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

Are You Cooking with Healthy Oils

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olive oil

Cooking with the Healthy Oils

As we age, more and more attention goes into making sure we are taking better care of our bodies. From diet to exercise, there are a plethora of ways in which we can make small changes toward a happier, healthier, body-mind-soul. One of the ways in which we might not think our health is being negatively affected is through the oils we use to cook. Often times throughout history, health studies and ideas have changed regarding healthy oils to cook with. With some up to date expert knowledge about cooking with oils, greater insight can be gained into your health; furthering down the path toward a happier, healthier you.

 The Facts

When cooking with oils, it is not only important to pick an oil that his healthy for you, but also an oil that will remain healthy once you cook it. The heating of oils can often times change their chemical makeup, releasing harmful toxins and carcinogens into your food and body. It is best to avoid polyunsaturated fats due to this, as they break up easily under heat. It is best to choose oils with a high level of stability under high heat, according to nutrition experts. This will prevent the oils from oxidizing, a process that releases the harmful free radicals aforementioned. It is also best to choose cooking oils and/or fats that are low in saturated fats, as these can raise the risk for high cholesterol and heart disease.

 What to Avoid

Now that it is known to avoid polyunsaturated oils, one may be wondering what those are. Common polyunsaturated oils include safflower oil, sunflower and sesame seed oil, corn and soy based oils, fish oil, flaxseed oil, as well as several other nut oils. Monounsaturated fats hold up better under heat and include olive, canola, peanut and avocado oils. The monounsaturated fats aren’t the greatest for you when cooking if using them all of the time, however they are certainly a lesser of the two evils. Other oils to avoid include cottonseed oil, grapeseed, and rice bran oil, as well as canola or rapeseed oils. While they do not all low heat indexes, some are highly processed, and to be avoided. Butter substitutes such as margarine and Crisco are also harmful to one’s health, as they contain hydrogenated oils which have been linked with higher cholesterol and even diabetes.

coconut oils

Oils Great for Cooking

Experts have concluded that substituting polyunsaturated and saturated fats in one’s diet with monounsaturated fats works well at lowering cholesterol. This is particularly important as we age. Because of this factor, as well as its incredibly high heat tolerance, coconut oil is the number one best oil to use in the kitchen. If one is to cook with olive oil, peanut oil, macadamia nut oil or avocado oil, it should be done at a lower heat so as to avoid free radicals. Other substances that are OK to cook with sparingly include butter and lard, however, they are high in saturated fats and not recommended as a healthy part of a diet if one is battling high cholesterol or heart disease.

When in doubt about the healthiest oil to cook with, it is best to simply gravitate toward the coconut oil, and use other monounsaturated fat based oils sparingly at low heat. If there is that special occasion where nothing but butter will do, go for the real thing rather than the margarine, as using a hydrogenated oil would be worse. Lard can be similar to butter with a low amount of polyunsaturated fats and high monounsaturated fats depending on the diet of the animal. Those fed grains will have a higher polyunsaturated fat makeup, while a grass-fed diet will yield high monounsaturated fats within the lard. One should note that it is best to consult a physician before applying and changes to your diet that you are unsure about.

For more great tips on healthy living, visit us at MD Home Health. Until then, start cooking your way into better health. 


The Power of Therapeutic Writing

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The therapeutic power of art has been known about and explored for centuries. Whether through painting, music, or writing, both artists and non-artists alike have used these mediums of expression as effective ways to heal the soul. It may not seem like it at first, but an easy way to start healing your soul and improving your psychological well-being is to simply keep a diary or daily journal. Releasing pent-up stress and anxiety onto the page can do wonders for your emotional health and general happiness.

Writing Therapy

Believe it or not, diaries aren’t just for teenagers and they’re not just full of adolescent ramblings. In fact, there is a very important reason why teenagers keep diaries and why we could stand to learn a thing or two from this very common high school practice. The teenage years are an especially difficult time because of constant hormone shifts, awkward maturation processes, and crucial life transitions that can affect mood and mental health significantly. Keeping a private journal is an instinctual way that adolescents learn to grapple with these changes in order to help stabilize their emotions. As we get older, we tend to lose or “outgrow” this instinct, but it can be helpful to relearn it with age, because the power of therapeutic writing doesn’t diminish even if we have survived adolescence.

Writing Therapy

Mental health professionals have also picked up on the importance of therapeutic writing. Many psychologists and counselors use art therapy during sessions and psychological interventions as part of a concerted regimen aimed at expressing, understanding, and coming to terms with problematic thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Because of the uninhibited nature of many expressive art forms, journal writing can help us identify how we are really feeling and how we can improve upon that. It also helps that it’s cheap, essentially risk-free, and nearly anybody can do it. All you need is some paper, a pen, and anywhere from ten to sixty minutes a day. 

