Practice Self-care

Practice Self-care

Maintaining your mental health is an essential component of overall good health. One of the best ways to take care of your mental health is to practice self-care. Self-care includes taking time to do things that bring you happiness and improve your mood.

While self-care looks different for everyone, here are a few tips to consider as you begin your journey:

  • Exercise. Exercise releases endorphins, which are hormones in your body that improve your mood. Walking, running, weight lifting and other activities can have a positive effect on your mental health. Find something you enjoy.
  • Get restful sleep. Create a sleep schedule and stick to it, even on your days off. You may want to incorporate a nighttime routine that includes skincare, a bubble bath or a cup of Having a regular pattern each night helps you get more restful sleep and may improve your mood upon waking the next day.
  • Eat healthy foods and stay hydrated. Drink lots of water throughout the day and try to choose foods that healthily fuel your body. Finding new recipes that include nutritious foods can be a fun and engaging way to improve your diet.
  • Reach out to family, friends and co-workers. Human connection is essential to your mental health since it can boost your mood and provide emotional support. Consider getting together with co-workers outside of work, calling a family member or scheduling coffee or dinner with friends.
  • Find activities that help you relax. Whether reading a book, trying a new yoga routine or spending time outside, try to find a few activities that let you calm your mind. An escape from the constant busyness of life can also help improve your mental
This infographic is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. Readers should contact a health professional for appropriate advice. © 2022 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

 

Yoga

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When to Choose Urgent Care

When to Choose Urgent Care

Should the cut on your hand or the chest pain send you to the ER or an urgent care center? It’s difficult to be sure. Urgent care centers provide fast, noncritical health care on a walk-in basis. A visit is generally around the same price or slightly more than a clinic visit but far cheaper than a trip to the emergency room.

But how do you know when you may need urgent care or when to choose another treatment option?

Urgent care fills a health care gap

According to experts, many patients visit emergency rooms for health care issues that could be handled elsewhere. Urgent care centers can usually handle injuries and illnesses that need immediate care but are not life-threatening or debilitating. Examples include minor cuts and burns, back or muscle pain, vomiting and diarrhea.

Urgent medical conditions are ones that are not considered emergencies but still require care within 24 hours. Some examples include:

  • Accidents and falls
  • Cuts that don’t involve much blood but might need stitches
  • Breathing difficulties, such as mild to moderate asthma
  • Diagnostic services, including X-rays and laboratory tests
  • Eye irritation and redness
  • Fever or flu
  • Minor broken bones and fractures in fingers or toes
  • Moderate back problems
  • Severe sore throat or cough
  • Skin rashes and infections
  • Sprains and strains
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting, diarrhea, or dehydration

Primary care providers manage routine health care

A primary care provider, or PCP, can manage most of your regular health care needs. PCPs offer cheaper treatment choices, and you’ll often see them before going to a specialist, although they may coordinate your overall care. For general health concerns, consider contacting a primary care provider.

When to Choose Urgent Care

Emergency departments provide critical care

Emergency departments are indispensable if you’re critically ill or injured but will likely be your most expensive option. Of course, in a true emergency, the cost is the last thing on many people’s minds.

While urgent care could save you from an expensive ED visit, it’s better to err on the side of caution if you’re hurt or sick and not sure what to do. If you can’t make it to the hospital or the situation is life-threatening, you can call 911.

Dial 911 immediately for any medical problem that appears life-threatening. Some examples of conditions that need emergency medical care include:

  • Compound fracture, which involves a bone protruding through the skin
  • Convulsions, seizures, or loss of consciousness
  • Deep knife wounds or gunshot wounds
  • Fever in a newborn less than 3 months old
  • Heavy, uncontrollable bleeding
  • Moderate to severe burns
  • Poisoning
  • Pregnancy-related problems
  • Serious head, neck, or back injury
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Severe chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Heart attack symptoms, such as chest pain that lasts longer than two minutes
  • Stroke symptoms, such as vision loss, sudden numbness, weakness, slurred speech, or confusion
  • Suicidal or homicidal feelings

If you need help understanding how your health insurance covers different treatment options, just reach out — we’re here for you.

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5 Tips to Staying Healthy During Flu Season

5 Tips to Staying Healthy During Flu Season

You can get ahead of cold and flu season by embracing a few habits that can help support a healthy immune system. 

