Health Blog

Healthy Summer Snacks to Help Keep You Hydrated, Cool and Slim


Summer is right around the corner. Many people associate summer with cold beers and hanging out by the pool to keep cool. However, the foods you eat can have a large effect on how you feel in the heat Read more

Natural Ways to Fight Depression This May


Depression is the most common form of mental illness. As much as 26% of the adult population in the United States suffers from depression. Since 1949, Mental Health America has observed that May as Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental Read more

The Benefits of Exercise and an Active Lifestyle


May is National Sports and Physical Fitness month. Now is a great time to spread awareness of the many benefits provided by engaging in an active lifestyle. Many Americans don't get enough exercise in their day to day lives. Read more

7 Ways Gardening Can Extend Your Life


In honor of April being National Garden Month, and this beautiful spring weather, we’d like to share some of the amazing health benefits gardening can bring into your life. Gardening is so healthy that it could, in fact, add Read more

5 Myths about Aging & Exercise Debunked

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

Even if you no longer believe in Santa Claus, you may still believe these 5 top myths about aging and exercise.

After all, there’s a ton of information out there, it can be conflicting, vague and overwhelming. So let’s debunk these 5 aging & exercise myths once and for all.

As we age, the importance of having an active lifestyle increases. Having a regular exercise routine is key for boosting energy levels, managing pain, treating illness and maintaining autonomy.

In addition to physiological advantages, exercise is essential for our psychological well-being, as it benefits the mind, memory, and mood.

The following five myths pertaining to exercise as we age may contribute to the tendency toward its decline over time.

I’m going to age whether I exercise or not, so what’s the point?

While it’s true that exercise cannot prevent aging altogether, it can most certainly slow it down, and even reverse some signs and symptoms. Participating in cardio and strength training helps us to feel and look younger, and even live longer.

There’s a saying, “use it or lose it,” which applies to our level of activity as we age.

This statement is supported by Dr. Wayne Scott Anderson in his health blog. He states that physical activity is directly correlated with longevity.

While genetics contribute to approximately 20-30% of our expected longevity, the other 70-80% is based upon our level of activity, as determined through twin studies.

Recent studies in The American Journal of Medicine and British Medical Journal have shown that those with larger amounts of muscle mass and physical aptitude live longer.

This is due to the fact that as we age, we typically lose one pound of muscle mass per year after age 20. The muscle is then replaced with fat cells. This is why it is important to actually increase our level of activity (rather than decrease it) over time as we age. In order to keep the muscle mass we have, we must regularly use our muscles; preventing this gradual loss over time

Older people should rest, save their energy, and not exercise.

This is a very unhealthy myth to own. In case the above paragraphs haven’t convinced you, HelpGuide.org states that those aged 50 and up face serious health risks due to inactivity, such as increased pharmaceutical use, more frequent doctor and hospital visits, and an inability to do things they once could.

Exercise can increase my risk of falling.

It is actually the opposite. Exercise prevents bone loss, and builds strength and balance -thus, reducing the risk.

I’m too old to start exercising.

It’s never too late to form healthy behavior patterns. The best way to start is through making small changes to daily habits, such as walking more, taking the stairs, doing things by hand a machine used to (like dishes) and keeping a routine for the next 3-4 weeks, so that it becomes habitual. A good model for improving physical health is to start with some cardio, then to gradually add weights and flexibility/balance exercises. Activities such as water aerobics, yoga, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are useful in helping seniors achieve and maintain better health.

I’m disabled, I can’t exercise.

While being disabled and/or wheelchair bound presents challenges, it’s still possible to get exercise. Things such as stretching, lifting weights and even chair yoga can help increase the heart rate. Resistance bands are often useful in wheelchair bound exercises. For those who do not own weights or resistance bands, cans of soup may be used instead.

 

The recipe for greater health and longevity is now yours. It is important to remember that exercise should not hurt, and it is best to consult your doctor before beginning a new regimen. Assistance while increasing your activity is always here for you. Give us a call to learn more about in-home care.