It’s important to remember, however, that persistent situations involving serious emotional and mental health problems should always be dealt with by a mental health professional. While therapeutic writing can help alleviate everyday stresses, it shouldn’t be considered a replacement for professional therapy. For more information on the importance of mental health and when professional assistance is required, visit us at MD Home Health. Otherwise, get writing and start healing!


Art Is Beauty, Art is Therapeutic

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Woman Painting

For hundreds of years, art has been both beautiful and therapeutic and will only continue to provide benefits as time goes on. Art can literally freeze a moment in time and even freeze the viewer as they ponder the meaning or theme of the artwork. Emotions can be demonstrated brilliantly with art and can help the viewer release or better understand their own emotions. There are numerous philosophical and psychological benefits that come with the beauty of art.

Art therapy has become much more accepted over the years and is becoming a serious therapeutic contender in the world of therapy. These days art is not only being used for appeal in the home or office, but used to improve physical or mental healing. This intriguing form of therapy revolves around the creative process of art, allowing those who do not feel comfortable expressing themselves with words to use creative art instead. This can even be done without creating the art yourself but rather using art that has already been made.

Even the average person who does not necessarily require therapy can greatly benefit from either creating art or viewing it. Expressing yourself through art can often show you things that otherwise might not have comprehended, especially if discussed with an art therapist. Art therapists are trained to help their patients through creative expression. Self-exploration is a major part of art and can also lead to new conclusions. A convenient benefit of art therapy is the fact that you don’t actually need a therapist, but rather a willingness to open up and express yourself through art.

The many benefits of art therapy:

  • Improve Mental and Physical Health
  • Help with Emotional Abuse
  • Help Those who are Bipolar
  • Helps to Better Understand Yourself
  • Improve Cancer
  • Improve Social Skills
  • Reduce Post Traumatic Stress
  • Reduce Pain
  • Reduce Anxiety
  • Reduce Tension

For more information regarding art therapy, contact our experts at MD Home Health today and begin to live healthier tomorrow.


Your Brains Desire for Music

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Brain Desires Music

The brains desire to not only hear, but make music dates over 45,000 years ago with musical instruments being carved out of bone. With all of the advancements in technology and the availability of music these days it is clear that the desire for music is permanently integrated into every culture. Numerous studies have been done throughout the years proving that our brains react positively to music, especially our favorite music and new music we like – positively affecting our health. The feeling received from listening to our favorite music is similar to that of eating our favorite food, taking psychoactive drugs and even sex.

Last year Science, an online journal for science and research published a study to determine the area of the brain linked to our love for music. The study consisted of 19 participants who were to listen to 60 songs they had not heard before. In order to observe the brains activity while songs were playing the participants lied down in a FMRI scanner. The researchers added some incentive allowing the participants to bid on songs they liked and purchase them with the money from the researchers after the study. This was done to determine which songs the participants truly enjoyed enough to purchase and how the brain reacted during those songs.

The study showed that the most activity was in the nucleus acumens which is located close to the organs center and that it was linked to pleasure when hearing a new song. Another area in the auditory cortex showed activity and was linked to preferences from music participants listened to over time which makes them like songs similar to ones they have already heard. The set up is much like Pandora, because it predicts new songs based on songs you like and stations you have made.

Brain Desires Music 
Music Provides Many Health Benefits, Both Physical and Mental

Physical Health Benefits

  • Reduce Pain
  • Improve Motivation
  • Improved Activity Performance
  • Improve Endurance During a Workout
  • Improve Sleep
  • Make you Happy

Mental Health Benefits

  • Reduce Depression Symptoms
  • Reduce Stress
  • Reduce Anxiety
  • Improve Overall Mood
  • Improve Performance When the Pressure is on
  • Ease and Improve Recover Time for Surgery, Stroke, Cancer and More

 

For more information regarding music and its many health benefits,

feel free to contact our health experts today at MD Home Health.

 


Surprise Benefits of Drinking Water

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It might go without saying, but the benefits of drinking water are important, possibly even more important than you think. With tasty but sugary sodas and fruit juices out on the market now, water has been largely forgotten and under appreciated as a way to quench thirst and stay hydrated. It is, however, one of the most important building blocks of life, and our bodies need it to perform even the most basic tasks. In the interest of promoting drinking water and your health, we’ve put together a list of the health benefits of water – some of which you might not have even realized.

