Tag Archive for: health

Men’s Health Month – Tips for a Healthier You

June is Men’s Health Month, a perfect time to focus on improving health and wellness. While everyone wants to look and feel healthy, many struggle with body dissatisfaction. Rising obesity rates are concerning, often stemming from inactivity at home and work, poor diet, and lack of exercise.
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Does The Big Game Come With A Big Risk?

Football Season is in full swing, with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers facing-off for a chance to be this year’s NFL Champions. Emotions are at an all-time high, and anything is possible. Regardless of which team we support, the uncertainty keeps us on the edge of our seat, our hearts pounding with adrenaline until the final seconds.

So, what exactly happens to our body during the most stressful moments that have and will come to define sports history?

According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, research found that viewing a stressful soccer match more than doubles the risk of having a minor cardiovascular event. Some fans have a very emotional response to an intense game that triggers their fight-or-flight. This can increase heart rate, blood pressure, cause narrowing of blood vessels and sometimes arrhythmias, or abnormal heart rhythm. According to NOAH provider Nicole James, FNP-C, this is a “completely normal” response as adrenal glands release hormones that increase blood pressure and heart rate. Increased heart rate and blood pressure requires extra workload on the heart and those individuals with preexisting heart conditions, such as heart disease or coronary artery disease, may experience more significant symptoms when they’re excited or nervous at a sporting event.

Furthermore, a study from the Canadian Journal of Cardiology found that while tuning into a hockey game, TV viewers’ heart rates increased by an average of 75%, and game attendees’ heart rates increased by 110%, the equivalent to heart rate seen during moderate-to-vigorous exercise.

However, most individuals watching sports are just fine. Dr. Robert Kloner, director of cardiovascular research at Huntington Medical Research suggests being aware of symptoms of chest pain or pressure, shortness of breath, palpitations, feelings of lightheadedness or dizziness, or passing out during the big game.

Despite the minimal risks, watching sports allows us to escape real life stressors and connect with a like-minded community. Doing so allows us to experience a collective glory when our team does well and gives us hope for better even when they don’t. Game on!

National Family Caregivers Month – Take Time for You

November is a time to support and honor our nation’s caregivers as part of National Family Caregivers Month. These special individuals devote their lives to providing empathetic care for their family members or friends who are elderly, ill, or disabled. The demands of caregiving can be challenging, overwhelming, and tiresome. It can also be rewarding and fulfilling. Caregivers often give so much of themselves to those they care for, that they are often too tired to care for themselves.

Common family caregiver experiences may include:

  • Tiredness – Most individuals caring for a loved one also work outside of the home in addition to their caregiving responsibilities.
  • Depression – The demands of jugging multiple responsibilities or seeing your loved one age or change due to illness or disability can be upsetting. There is no shame in feeling upset or overwhelmed.
  • Diminished relationships – Caregiving is not a 9-5 job. A loved one may need care around the clock. The emotional, physical, and time demands of care giving may interfere with other relationships.
  • Lack of self care – Caregivers often neglect their own self-care in order to provide for their loved one. This can include not attending medical appointments and not participating in leisure activities.

Caregivers care for their loved ones due to a sense of responsibility, a cultural norm, self-fulfillment, and love. We honor those who provide and recognize the increased difficulty of caregiving, especially since the Covid pandemic.

If you are a family caregiver, here are some useful tips:

  • Seek support from other caregivers: If you have others that are willing to help try to be open to splitting responsibilities. You do not have to do this alone. Also be sure to check out Family Caregiver Support Groups.
  • Increase your own self-care: Make your own mental and physical health a priority and reach out to your physician or mental health counselor if needed.
  • Take a break when you can: Whether it’s a quick nap, sleeping in, or doing something that is relaxing, be sure to take time for yourself.
  • Give yourself credit: You are doing one of the toughest jobs out there. Don’t forget to acknowledge something that went well for you each day and look to that when you need a pick-me-up.