 


The New 80/20 Rule: Exercising vs. Dieting

mdhomehealthadmin Healthy Eating, Senior Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , ,

Have you heard of the new 80/20 rule for getting and staying healthy?

While you may be familiar with the 80/20 rule for a healthy diet, research suggests there’s more to healthy weight loss than just eating healthy 80% of the time and indulging in less healthy food 20% of the time. 

Exercise is part of the new 80/20 rule, and while many believe 80% of getting healthy relies on physical activity and 20% on diet, registered dietician Katherine Isacks says it’s actually the other way around.

The truth of the matter is that 80% of our weight correlates with what we eat and the recipe is still 80% healthy and 20% indulgent food, according to Rose Erickson at Livestrong.

Now that we can have our cake and eat it too, does that mean we should immediately go and spend an hour at the gym vigorously trying to burn it off? Studies suggest exhausting ourselves at the gym for an hour or every per day doesn’t actually prompt more weight loss.

Research conducted at the University of Copenhagen suggests that those who instead engage in moderate exercise routines are setting themselves up to achieve greater weight loss results than those who jump into vigorous workouts at the gym. This study focused on three groups of young males who were healthy, but inactive: the control group that didn’t change their diet or exercise habits; the moderate group that participated in 30 minutes of exercise per day; and the intense group that added an hour of exercise per day.

The study extended throughout the course of 13 weeks. As predicted, the men who made no changes experienced no change to their weight or physique. However, the following results may surprise you.

While the intense group of men that worked out for an hour per day lost an average of five pounds each, the men who engaged in moderate exercise of 30 minutes per day actually lost an average of 7 pounds each.

How could greater weight loss results be achieved from doing half the amount of exercise?

Each group tracked what they ate during the study, and reported on their overall activity levels throughout the day. Those among the intense workout group tended to eat more, as their bodies were prompted to replace the 600 calories they had burned. They were also less active during the day when not working out.

The moderate exercise group only burned 300 calories per day, and reported higher levels of sustained energy. This group was more active throughout the day; engaging in positive lifestyle changes more readily, like taking the stairs and walking.

They also didn’t report much change in their eating habits, as they weren’t burning enough to prompt a surge in hunger. The intense group did gain more muscle, however, which weighs more than fat.

This new research sheds light on specific misconceptions regarding diet and exercise, and shows that it isn’t necessary to overexert ourselves at the gym.

Rather, moderate exercises prompted increased energy and less temptation to overeat. While this study failed to compare results over time, this is a good model for jump-starting your own fitness plan.

Moderate levels of exercise, combined with a diet that’s 80% healthy and 20% indulgent, may be the recipe to better health.


Have Your Turkey and Eat it, Too: 500-Cal Thanksgiving Day Meal

mdhomehealthadmin Healthy Eating, Seasonal/Holiday Leave a comment   , , , , , ,

For so many of us, Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends, give thanks for our many blessings, eat, drink, watch football, be merry, and did I mention eat?

Feasting until our stomachs nearly burst has become a common tradition for many as we kick off the holiday season. But while we’re used to eating until we can’t possibly eat anymore, is this really the best way we to celebrate our blessings? While it’s true that food is a blessing, it can also be a curse if we overeat or abuse it like a drug. That’s why we’ve found a remedy this year: the 500-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal.

Research by the University of Adelaide and the University of Connecticut show that food that’s high in fat and sugar triggers the same pleasure center of our brains that methamphetamines or cocaine would.

These foods stimulate the neurotransmitters of the mesolimbic pathway—particularly dopamine—thus giving us a “high” and actually leading us to feel addicted to food. That’s one of the reasons it’s so difficult to only eat one potato chip. This also contributes to a typical Thanksgiving Day meal packing in around 4,500 calories, according to the Calorie Control Council—significantly more than the 1,500 calories recommended for females and the 2,000 calories recommended for males, says registered dietician Mary Ellen Herndon.