Benefits of Drinking Water

Manage Weight
Not only does drinking water suppress your appetite, but it also reduces your body’s fluid retention (since your body is getting enough water, it doesn’t have to try to hold on to it so much). Aside from increasing your metabolism as well, it’s a zero-calorie substitute for unhealthy sports drinks and sugary fruit juices.

Keep Skin Young
Believe it or not, water can improve not only the firmness of your skin (which translates to less wrinkles), but also its dryness and complexion as a whole. Drinking plenty of water keeps your skin moisturized, smooth, and glowing.

Boost Immune System
While it’s certainly no antibiotic, water can reduce the likelihood of getting sick in the first place. Because the water molecule is such an important part of helping your cells function properly, drinking more water means you’re giving your immune system the tools it needs to ward off infection.

Enhance Cognitive Function
Water is vital for getting your brain the oxygen it needs to carry out the complex tasks it has to perform. Not only does water improve nerve function, but it also ensures there is proper electrolyte balance for your nerves to relay messages to and from the brain at an optimal level.

Build Muscle
When cells don’t get enough fluids, they shrivel. For your muscles, this translates to muscle fatigue. By making sure your muscle cells do get enough fluids, your muscles will be able to work longer without getting tired, which means an increase in muscle strength.

Benefits of Drinking Water

While these are only some of the important health benefits that drinking water offers, you should also keep in mind that water is not only inexpensive (usually free!), but it’s also good for the environment. You can buy an expensive, unhealthy sports drink that’s packaged in plastic, or you can get free, healthy water at nearly any restaurant or home you enter. At MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, we support the latter, because we support your health and wellbeing.


Great Activities For Seniors To Stay Active

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Senior Activities

As you age, it gets harder and harder to do the activities you used to do to stay healthy and active. Even if you can’t run five miles or go rock climbing anymore, that doesn’t mean the rest of your days are relegated to your couch. The more you stay active as you get older, the younger you will feel, and there are a number of great activities for seniors to stay active.

For some general guidelines, healthcare professionals recommend that seniors get at least two hours and thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or an hour and fifteen minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity a week. This amount of activity will help ward off heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression, and dementia. Aerobic activities can include walking at a brisk pace, jogging with some friends, taking a water aerobics class, or even pushing a lawn mower. Basically, anything that gets your heart rate going faster than usual and reduces the amount of time you spend watching television or doing other sedentary activities.

Unfortunately, daily activities like shopping, cooking, and housework don’t count as aerobic activities, but there are ways that you can turn these into strength-building exercises through functional fitness. Functional fitness is an exercise regimen that involves doing exercises that mimic daily activities like lifting a heavy bag of groceries or getting in and out of a low chair. By strengthening the muscles you use for these activities, you can minimize your chance of injuring yourself while making it easier to do these sorts of activities on a regular basis by yourself. You’ll be better able to go grocery or clothes shopping, go out to eat, or any number of other things that can increase your feeling of independence.

If you’re feeling especially spry, you can even try yoga to stay social, strengthen muscle, and keep your joints flexible.

While getting older isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to be debilitating. At MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, we recommend incorporating these great activities into a weekly routine to help you feel young, healthy, and independent.


50,000 Patients and Growing

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Celebrating 28 Years and Over 50,000 Patients

50000 Patient MD Home Health

Like the people we serve, our business also gets better with age. We have been providing home health services in the greater Phoenix area for over twenty-eight years now, and we’re showing no signs of slowing down. It was with immense gratification that we were able to welcome our 40,000th patient on January 1st, 2011. Only three years have passed since that momentous milestone, and we were just recently lucky enough to welcome our 50,000th patient on January 29th!

This achievement means that we have been fortunate enough to make a difference in over 50,000 patient’s lives, in addition to giving their loved ones peace of mind. Our MD companies, MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, have provided reliable home-based medical and nursing care and non-medical, daily assistance care since 1985. As a result, we have established a trusted reputation in our community. We’ve been named “Most Trusted Home Healthcare Agency in the Phoenix Valley,” because of this longstanding commitment to our patients, and that’s all thanks to you, our supporters.

We know that choosing home-based medical care and assisted living can be a difficult and stressful decision, so thank you for trusting our services to improve your quality of life. We hope that we’ll be celebrating more milestones in the years to come so we can continue helping more and more people get better with age.


Time Management Tricks

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Time Management Helpful Hints

time managementTime management is much easier said than done, but if done correctly it is a great way to accomplish more in each day while improving your health as well. One major symptom that always shows up in this discussion is stress from poor time management. There are numerous ways to mismanage your time that will lead directly to stress.  Deciding what is most important in your life can become very stressful in itself. Is it important, yes but is it urgent now?  Many people are willing to push the important things away because they are not urgent at that moment. This can often produce stress later because the important thing should have been done, but now you are out of time or it is too late. Both poor time management and stress can be reduced by making a couple changes in your daily life.

