Top 10 Safe Tea Brands

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Great news. There are still safe pesticide-free tea brands out there, and my favorite, Yogi tea is on there.

 

Top 10 Safe Tea Brands by Tammy Catania

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Testing Teas for Pesticides

According to a report done by CBC Marketplace pesticides in some tea exceed the allowable limit.

CBC had 10 different teas tested by an accredited lab, the lab used the same testing method as the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Half of the teas tested contained pesticide residues above the allowable limits in Canada. As per the test results eight of the 10 brands tested contained multiple chemicals, with one brand containing residues of 22 different pesticides. (1)

But what actually is the allowable pesticide residue in tea? As per the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, it is 0.1ppm. (2)

Other Countries Are Banning These Ingredients

Two of the chemicals that they found are actually in the process of being banned in other countries.

One of the chemicals found was Endosulfan.

This chemical is one of the most toxic pesticides on the market today. It is responsible for many fatal pesticide poisoning incidents around the world.

Endosulfan is also a xenoestrogen—a synthetic substance that imitates or enhances the effect of estrogens—and it can act as an endocrine disruptor, causing reproductive and developmental damage in both animals and humans. (3)

The second chemical they found was Monocrotophos. It is acutely toxic to birds and humans. Being also a persistent organic pollutant, it has been banned in the U.S. and many other countries (4)

Top brands of tea that CBC Marketplace had tested

  • Uncle Lee’s Legends of China – Green tea and Jasmine green tea
  • No Name- Black tea
  • King Cole- Orange pekoe
  • Signal- Orange pekoe two cups
  • Twinlings- Earl grey
  • Lipton- Pure green tea and Yellow label black tea
  • Red Rose – Orange pekoe
  • Tetley- Pure green tea

Out of all the teas that were tested, the only one that came back clean was the Red Rose Pekoe. (Here is the full test report from CBC marketplaces lab.)

Did you know that pesticides have been linked to a wide range of human health hazards, ranging from short-term impacts such as headaches and nausea to chronic impacts like cancer, reproductive harm, and endocrine disruption.

Some of the Acute dangers – such as nerve, skin, and eye irritation and damage, headaches, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and systemic poisoning – can sometimes be dramatic, and even occasionally fatal. (5)

Some of the symptoms of Mild Poisoning or Early Symptoms of Acute Poisoning are headache, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, restlessness, nervousness, perspiration, nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite, loss of weight, thirst, moodiness, soreness in joints, skin irritation, eye irritation, irritation of the nose and throat.

 

Another great place to get amazingly healthy, pesticide tea is from Mountain Rose Herbs.

How to Know if Your Tea Is Safe

  1. Look for the certified organic label on the package so you know that your tea was cultivated without harmful chemicals. You can find information on Organic certification here http://www.pro-cert.org/en/tea
  2. You can grow your own herbs and make your own tea.garden
  3. Research the brands you plan on purchasing. The Environmental Working group has many teas and their ingredient and toxic levels listed. Also, they have a great App that you can use when out at a store shopping.tea7
  4. Do be careful of buying tea that is grown in China or India, even if they state they are organic. Here is some information on the pesticide use in India, and here is some information on the pesticide use in China .

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Thank you registered holistic dietician, Tammy Catania. Stay healthy!

 

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June Is Grass Pollen Month: All You Need To Know!

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June is key grass pollen month in many areas.

People with seasonal allergies will feel symptoms.

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Rain, time of day and temps all affect pollen level.

Google pollen in your city/state, so you’re aware when levels are high.

Today, they’re “Very High” in most areas.

Prevention is BEST, so be sure to make a note of what you can do to avoid allergic reactions to grass.

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What Is a Grass Pollen Allergy?

If your allergies are worse in the spring and summer time, you may have a grass pollen allergy.

Grasses are the most common cause of allergy. Each year, plants (including grasses) release tiny pollen grains to fertilize other plants of the same species. Unfortunately for people with grass allergies, these pollens trigger allergic reactions.

Symptoms of grass pollen allergy include:

  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy nose, eyes, ears and mouth
  • Stuffy nose (nasal congestion)
  • Red and watery eyes
  • Swelling around the eyes

You may not see the grass pollen in the air, but your body can react to even small amounts.

Many people know pollen allergy as “hay fever.” Experts usually refer to pollen allergy as “seasonal allergic rhinitis.”

