headache, an infusion of marjoram leaves in tea often helps.

Rosemary- This herb can be helpful in curing headaches resulting from cold. Take a handful of the herb, boil it in a liter of water and put it in a mug. Cover the head with a towel and inhale the steam until the headache is relieved.

Hot foot bath- Keep legs in a tub or bucket filled with hot water for fifteen minutes.

Proper nutrition, exercise and positive thinking- The best way to prevent headaches is to build up a resistance through proper nutrition, physical exercise and positive thinking. And drink lots of water!