Herndon further suggests a Thanksgiving Day feast should only occupy 1/3 of these calories. That leaves us with 500-700 calories to work with. While this may seem impossible, the lovely folks at Spark People, Live Science, Women’s Health and Pinterest have compiled some healthy holiday tips, as well as delicious low-calorie recipes for everything from meals and side dishes to desserts; helping keep this holiday’s indulgences on track with your personal health goals.

The best way to keep calories below 500-700 is to start with filling half of your plate with low-starch vegetables and greens. This should then be accompanied by a 3-oz portion of turkey (lean meat, as it’s lower in saturated fat). The rest of the plate may be filled with small ½-cup portions of your favorite trimmings.

Some suggestions for cutting calories on sides is to replace the green bean casserole with steamed green beans; cranberry jelly with real cranberry relish; mashed potatoes with roasted sweet potatoes or squash; rolls with cornbread; gravy with a light apple cider vinegar gravy; and traditional stuffing with a healthy alternative made from fruit and veggies.

You can also try new recipes for healthy, low-calorie side dishes. The links above contain several additional tips and recipes to try. A healthy alternative to pie or other desserts can also help lower the calorie count, as can substituting cooked and mashed cauliflower for potatoes or root vegetables, and even replacing all uses of butter with garlic, herbs and chicken or vegetable stock for flavoring.
So there you have it! We hope we’ve given you all the tools you’ll need to enjoy your holidays without the stress of overeating. Don’t forget to reach out if you’d like more tips or advice this year!


Important Information About Medicare

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Important information about Medicare

By October, many Medicare recipients are deep in the doughnut hole.  Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) typically have a “doughnut hole”, or coverage gap, which imposes a temporary limit on coverage for drugs.  Most people enter this gap after they have reached a spending threshold for covered drugs.  For the year 2014, this threshold is $2850.  Once this ceiling is reached, you have reached the coverage gap.  The good news is that this threshold will be higher in 2015, with increasing subsidies to help you save in the coverage gap.Happy senior people in nursing home with walker and wheelchair

Medicare coverage for the remainder of 2014

 Currently, once you reach the coverage gap, you pay 47.5% for brand-name drugs and 72% for generic drugs for the remainder of the year.  You are required to make these copayments until you get out of the doughnut hole.  How do you climb your way out of the hole?  Although you’re paying 47.5% of your plan’s cost for brand-name prescription drugs, 97.5% of that price gets counted as out-of-pocket costs, which go toward getting you out of the coverage gap.  For generic drugs, all of what you pay will be counted as out-of-pocket spending to help you get out of the coverage gap.  For 2014, you are free of the doughnut hole once your out-of-pocket spending reaches up to $4550. http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/part-d-coverage-gap.html

How Medicare is changing through 2020

Fortunately, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) incorporates improvements to Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage for future years.  These improvements were designed to help seniors afford their prescriptions while they are in the doughnut hole.  In 2015, beneficiaries will pay 45% for brand names, and 65% for generics.  Gradually, copayments required for both brand name and generic drugs are being reduced to 25% for both drug types in the year 2020.  This is the same percentage you pay from the time you meet the deductible until the out-of-pocket spending limit is reached (up to $4700 for 2015). http://www.medicare.gov/part-d/costs/coverage-gap/more-drug-savings-in-2020.html  As 2015 rapidly approaches, now is a good time to determine if your health care plan is meeting your needs.  An appointment with Phoenix Home Health Care can help you organize your appointments, screenings, and prescription needs in order to optimize your insurance coverage.

Additional assistance for low-income seniors

The ACA also offers further assistance for low-income beneficiaries by eliminating copayments for beneficiaries who may be recipients of home and community-based services, and who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.  Assistance is also available in order to allow widows and widowers to preserve their low-income eligibility.