Plus, boosting your natural immunity doesn’t have to be time-consuming or expensive. 

You may be doing some of these things already. If not, take baby steps to build new habits, because trying to do too much too soon may lead to frustration. 

What steps can you take to fit these five tips into your life?

1. Get a good night’s rest. 

Like stress, sleep deprivation can reduce the effectiveness of your immune system and lead to a longer recovery time if you do get sick. 

Practice good sleep habits like putting away your devices before bed and creating a wind-down routine to help you relax.

2. Watch your stress levels.

Stress can weaken your immune system, making it harder to fight off a cold or the flu. Try practicing stress-reduction techniques such as daily meditation or breathing exercises.

3. Keep your hands clean. 

Wash your hands often, especially when entering or leaving public places or touching surfaces. Cleaning your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds can be the best way to remove germs. When that’s not possible, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

4. Stay active. 

Exercise can help alleviate stress and support your immune system — and physical activity doesn’t have to be intense to make a difference. To get started, you can try taking a daily walk or practicing gentle yoga poses.

5. Focus more on nutrition.

A healthy diet supports a healthy immune system. In addition to the supplements, you may already take, try to eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals, such as:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Spinach
  • Green tea
  • Shellfish

 

Cleveland Clinic:  We’re now several months into the coronavirus pandemic, and we’re also fast-approaching peak season for yet another viral illness: influenza. Infectious disease specialist Kristin Englund, MD, explains the differences between COVID-19 and the flu, and shares steps we can all take to help us stay healthy this flu season. 

 

For information about transparency providers and new tech tools contact us at info@medicalsolutionscorp.com or (855)667-4621.

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Preparing for a Telehealth Visit

Preparing for a Telehealth Visit

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, telehealth (or telemedicine)—healthcare via phone, email, video, and other technologies—is moving from a trend to the mainstream.  Virtual doctor’s appointments are nothing new, but they’re certainly becoming more popular. Have you reaped the benefits of your telehealth options? Did you know that virtual visits have nearly tripled to 37% from 10 years ago and that 85% of patients are satisfied?Preparing for Telehealth Visit

Meeting online means you can check in with your provider from the comfort of your home — but you’ll want to make sure you make the most of that face time. 

There are many ways to make telemedicine work for you. Here are five tips to prepare for a virtual appointment.

  • Prepare some talking points. Make a list of your symptoms and concerns. Your appointment will likely last for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the reason for your visit.
  • Do a practice run. You don’t want a faulty internet or audio connection during your visit. Check that your device is running properly, and set yourself up in a quiet, well-lit area before your appointment begins.
  • Write down your questions. Don’t hesitate to speak up during your visit. Ask your provider for clarification, next steps and anything else you feel you may need.
  • Take your vitals, if necessary. Your doctor might ask you to take your pulse, temperature and blood pressure before your appointment. Double-check if you should do so manually or with an app on your phone.
  • Get a post-visit summary. It can be easy to forget the details of your visit. Before signing off, ask for an overview of what you discussed, including any care and medication instructions.

While Telehealth appointments can be a great way to see a doctor without leaving your home, there are some cases where an in-person visit is necessary. Therefore, don’t be surprised if the provider directs you to make a follow-up appointment with your local doctor or, if urgent, to go to the local emergency room or urgent care center.

Do you have questions about your health care? Or do you need more guidance about your telemedicine options? Get in touch today. 

 

See: Top 7 Health Trends for 2021

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Top 7 Health Trends for 2021

Top 7 Health Trends for 2021

Health Tech trends had been diverted last year due to the impact of the COVID. Yet the emerging results are very real and for 2021.  

What do you think the defining healthy living trends of 2021 will be? Here are a few to keep your eye on.

Distanced and Digital

1.   Telemedicine. Virtual doctor’s appointments were already catching on before the pandemic began, and they’re most likely here to stay. Some visits will still need to be done in person, of course, but don’t be surprised if others, like therapy sessions and quick check-ins, stay digital. The adoption rate has skyrocketed in part because of convenience but also low cost. During the first quarter of 2020, the number of Telehealth visits increased by 50%, compared with the same period in 2019, with a 154% increase in visits noted in surveillance week 13 in 2020, compared with the same period in 2019.  See – Preparing for a Telehealth Visit.