Eliminate Distractions

Today the world is full of distractions that can hinder your schedule, cause you to get much less work done than expected and create stress very quickly without you even knowing it. With distractions constantly brought by family, friends, society, TV, social media and much more, it can become very difficult to accomplish what you need to on a daily basis without shutting everyone out completely.

To avoid distractions, do your best to give full focus on what you are working on until it is done and make sure you dedicate the required amount of time to finish. If you have a large project that will take more time, eliminating all distractions will keep you on schedule while allowing you to produce fully focused work.

Finish Important Tasks First

As the day goes on, it continues to be draining and by the end of the day it is much harder to hold your discipline and take care of the important thing that has to be done. When you are tired and mentally drained from the day, it can be very hard to make the right decision at the end of the day. By eliminating the most important task first, you prevent stress later and produce much better when it is needed.

For more information regarding stress and time management, contact our specialists at MD Home Health today and start working toward a well managed and stress free life.

 


Natural Health Benefits

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Health Benefits Found in Nature

healthSpending time in nature is possibly the most efficient natural stress-reliever and is fortunately very easy to access. Whether you are hanging out with a friend or loved one for a picnic or to watch the sunset at the cliffs, hiking in early A.M. or strolling through the park in the evening, nature is always there and is a great way to relieve stress while staying healthy. 

Even bringing nature into your home or work environment by adding beautiful green plants or a lovely garden can help reduce stress and depression. More and more research is being done to confirm the numerous benefits that nature gives adults and children for free.

Adult Nature Health Benefits

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Recovery
  • General and Heart Health
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD

 Children Nature Health Benefits

  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Attention Deficit Disorder or ADD
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD
  • Health
  • Autism Disorders

There is an array of nature health benefits being uncovered, but the ones that often come to mind first are depression and stress.

Depression

Studies have shown that nature has many benefits for those suffering from depression whether they are adults or children suggesting that even a small portion of time during the week can lower depression symptoms. These studies published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health also show that people living near nature or at least with parks, bushes and trees are far less likely to be affected by depression. This is especially crucial for children and young adults as growing up without nature can have a negative impact on them.

Stress

Stress can have a seriously negative impact as well, not only on mental health, but physical health directly leading to less sleep, headaches, decreased appetite and much more including symptoms leading to depression or other negative feelings. There are many studies that have shown positive results simply by being around green areas with trees, grass, bushes and even flowers.  The study continues showing that staying near green areas can lead to longevity as well.

Experiencing anything mentioned above and considering utilizing natures health benefits? Don’t hesitate to contact us today and let our experts at MD Home Health do what they love.


Dance to your Health

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Practicing Good Health is as Simple as Practicing your Waltz

Did you know that staying healthy as a senior can be not only fun, but have multiple health benefits as well?!

healthResearch indicates that dancing as little as 3 times per week can be extremely beneficial to your health and will reduce the risk of heart failure.

Don’t worry; we are not saying you have to be able to break-dance, but waltzing or square-dancing is highly recommended by doctors for those who have heart failure.

There are numerous benefits received from dancing including breathing, longevity and even the quality of daily life.

Dancing is a great way to improve your health, and improve a new skill set. Keeping sharp on your feet will help you sidestep illness. Some people love jogging, bicycling, hiking or even walking on a treadmill, but for those who do not share the same passion dancing is a perfect solution.

Dancing Health Benefits

  • Breathing
  • Daily Life
  • Energy
  • Sleeping
  • Better Mood
  • Sex Drive
  • Social Life (opportunity to make new friends)
  • Hand, Foot, Eye Coordination
  • Brain Stimulation (learning dance steps)
  • Strengthen Muscles
  • Toning
  • Increase in Bladder Function
  • Upright Posture
  • Improved Balance (to avoid falling)
  • Equivalent to Hiking or Walking
  • Stress Reducing


The most important part of dancing for your health is the fun you will have while doing it and the people you will meet in the process. Dancing often requires that you have a partner and when you are ready, a dance club featuring the style you like whether it is a classic waltz, a country square dance or a lovely cheek to cheek dance. Statistics show that dancing shows if not the same, better results as physical exercise, biking, jogging or hiking. With that said, why not try it and see the benefits for yourself.

For more information regarding senior health or dancing for health, do not hesitate to contact us at MD Home Health today and start living healthier tomorrow.