Home Care Phoenix can help you determine whether you are eligible for this additional assistance.

http://www.ncpssm.org/PublicPolicy/Medicare/Documents/ArticleID/1161/Closing-the-Medicare-Part-D-Donut-Hole

http://blog.aarp.org/2014/08/29/pay-less-for-your-prescription-drugs/?sf30575690=1

For tips on how to lower drug costs, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about Homecare Phoenix. Find health and drug plans, stay educated, and learn more about what Medicare covers through the Phoenix home health care team!


Tips for dealing with Alzheimer’s

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Tips for Dealing With Alzheimer’s

The effects of Alzheimer’s disease are utterly devastating. With no cure for the ailment, the patient only worsens as time passes and Alzheimer’s continues to progress. Even the most basic day-to-day activities become more of a challenge. So, for those suffering from Alzheimer’s, and their relatives and caretakers, it is very important to adopt major practical tips for effectively handling the disease, which in turn can maximize the quality of life for everyone involved.

Accept changes. With Alzheimer’s, just like any other degenerative disease, change is inevitable. The patient begins to experience memory loss; progresses to speech difficulty, irritability, and outbursts of unpremeditated aggression; and, finally, apathy, exhaustion, and loss of speech. These changes can cause some sufferers to deny that they are happening, so they put up a front to avoid feeling embarrassed. However, denying the existence of Alzheimer’s can increase stress on the person. Rather, the patient should accept the changes in his or her abilities to ward off anxiety and work towards coping with the disease.

Reduce frustrations with the disease. It is hard to imagine having difficulty with even the simplest daily tasks of one’s life. However, there are things patients can do to ease the frustration. They can use a schedule to make each day more predictable and less confusing for them; that includes taking more time for performing tasks, so that they don’t feel rushed or that they’re holding up something. Also, patients should be able to do as much as they can with the least amount of assistance. That way, they can feel a considerable level of independence. It would also be helpful to reduce distractions—such as turning off the TV—for increased concentration on accomplishing tasks.

Be more flexible. It is not just the schedule of the Alzheimer’s patient that is affected. The loved ones in the person’s life also have to adapt to the ravages of the disease. For instance, certain foods that the patient once loved might suddenly become unappealing, which would require adjusting the menu accordingly.Helping Seniors

Rely on professional assistance. If caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease becomes too much of a burden, people can turn to the assistance of home health care providers. A prime example is MD Home Health, which is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. State licensed and Medicare-certified, MD Home Health provides a wide range of medical and non-medical services. Patients can be tended to in their own homes or at the facility; relatives can determine the best option or range of personal care services needed to ensure the ultimate goal of a high-quality life—even with Alzheimer’s.


Alzheimer’s: Taking Care of Parents & Kids

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Alzheimer’s: Taking Care of Parents & Kids

Becoming a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s is a job in itself.  You are not only responsible for yourself, but also for the daily activities and well-being of a dependent adult.  You may already be trying to juggle caregiving responsibilities and the time-consuming demands of a career.  But what if you also have a role as a caregiver of kids?  Wearing so many caregiving hats can be a struggle, even for the most organized among us.  Often, caregivers find themselves sandwiched between the need to care for a parent afflicted with Alzheimer’s and the immediate needs of their child.  Switching between these roles is never easy, but by doing some planning, life can become a little easier for both you and your family.How to Assist Elders by MD Home Health

Ask for help

Caregiving requires patience, skills, and time.  Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can overwhelm our abilities to meet their needs, especially when also caring for children. When any of these critical caregiving qualities fall short, you need assistance.  Organizations such as Home Care Phoenix can provide you with dependable caregiver support, to help you better manage your time, responsibilities, and caregiving resources.  A healthcare professional can also help educate you regarding the many nonintuitive facets of Alzheimer’s care.