Join us in acknowledging families who are often caregiving for loved ones all day, every day. That means around-the-clock dedication, organization, responsibility, scheduling, and hands-on care. Family caregivers do tremendous work for their family member, neighbor or friend and they deserve support and appreciation. Our team of mental health providers can offer some helpful tools to help. Call 480-882-4545 to schedule an appointment with a NOAH provider.


  1. National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP. Caregiving in the US 2020. Found on the internet at https://www.caregiving.org/research/caregiving-in-the-us/caregiving-in-the-us-2020/
  2. AARP. Valuing the Invaluable 2019 Update: Charting a Path Forward. AARP Public Policy Institute. Nov. 14, 2019. Found on the internet at https://www.aarp.org/ppi/info-2015/valuing-the-invaluable-2015-update.html

Snack Food Month – Tips for Healthier and More Satisfying Snacks

By Mina Goodman, RD | Nutrition Educator

When thinking about snacking, what often comes to mind is chips, cookies, ice cream and more foods we consider to be “junk foods”. What we may not realize is that snacking can be a healthy way to keep blood sugar and energy levels steady between meals, prevent overeating at mealtimes, and provide more opportunities to get the right nutrients each day. Below are some tips for healthier snacking that are easy, delicious, and dietician approved.

  • Think of snacks as small meals. Use the MyPlate model to plan your snacks. At a minimum, try to include a source of protein and a source of carbohydrate, for example an apple with peanut butter or grapes with cheese. When possible, add vegetables to the snack to add fiber, water, vitamins, and minerals to your diet.
  • Make small changes to your current snacks. For example, if you like snack packs from the supermarket that include a mix of meat, cheese, nuts, crackers, or fruit, try to recreate your own healthier (and less expensive) version at home. Look for low sodium cold cuts, low fat cheese, unsalted nuts, berries, and high fiber or whole grain crackers.
  • Enjoy a variety of healthy snacks. Check out NOAH recipes or speak with a dietitian at NOAH for personalized snack ideas.

Here are some examples to get you started!

  • 2 Tbsp hummus with 1 cup cucumbers, carrots, grape tomatoes and/or celery sticks
  • 4 dates with 1/4 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp natural peanut butter with 2 celery stalks and raisins (ants on a log)
  • 1/4 cup salsa and 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup low sodium cottage cheese with fresh tomato and basil
  • 6 oz Greek yogurt with
    • 1/2 Tbsp honey
    • 1/2 sliced apple or mango
  • 20 grapes dipped in Greek yogurt and frozen
  • Brown rice cake and 2 Tbsp almond, peanut, or sunflower butter
  • Turkey jerky and 1/4 cup mixed nuts
  • 1 hardboiled egg with whole wheat bread or high fiber crackers

Get in Shape in 2021

by Dr. Ryan Stempniak, Resident PGY 1- Heuser Family Medicine Center

The new year is here which means New Years resolutions. For many of us that means introducing more exercise into our daily routine. Due to the pandemic, going to the gym may not be the ideal choice of exercise for a lot of people so I wanted to share some safe ways to get back into shape and provide some information to help you feel safer and healthier in this new year.

Tips for getting in shape:

  • The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or both spread throughout the week. This equates to about 20-25 minutes per day of walking or riding a bike, or 10-15 minutes of running, hiking uphill, fast walking or swimming per day.
  • For school aged children and teens the recommendation is 60 minutes of moderate-intensity to vigorous exercise per day, and for toddlers about 3 hours of active play on their feet each day.
  • Although being outdoors may pose less of a risk of contracting COVID 19, remember to keep at least 6 feet apart from others while exercising and wearing a mask while exercising may better prevent spread through aerosolized particles. Avoid crowds and close contact with others and take advantage of the beautiful Arizona weather and countless walking trails throughout the valley.
  • According to the American Heart Association, CDC, and Mayo Clinic, physical activity can help lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, dementia and Alzheimer’s, several types of cancer, and some complications of pregnancy. It can also improve sleep, memory, bone health, balance and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Strength training or lifting weights can help strengthen your muscles and bones and prevent falls and osteoporosis. Some weight replacements that can be used around the house include canned goods, gallons of milk, laundry detergent or bottles of water. Also remember to assist your bone health by enjoying some of that Arizona sunlight which provides Vitamin D, and spend 10-20 minutes daily in sunlight (while wearing SPF 15 sunscreen or higher of course).
  • Be sure to contact your primary care provider for additional tips on how to get fit this new year and how to find the right exercise plan for you. Ask your provider about additional diet tips from our wonderful Nutrition team at your next visit as well.

