Assortment of fruits and vegetables

Do you have trouble feeding your teen?

Feeding your teen healthy choices (or getting them to eat those options) can put any parent to the test. Many of us may not realize that what our teens or tweens eat today can affect their health as adults.

Casey Beeghly

Teens’ bodies are growing at incredible rates. On average during puberty teens will gain about 20 percent of their height and 40 percent of their adult body weight.

So what can you do?

According to Casey Beeghly, registered dietician at Sentara Leigh Hospital, helping your teen find the link between what they eat and what they care about could be a good motivator.

What teen doesn’t want beautiful skin or a muscular build? Most teens aren’t aware that low zinc is linked to acne. Sources of zinc are olives, mangoes, pumpkin seeds, fish and eggs. Guess what? These foods have other great nutrients too.

To build more muscle, iron is essential. Iron is found in lean meats like tuna, chicken, turkey, and chicken. Red meats, beans, lentils, oatmeal and raisins are also good sources.

Beeghley also offers a smart swap list for teens when they are out with friends.

Here are some highlights.

Swap grilled chicken for fried chicken, apple slices for fries, baked chips for regular, milk for soda, nustard for mayonnaise and vinaigrette on salads instead of creamy dressing. These options can cut fat and replace empty calories with more nutritious options.

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woman enjoying the sun

Get Up and Get Moving

An exercise program can do wonders for your physical and mental well-being.

The benefits of walking with purpose.

There’s no denying that almost any exercise is good. But for those who want to step up their walking routine to gain maximum health benefits, John Schaffer, MD, an orthopedic surgeon at Sentara Leigh Hospital has three words.

Posture, speed, and duration—these three factors are critical to produce the long-term and complex health benefits of regular and vigorous walking.

Whether it’s a simple walk in the park or a speed walking competition, the health benefits of walking are directly related to the amount of effort put forth.

According to Dr. Schaffer, “Slouching your shoulders and rolling your pelvis won’t provide optimal results. It all starts with posture.” (more…)

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woman enjoying the sun

Stretch to Improve Health

Sentara Port Warwick Physical Therapist, Alyssa Kuhn.
Sentara Port Warwick Physical Therapist, Alyssa Kuhn.

Much like athletes stretch before and after strenuous exercises, health care workers can benefit from stretches before and after their shifts.

“Stretching can help improve flexibility which may decrease the risk of injury” says Melissa Waugh, Manager of Rehabilitation Services at Sentara CarePlex Hospital.

Regular exercise and proper stretching don’t always have to take place in a therapy center. They can benefit us no matter what our occupation.

Stress relief, decreased risk of injury, increased range of motion and more energy are just some of the benefits. Getting up and moving more often can also improve your day and quality of life.

More importantly, simple stretches can improve your health. For those who are seated most of the day, it’s recommended to get moving every 15 minutes. For health benefits, studies suggest it’s not just the total time you sit; it’s also how long it has been without moving. Breaking up your day with stretches and movement around the office can add up.

Tips for stretching:

  • Hold each stretch for 30 seconds; Research shows this is optimal.
  • Gentle, smooth stretches are most effective.
  • Remember to breathe while stretching.

Consider these stretches demonstrated by Sentara Port Warwick Physical Therapist, Alyssa Kuhn, during your work day.

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What Is Norovirus?

Norovirus is a highly contagious stomach bug common in winter, spring, and fall. It is easily spread and good handwashing is a key way to avoid contact.

Norovirus generally causes rapid onset of vomiting, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and sometimes low-grade fever.  Symptoms usually begin within 24 to 48 hours after exposure but sometimes sooner. People infected with norovirus are contagious from the moment they begin feeling ill to at least three days after recovery. Like other viruses, antibiotics are not an effective treatment for norovirus.

How To Prevent Norovirus?

You can decrease your changes of getting or spreading norovirus or other illnesses by following these steps:

  • Go home immediately at the onset of symptoms and stay home when sick.
  • Frequently wash hands, especially after toilet use, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food. Hand sanitizer is not as effective against norovirus, but it can be used if running water is not available or as a supplement to soap and water.
  • Thoroughly clean and disinfect contaminated surfaces immediately after an episode of illness by using a bleach-based household cleaner.
  • Immediately remove and wash clothing or linens that may be contaminated with virus after an episode of illness (use hot water and soap). Flush or discard any vomit or stools in the toilet and make sure that the surrounding area is kept clean.
  • Avoid visiting area hospitals or the elderly for at least 72 hours after symptoms stop.

How It’s Spread?

Like many viruses, norovirus is spread from person to person or by touching a contaminated surface. This virus is very easily spread. Soiled laundry or surfaces can harbor the virus so hand washing is vital to avoiding the spread of this virus, along with proper handling of laundry and disinfecting contaminated surfaces using bleach.

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