Caring is a long-term commitment

Entering into the caregiving role means coming to terms with the many facets of Alzheimer’s Disease.  Patients with Alzheimer’s can live upwards of 10 years after the diagnosis, and as the disease progresses, so does the caregiving time commitment.  Becoming a caregiver means coming to terms with the fact that you are in this for the long haul.  That means your relationship with your family will also inevitably be changed.  Although time can be tight, be sure to set aside at least a small amount of time each week to reconnect with your family outside of your Alzheimer’s caregiver role.  This will allow your kids and spouse the chance to have their voices heard.

Taking care of you

Not least of all, you need to care for your own well-being.  Your role as a caregiver is weakened, for both your kids and for an Alzheimer’s patient, if you are physically or mentally diminished.  Time management will become a critical part of your role as caregiver, allowing critical time for your own well-being.  Delegate part of the caregiving responsibilities to a professional care provider, such as Phoenix Home Health Care.  Having help will not only free up valuable time for yourself, but will also allow the Alzheimer’s patient a chance to physically and socially interact with a different care provider.

For more tips on caregiving management, visit us at MD Home Health, where you can learn more about Homecare Phoenix. Take care of yourself, stay educated, and find additional caregiving through the Phoenix home health care team!


September is National Apple Month

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September is National Apple Day Month

MD Home Health, a Phoenix Home Health Care provider, is excited to celebrate National Apple Day Month with all our friends and family. Did you know that our nation has been celebrating the glory of apples since 1904? And did you know that National Apple Day Month actually starts in September and continues through November? To help you to enjoy this three-month celebration to its fullest, we decided to share a few fun but practical facts about apples so you can understand why every home care in Phoenix should include this delicious fruit in their diet!

An Apple A Day Keeps the Doctor Away: Fact or Myth?

It’s that time of year to celebrate your juicy, round friend. As a timeless favorite for fruit, snack, dessert, and cider making, the yummy apples you see in the market every day dominate the hearts of every culture with its thin red or green skin, sweet aroma, and crisp flesh. However besides tasting good and looking good, apples are loved for their delicious taste and nutritious value.In fact, apples are extremely rich in dietary fiber and flavanoids. The phytonutrients (vitamins A and E and beta carotene) in apples can help you regulate your blood sugar, while the antioxidants in apples have been found to reduce the risk of many common ailments such as cancer and diabetes. According to a recent study led by Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, RD, Margaret A. Sitton Professor and Chair, Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at The Florida State University in Tallahassee, eating apples regularly will keep your body healthy and your doctors far away! The Office of Child Development also confirms that the complex carbohydrates in apples will help the body to sustain and improve its energy level so that you can tackle your daily routines with better productivity, performance, and attitude. Additionally, because apples are absolutely fat-free, its fiber and rich boron will not only encourage bowel movement but also help prevent osteoporosis.

Interesting Nutrition Facts of Apple

When people think about the nutritious makeup of apples, carbohydrates and vitamin C are among the commonly named. But apples also contain pectin, boron, quercetin, and phytonutrients. Pectin is known for lowering both blood pressure and glucose level. As a form of soluble fiber, pectin can effectively lower your “bad” cholesterol level to improve your overall circulation and body metabolism. Quercetin, on the other hand, promises to reduc the free radical damage. As University of Maryland Medical Center explains, “Quercetin belongs to a group of plant pigments called flavonoids that give many fruits, flowers, and vegetables their color…Quercetin acts like an antihistamine and an anti-inflammatory, and may help protect against heart disease and cancer…”

Eat Your Apples and Live Healthier

Apple is definitely a superfruit for everyone! When you eat an apple, try to leave the peels on. Apple peels have been known to be packed with rich vitamins, minerals, and fiber. As for pesticide residues, Dr. Dianne Hyson from U.C. Davis explains that, “Despite public misperceptions, laboratories have consistently found very low levels — if any — of pesticide residues on the skin of apples.”

So enjoy your apples and experiment with a variety of apple types and recipes to give your body and taste buds some generous treats!

To learn more about improving your diet with apples and other nutritious fruits and vegetables, visit MD Home Health. We will help you to discover a savoring and healthy eating routine!