2.  Ditching the Gym. As social distancing remains a part of life, many people are skipping the gym for good. Everyday routines now include exercising outside as much as possible or turning to apps and videos to find quality solo or group workouts. Health Insurers have doubled down on member gym rewards and expansion to ages as young as 13. Additionally, attending classes has been also recognized. For example, Oxford Health Plans sponsored  Chelsea Piers Fitness Virtual Classes.

3.  Genomic Breakthrough.  Scientists have already made many advances in treatments of killer diseases, including Duchenne muscular Dystrophy, heart disease, and cancer. Due to breakthroughs in this field, we’re likely to see accelerated development of forms of treatment known as “precision medicine,” where drugs can be customized to match the genetic profile of individual patients, making them more effective, as well as less likely to cause unwanted side-effects.  Just imagine custom prescriptions based on your genetics.

4.  Data and Artificial Intelligence analytics.  The coronavirus pandemic has shown us that there is a willingness to share our personal data when the benefits to our health are clearly communicated. This has been proven by track-and-trace systems that have reliably kept infection levels in check in some regions (though less so in others). This will be particularly important from a financial point of view. The coronavirus pandemic has been costly for the healthcare industry, with revenues falling by 50% in the US due to patients avoiding hospitals and surgeries. This will lead to an increased reliance on AI-driven prediction tools to forecast where resources can be used most efficiently. Insurance providers will also step up their use of advanced predictive technology to better understand risk and more accurately set premiums.

Mindful Living

5.  Prioritizing mental health. A stressful 2020 placed mental health needs in the spotlight. As a result, many individuals, families, and workplaces feel more comfortable discussing this essential topic. Expect to see a continued focus on stress relief, honest communication, coping techniques, and more.  To be sure Yoga has been widely recognized under the gym rewards. 

6.  Thoughtful cooking and eating. You’ll also probably see a continuing emphasis on sustainable and locally sourced food. This means more home and community gardens, creative and collaborative cooking, and supporting your favorite restaurants by ordering takeout. Overall, in 2021 we’ll be more aware of food sourcing and quality than ever before. People have become more comfortable cooking healthy meals as a health measure and nice savings. 

7.  Future Planning

After managing so much uncertainty these past few months, preparing for the future has become more urgent. Estate planning, exploring your life insurance options, and taking advantage of your health coverage are all continuing priorities.

We also offer personal line insurance such as renter’s policies, home insurance, and life insurance.  

 

Top Health Trends for 2021

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Best Free Home Exercise

Best Free Home Exercise

Best Free Home Exercise

For those who have found the challenges of maintaining proper work-life- balance during COVID-19 may find this artcile helpful. Aside from the obvious physical advanatges now more than ever is a good time to maintain good habits.  

Gym closed? These are the best home workout options

Courtesy of CNET by Sharon Profis Updated May 14, 2020

There are really only two ways I’m coming out of this self-quarantine: super-ripped or in dire need of a diet. 

As the coronavirus outbreak leaves millions of people hunkered down at home and state-wide lockdown orders close all nonessential businesses, many of us are left without access to our usual gyms, workout studios and even parks. 

Switching to a home workout routine isn’t easy — it takes some space and a lot of intrinsic motivation — but in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, many fitness experts, gyms, apps and studios are doing their part to help us stay in shape. And establishing a workout routine could, most importantly, ease anxiety related to coping with the pandemic.

Staying healthy and in shape while quarantined is totally doable and this guide will show you how. Even if you have a small space, no equipment (hello body weight workouts!) or very little time, there are many great options to help you exercise during a quarantine, with exercises focused on upper body, lower body, core muscles, chest, back — all the muscle groups, really. Then, of course, there’s high-intensity interval training, cardio and more. Seriously, these exercise options will get your heart rate up.

Read more: Best smart home gym: Peloton, Mirror, Tonal and more

Free home workout apps and videos

The fastest way to start an at-home workout routine is through instructor-led videos. Live or prerecorded the videos are typically 25-45 minutes and often require little to no fitness equipment, making it easy to jump right in. 

These videos often require a subscription or membership, but many providers are offering them for free — or as an extended trial — while the outbreak leaves us stuck at home. 

Here’s a list of some of my favorite at-home workout apps with live and prerecorded videos. They include yoga, bootcamp-style classes, boxing, high intensity interval training, plyometrics, pilates and barre exercises. 

