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Health Tips
By Nancy Kennedy

How to Pick Up Your Grandchildren Safely
To pick up a child from a crib, lower the side of the crib so you can comfortably reach the child. Pull the child closer to the center of your body and cradle her against your chest. Do not sling her against your hip and hold her with one arm. To put her back in the crib, bend from the waist instead of slumping your shoulders.

To pick up a child from the floor, get on one knee, tighten your stomach muscles and lift, using your legs rather than your back. To return her to the floor, go back to the one knee position and release her to the floor gently.

To prevent back and shoulder injuries, add strengthening exercises for your arms, back and shoulder to your daily routine.

Source: Arthritis Foundation

Sources of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss most often has a slow and subtle onset. If you find yourself turning up the TV volume or asking people to repeat themselves, you may have a hearing loss. Ask your doctor to test your hearing or refer you to an audiologist if you are concerned.

Frequent exposure to loud noises can contribute to hearing loss. These include:
- sporting events
- rock concerts
- power tools like leaf blowers
- sirens
- firearms
- loud restaurants and bars
- smartphone music on high volume

Emergency Preparedness
Are you prepared to withstand an emergency, such as a prolonged power outage or a natural disaster? The CDC reports that most Americans do not have a plan or a kit prepared for such an event, but with the increased frequency of severe weather, and the loss of power that often accompanies it, preparation is essential. Every home should have a plan and a kit.

Basic emergency supplies:

  • Food and water to last 72 hours (Water: 1 gallon per person per day)
  • Pet food and supplies
  • 7-10 day supply of prescriptions
  • Copies of essential documents
  • First aid supplies
  • Flashlights, batteries, candles and matches
  • Back-up power source if possible

Source: www.cdc.gov

Top Ten Worst Foods for Your Heart:

  • Fast food burgers
  • Processed meats
  • Deep fried anything
  • Sugar
  • Soft drinks
  • Sugary cereal
  • Cookies and pastry
  • Margarine
  • Pizza with meat
  • Diet soda

Source: Cooking Light magazine

You Can Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease
February is American Heart Month, a time to think about maintaining a healthy heart. You may feel and look just fine, but high cholesterol, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes are all silent conditions that may be damaging your heart without your awareness. There are serious complications, including heart attack and stroke, associated with these conditions, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about being screened for early disease and learning your risks. Heart disease is not inevitable!

Beating Bad Breath
We all have it at some point, but it can be controlled. Bad breath, or halitosis, is due to bacteria in the mouth and it can be prevented or managed with these tips:

  • Stay well hydrated: a dry mouth breeds bacteria. Drink lots of water!
  • Use sugar free mints or gum – sugar feeds bad bacteria
  • Green tea is a natural antimicrobial – drink some every day
  • Use a tongue scraper to keep your tongue clean
  • Never skimp on oral hygiene: toothbrushing, flossing and mouthwash
  • See your dentist regularly

Source: American Dental Association

Choosing the Right Cane
Canes can be useful for anyone experiencing joint instability or balance problems with walking. Canes can prevent falls and reduce the weight load on the lower joints, for those with arthritis. These common assistive devices come in many styles and with a variety of options.

It’s important that the cane fits your body: the top of the cane handle should come to the level of the crease in your wrist, when you wear walking shoes and stand up straight. Most canes are adjustable, so you can raise or lower it to the right height. Some canes, called quad canes, have four points on the ground rather than one, for increased stabilizing power. These are usually a choice for those with neurological problems. But be careful not to trip over the larger base.

When you buy a cane, check it for weight limits. If you are obese, you may need a bariatric cane. A cane that cannot bear your weight is not safe to use.

Options include canes with attached seats, canes with lights to illuminate the path ahead, and canes that fold up in your purse or glove compartment. Be sure to get one with a padded handle for comfort.

Source: Arthritis Foundation

Healthy and Delicious: Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers
This recipe is easy, pretty and full of vegetables and protein. It makes 4 main servings or 30 appetizers.

15 sweet baby peppers, all colors
1 pound ground beef or turkey
2/3 cup V-8 juice
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/4 cup uncooked whole wheat couscous
2 cloves minced garlic (optional)
1/2 tsp each, salt and pepper
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, grated

Heat oven to 400. Cut peppers in half and remove seeds. Leave stems. Place on two rimmed baking sheets, cut sides up. Combine meat and all other ingredients except the cheese in a large bowl and mix well. Spoon beef mixture into pepper halves and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered about 25-30 minutes, or until a thermometer in the center of a pepper reads 160. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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