Brain Exercises to Improve Memory

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Active Retired Seniors, Two Old Men Playing Chess At Park

Brain Exercises to Improve Memory

Brain exercises are a good way to keep your mind sharp and stay on top of your game. Reports find that brain exercises, some as simple as face recognition or number matching, can go a long way to improve memory and delay the effects of long term memory loss.

We all forget things from time to time, whether it a misplaced set of car keys or where we parked the car after going shopping. These instances of forgetfulness pale in comparison with the slow eroding effect of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia that 5 million people in this country suffers from and the 6th leading cause of death according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Strengthening your brain through the use of specifically designed exercises, such as those from Homecare Phoenix providers and others can go a long way to improving your memory and prolonging your life.

Ways to Exercise the Brain

When you engage in physical exercise, you also exercise your brain. Remaining physically active, even in your older years improves the flow of oxygen to the brain. Physical exercise also has the added benefit of staving off the development of certain medical conditions such as diabetes and diseases of the heart, both of which lower your memory retention and place your health at risk.

In addition to physical exercise, maintaining a connection with your social network, be it friends and family, is important for helping you stay connected as you age and keep your mind sharp. A Harvard University School of Public Health study found that elderly people with active social lives have a slower rate of memory decline.

How to Start Improving Your Memory

If you want to begin improving your memory, start by getting up, getting active and getting involved with those around you. You may also consider different memory games and other devices that are designed to exercise your brain, regardless of your physical condition or level of activity. Spending a few minutes a day playing mind games, moving about and interacting with others can go a long way to helping you enjoy more of your life and slow the rate of memory loss and the negative effects of aging.

Services like those provided through MD Home Health, a Phoenix home health care service provider, can help those looking to improve their memory. MD Homecare Phoenix provides those services that help not only exercise the body but also exercise the brain.

 


Good vs. Bad Vegetables

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Whether you’re in the Phoenix Home Health Care system or simply concerned about what you put in your body, not all vegetables are created equal. Some should be eaten every day and others are just bad vegetables, in comparison.

Fresh farmers market fruit and vegetable from above with copy sp

Veggies: The Good, the Bad, the Fattening

According to Dr. Mercola, some vegetables offer better nutritional return than others. Broccoli, asparagus, kale, onions, collard greens, tomatoes, and fennel are just a few vegetables that come highly recommended. Spinach, essentially a superstar of the nutrition world, does as well.

The vegetables that should be used more sparingly include beets, carrots, eggplant, and winter squashes. This is because of their high carbohydrate levels. Likewise, potatoes should be used on occasion rather than as a staple of your food pyramid. Potatoes are very starchy and can cause weight gain (which causes a whole slug of other issues) if ingested too regularly.

The Game Changers

Most people who think of veggies are undoubtedly transported back to childhood, recalling memories of hiding lima beans in paper napkins and feeding peas to the dog. However, vegetables don’t have to taste bad. In fact, two vegetables can be enjoyed quite easily: one is highly tasty and the other doesn’t have much taste at all.

Avocadoes, though technically a fruit, are widely regarded as a vegetable. The main ingredient in guacamole, they aren’t only good for taste buds, but they’re good for your body as well.

Per the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, avocadoes are rich in oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fat that can help lower bad, LDL cholesterol and raise good, HDL cholesterol. Avocadoes can also offer protection against breast cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

Mushrooms are game changers not because they are as tasty as avocadoes but because their subtle flavor enables them to be added to all sorts of dishes – salads, pizza, spaghetti, rice, and macaroni, just to name a few.

Adding mushrooms to your meals can also add protein, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B, antioxidants, and minerals to your body.

Organic Vs. Nonorganic

Once upon a time, organic vegetables were only found in the aisles of health stores and farmers’ markets; today, they’re everywhere. This largely has to do with pesticides.

Organic vegetables are grown in environments where pesticides aren’t used; nonorganic vegetables are grown in environments where pesticides are used.