Related: The best workout shoes for any type of workout

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There’s no excuse not to stay active during this time.

Peloton

Peloton

Normally $13 a month, Peloton is offering a free, 90-day trial of its polished workout app. The app — which doesn’t require a purchase of Peloton’s bike or treadmill — includes easy-to-follow and high-quality videos, including yoga, strength, meditation, cardio and bootcamp classes. There are also audio-only classes for outdoor runs, if that’s still an option for you. 

Read more: The best meditation app to help you destress   

CorePower Yoga

Like many yoga studios, CorePower shut down its studios due to the outbreak and pivoted to online-only options. New classes are added weekly, including sculpt (those ones hurt!), yoga and meditation. The company is offering free yoga classes to everyone — even nonmembers — through March 30 and may extend its offering if their studios remain closed.

Read more: Best yoga mat for 2020

Nike Training Club

I spent an entire year exercising with Nike Training Club and got in great shape with very little equipment. The app — which is always free — has a wide variety of home workouts to choose from, including programs that help you set an ongoing workout schedule. The key here is that workouts can be filtered based on whether or not you have access to a gym or equipment, so you can easily find bodyweight-only exercises. 

Read more: Best running shoes for 2020  

Les Mills 

If you’ve ever had a membership at a gym like 24 Hour Fitness, you’ve probably heard of Body Pump. The class, which is managed by Les Mills, is just one of more than a dozen different types of classes, including boxing, dance and yoga. All these classes are available on demand through a 30-day free trial and many classes are equipment-free. After the trial, the monthly membership is $14.99 a month or $11.99 a month with a three-month commitment. 

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Designed to get you moving even when you feel stuck.

Cassey Ho/Blogilates

Blogilates

Cassey Ho, the fitness guru behind the hugely popular Blogilates YouTube channel and website continues to offer a massive library of pilates-style toning classes. In response to the outbreak, she also created a 14-day quarantine workout plan, a great option for those looking to add structure to their at-home workout schedules. 

Read more: The best YouTube channels for getting in shape at home

Barry’s

As of March 15, Barry’s (née Barry’s Bootcamp) closed all of its studios in the US, Europe and Canada. If you’re a Barry’s goer — or have heard people (like me) obsess over its high-intensity workouts — now’s a good time to get a taste of its offerings. The company is streaming two new workouts daily, one that doesn’t require equipment and another that uses some basic items, like fitness bands. You can check out its daily workouts and previous streams on Instagram

Amazon Prime Video 

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you already have free access to a varied library of fitness videos, including Zumba and cardio programs such as 21-Day Transformation from GymRa. Just head to Prime Video and search for “fitness,” then check the “Prime” box in the left sidebar to see what’s available for streaming. 

Individual personal trainers

Many personal trainers, whose classes and training sessions have been put on hold, are offering their knowledge for free. You can find them on Instagram, where they are streaming daily workout classes and showing you how to master certain moves. YouTube is home to many fitness trainers who put out free exercise videos, covering every kind of work out from yoga and pilates, to dance and bootcamp. Finally, our colleagues over at MaxPreps have rounded up free workout classes from professional fitness trainer Katerina Kountouris.

HIIT workouts 

CNET’s own Amanda Capritto, who’s also a Crossfit instructor, put together a fantastic roundup of 20-minute HIIT workouts you can do at home.

Basic workout equipment under $100

Plenty of apps and YouTube channels have equipment-free workouts, but if you want to build strength or increase your efficacy, even basic equipment can make a huge difference. 

Here are some things you can use alone or with an at-home workout. At this point, you might not be ready to invest a lot in a home gym, so here are some affordable options. You don’t need everything on this list — just pick the items that work best for the types of workouts you’re doing, like strength training, yoga or HIIT.

Jump rope: If you have a room with high enough ceilings or can safely step outside, a jump rope is a go-to for warming up or getting in a quick cardio workout when you’re strapped for time. 

Dumbbells: Weights are pretty much a must-have for a home workout routine, which is pretty apparent due to the low inventory available as gyms close due to the outbreak. As of writing, these dumbbells are available on Amazon and will be delivered in under a week.

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Don’t forget to stretch before working out.