Although 2020 has been an unprecedented year, there is hope on the horizon with the new vaccine. Continuing to wear masks, washing hands, and social distancing will ultimately be our best bet to a safer and healthier 2021. For more information about Arizona’s current COVID numbers, precautions, restrictions and more, visit the Arizona Department of Health Services Coronavirus page.

I hope everyone has a safe, healthy, and exciting new year!

Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week

By Stephanie Olzinski, RDN

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (UC) are both forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. People with these conditions can have moderate to severe symptoms and Crohn’s and UC currently affect over 780,000 and 900,000 Americans, respectively. Some people may go undiagnosed, however knowing the symptoms can help you determine which you suffer from and how to get help.

UC is characterized by affecting the large intestine and rectum whereas Crohn’s can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, but commonly at the site between the small and large intestines.

When examining symptoms, most people experience:

  • abdominal pain.
  • bloating.
  • inflammation.
  • diarrhea with or without blood and/or mucus.
  • weight loss.
  • anemia.

Nutrition plays a large role in managing symptoms of Crohn’s and UC as some foods or beverages can either help or worsen symptoms. Meeting with a Registered Dietitian at NOAH can help with determine the right personalized plan for you.

For Crohn’s disease, some people need a higher calorie and protein diet to maintain nutritional needs. Certain fibers should be limited, as well as fatty and spicy foods. 

For UC, consume more:

  • fibers from whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
  • probiotic foods like yogurt and sauerkraut.

The same triggers for Crohn’s can affect those with UC as well. Recording a journal that highlights foods/beverages consumed alongside the types of symptoms and when they occur can be great to review with your dietitian. He or she can determine what triggers your symptoms as well as provide recommendations of a healthy diet that fits your specific needs.

Keep You Mind Grounded – Video

Suffering from #MentalIllness can be extremely frustrating. At NOAH, we offer coping strategies to help you get off the #anxiety train. Learn how to calm down and train your body and mind to stay grounded in the moment. Our Care Team at NOAH offers behavioral health #consulting and traditional outpatient #counseling. Our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners work alongside #medical and #behavioralhealth to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our #patients. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!

Understanding Depression – Video

Learn the signs of #depression from our friends at Mental Health America. If you are concerned about your #child and think he or she may be dealing with a #mentalhealthissue, reach out and start a conversation. Our Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners work alongside #medical and behavioral health to assess, diagnose and effectively treat the core-symptoms of our patients. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545!

Road Trip – Got Healthy Snacks?

By Kristal Burton, RDN | NOAH Health Centers

It’s that time of year when you load up the family and drive off toward adventure. It’s easy when sitting in a car for long periods to justify continually snacking on foods you normally try not to make a habit of munching on, but those seemingly innocent snacks can stack up to a lot of weight gain, bloating and discomfort. Pack these dietitian approved healthy snacks and if you are going to stop to eat a meal, pick a restaurant that offers healthy meal options. Read more

Stroke Awareness – Take care of your body

A stroke can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any age. Every four minutes someone dies from a stroke. Help NOAH raise awareness during #NationalStrokeAwarenessMonth by reading these tips and sharing them with your friends and family.

Lifestyle risk factors such as diet and exercise are controllable. People choose to engage in habits or behaviors that can directly increase their probability of having a stroke. Eating healthy includes making informed decisions about food choices and balancing your calories. Read more