According to the Pesticide Action Network, pesticides may be dangerous to human health: the pesticide chlorpyrifos has been linked to ADHD while the pesticide DDT increases a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer by as much as five-fold.

Still, whether there is true need for panic has yet to be established. This is because while pesticides have been linked to cancer, their correlation is usually only found in farmers and other people routinely exposed to very large amounts as an occupational hazard. The amounts on food are much lower and, therefore, likely much less dangerous. In fact, per the Cancer Research Foundation of the United Kingdom, no link has been found between the trace amounts of pesticides found on vegetables and cancer formation.

Even so, for people who want to err on the side of caution, organic vegetables should be purchased if possible. If you can’t afford or do not have access to organic produce, the benefits of eating nonorganic vegetables will likely far outweigh any theoretical risks. Yet, just to be safe, all vegetables should be thoroughly washed before consumption. This is especially important for people in homecare, Phoenix based or otherwise.

For more information on home care, Phoenix health, and how nutrition impacts your wellbeing, visit us at MD Home Health. Remember, it’s never too late to start eating your veggies.


Six Tips for Better Napping

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Cute family sleeping together in bed

6 Tips for Better Napping

Hear what our experts have to say about improving Phoenix home health care with smart napping. Read our tips for better napping and give a pop quiz to your home care Phoenix providers. You will understand why our company is the best of the best when it comes to offering quality Phoenix Home Health Care. 

A Few Words about Sleep AND Naps

Sleep is an everyday pursuit that promotes physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness. No matter how young or old you are, having quality sleep during the night will ready you for a whole new day. While a good night’s sleep is important, recent studies have found that snoozing away on the couch in the afternoon can make for a more functional body. According to scientists and psychologists, napping can improve your cognitive memory processing and give your alertness level a quick but generous boost. However, as with everything, there is a way to nap right as there is a way to nap wrong. To maximize your napping experience, here are 6 tips that will steer you to a better and smarter napping routine: 

Tip #1: Know Your Nap Time

The ideal nap time generally falls between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Because most people start to lose their energy after a hearty lunch, Mayo Clinic recommends people to nap around 2 or 3 p.m. Anytime after 4 p.m. will likely interfere with your bedtime. Don’t let your nap turn you into a miserable night owl with a low energy level the following day.

Tip #2: Plan Your Nap

Planning your nap for the same time everyday will keep your body’s circadian clock in tune with your energy flow and recuperation need. Be consistent with your nap by setting apart a time to let your body relax and steal a few snoozes. Experts have also found that a regular nap can help you to sleep faster and wake up quicker!

Tip #3: Watch Your Time

Timing is everything when it comes to napping. As a government study finds, “long naps are often associated with a loss of productivity and sleep inertia.” Short naps that last under 30 minutes are said to promote alertness, performance, and learning ability. Plan you nap and set an alarm for 20 or 30 minutes to reap the full benefits of napping.

Tip #4: Set the Stage

According to National Sleep Foundation, the environment you choose to nap plays a role in determining the quality of your nap session. Make sure that the room is at a comfortable temperature and try to rest in an area where noise is at the minimum. A quiet and dark room instills a feeling of calmness that is perfect for a cozy rest.

Tip #5: Watch Your Caffeine Intake

Having that second coffee in the morning may not be the best idea if you plan on napping later in the day. Caffeine may not be able to keep you going all day but it can definitely impede your ability to sleep in the afternoon. So, keep your caffeine intake down and help yourself to nap more soundly.

Tip #6: Find Your Personal Balance

It is important that you find your personal sleep balance. The recommended amounts of sleep (8 hours each night) is a guideline not a rule carved in stone. If you find that your afternoon nap is impeding your ability to get a good night’s sleep, then try napping a little earlier in the afternoon. Remember, sleep is not like a bank account so even if you make a deposit in the afternoon, you still need to sleep at night. So plan accordingly and have a great nap!

For more tips on how to keep your body rested, visit us at MD Home Health, and don’t forget to rest and find your balance.