Angela Lang/CNET

Workout mat (or yoga mat): There are many types of mats out there and the one you choose will depend on your primary form of exercise, as well as the floor you’re working with. For instance, you’ll specifically want a yoga mat for yoga practice, while a higher-density workout mat works better for bodyweight exercises and carpeted floors. 

Yoga block: Yoga blocks provide extra support during practice, especially for those who are just starting to exercise their flexibility. They’re essentially a must-have for practicing yoga and these ones come in a set of two and have a soft finish while maintaining high density for balance. 

A mirror: No, not (just) for checking yourself out, but for ensuring good form while you give new workouts a try. This wall mirror from Ikea provides enough width to get a good view of your workout. 

Headphones: If you’re working out to your phone, tablet or laptop, headphones will give you the best experience — while also doing a courtesy to anyone in the household who doesn’t want to work out with you.

Lacrosse ball and foam roller. As you ease into a new workout routine, take care of your body by caring for its mobility with these tools. This lacrosse ball will relieve tension in your feet and back while this foam roller can be used throughout your body. 

Read more: 7 tips for building your own home gym

Bigger home gym investments 

Some of us have already been considering a home gym setup that goes further than the basics. Today’s at-home gym equipment — like bikes and treadmills — can mimic the in-studio experience with live-streaming classes, social features and progress-tracking through apps and compatible devices such as the Apple Watch ($399 at Apple). Plus, if you’re still on the fence about these investments, companies like Peloton and Mirror offer generous trial periods — long enough to help you decide if that big investment is worthwhile. 

Peloton

Peloton’s indoor bicycle is an ideal — albeit expensive — quarantine companion. With its small footprint (it requires a four- by six-foot space), socially engaging workout classes and varied class durations, Peloton’s bike is an excellent choice for cycling buffs. The company now offers a 30-day trial, letting you test ride the experience before committing to the $2,245 price tag, plus $30-a-month membership. If you decide against it, the company will arrange a pick-up and process a full refund. 

If it’s any comfort, the monthly membership fee also includes access to Peloton’s digital app of diverse workout classes and the bicycle can be financed through Affirm.Read our Peloton Bike review.

Mirror

Those who love working out to YouTube videos (or even old-school fitness DVDs) will love the Mirror. It takes that at-home video workout experience and brings it into 2020 by turning a functional mirror into a screen that plays live and recorded workouts. 

We tried the Mirror and appreciated the variety of workouts, social interactions and small footprint. Plus, while it’s still a pricey investment at $1,500 (and a $39-a-month subscription), it’s $750 less than the Peloton and offers more variety. The Mirror also syncs with your Apple Watch, so you can get an accurate calorie burn and close those rings. Read our Mirror review.

A treadmill

 

Best for runners and cardio junkies

 

Woodway

The at-home treadmill isn’t what it was in the ’90s. Today’s machines often come with a large screen, where you can stream treadmill workouts and track your progress. Plus, many apps — including Peloton — can be paired with a treadmill to make running at home feel, well, fun. CNET tested a bunch of treadmills and here are our favorites

Read more: The 10 best health and fitness podcasts you should listen to

Peloton bike alternatives

 

Best for a Peloton experience without the price tag

 

Echelon

Peloton is like the Kleenex of connected exercise bikes — its name gets used a lot, but it’s certainly not the only stationary bike with live classes and high-tech features. Not only can you make a DIY Peloton, but there are also alternatives around $1,000. (That’s $1,500 less than Peloton’s offering.) Read more on Peloton alternatives.

Read more: The best walking shoes in 2020: Asics, Brooks, Skechers and more

Hydrow

Rowing is a great way to get an efficient cardio workout without the impact of exercises like running or HIIT. Unlike treadmills or stationary bikes, rowing machines provide a full-body workout, including upper-body parts like the back, shoulders, arms and chest. 

Hydrow, which we reviewed in 2019, is a rowing machine that makes the repetitive exercise of rowing a little more exciting with live and on-demand classes displayed on its attached touchscreen. The screen swivels, which is great for when you want to take one of Hydrow’s mat workouts (which don’t require any rowing).

At $2,200, it’s certainly not a budget item and you’ll have to pay $38 a month for the content subscription. Like Peloton, you can try it out at home with a 30-day trial. 

Watch this: Peloton Bike makes spinning at home much smoother

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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

 

Learn how our PEO Partnership can help your group please contact us at info@360peo.com or (855)667-4621.

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