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What Types of Grasses Cause Allergy Symptoms?

If you have a grass pollen allergy, you may be allergic to more than one type of grass.

There are hundreds of types of grasses, but only a few are responsible for allergy symptoms. Your geographic location may determine which grasses may be responsible for your symptoms.

The most common types of grasses that cause allergies are:

  • Bermuda
  • Johnson
  • Kentucky
  • Orchard
  • Rye
  • Sweet Vernal
  • Timothy

When Is the Grass Pollen Season?

In northern regions of the United States, grasses usually pollinate in the late spring or early summer. In southern regions, grasses may pollinate throughout many seasons and could trigger symptoms throughout the year.

These small, light and dry grass pollen grains are released into the air and can travel for hundreds of miles by the wind.

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How Can I Prevent Allergic Reactions to Grass?

Here are ten ways you can reduce allergic reactions to grass pollen:

  1. Limit your outdoor activities when pollen counts are high. Check your local forecast and pollen count every day. On high grass pollen count days, aim for some indoor activities like seeing a movie.
  2. Keep the lawn cut short. If possible, ask someone else to mow the lawn. Most grass pollen comes from the flowery top of tall grass. If you keep your lawn short, it is less likely to release pollen. Close all your house windows before someone mows your lawn.
  3. Keep windows closed during pollen season and use central air conditioning with a HEPA filter. This applies both to your home and to any vehicle (car, bus, train, etc.).
  4. Bathe and shampoo your hair daily before going to bed. This will remove pollen from your hair and skin and keep it off your bedding.
  5. Wash bedding in hot, soapy water once a week.
  6. Wear sunglasses and a hat. This will help keep pollen out of your eyes and off your hair. You can also wear long pants if you will be in contact with grasses.
  7. Change and wash clothes worn during outdoor activities.
  8. Dry your clothes in a clothes dryer, not on an outdoor line.
  9. If you have furry pets, wipe their fur off with a towel before entering your home. Also, keep pets out of your bedroom and off your bed.
  10. Start an allergy treatment.allergy10

How Can I Manage My Grass Allergy Symptoms?

The first step is to get properly tested and diagnosed. Once your doctor/allergist knows what specific allergens cause your symptoms, he or she can work with you to create a plan.

There are over-the-counter and prescription pills, liquids or nasal sprays that can help reduce or prevent grass allergy symptoms.

These medicines include antihistamines, decongestants and nasal corticosteroids.

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Most allergy medicines work best when you start taking them before pollen season begins. This allows the medicine to prevent your body from releasing histamine and other chemicals that cause your symptoms.

However, many people with pollen allergy do not get complete relief from these medicines. This means they may be candidates for immunotherapy.

Immunotherapy is a long-term treatment that can help prevent or reduce the severity of allergic reactions. It can change the course of allergic disease by modifying the body’s immune response to allergens.

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There are two types of immunotherapy available for grass allergy: allergy shots and allergy tablets.

  • Allergy Shots – Subcutaneous Immunotherapy (SCIT) is administered at the doctor’s office. It involves getting injections of allergens in an increasing dosage over time.During the course of immunotherapy, a person with grass allergy becomes progressively less sensitive to that allergen.

    Patients may experience relief within one to three years of starting SCIT. The most common side effects for SCIT include local reactions at the injection site, such as redness, itching, swelling, tenderness and pain.

    Less common systemic reactions may include generalized redness, hives, itching, swelling, wheezing and low blood pressure.

  • Allergy Tablets – Sublingual Immunotherapy (SLIT) is a more recent form of immunotherapy that can be done at home.It is needle-free, and involves placing a tablet containing the allergen under the tongue for 1 to 2 minutes and then swallowing it.

    Treatment begins prior to the grass allergy season and continues throughout the grass allergy season. By taking these tablets every day, you may reduce your grass allergy symptoms.

    This treatment offers people with these allergies a potential alternative to allergy shots. SLIT tablets also have side effects and some may be serious, which is why it’s important to talk with your doctor about your treatment options.

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Both forms of allergy immunotherapy (shots and tablets) are prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your health care provider to get started on your allergy treatment plan.

Courtesy The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America 

How the Quiet & Shy Can Outsell Anyone

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Just read The Introverts Edge: How the Quiet and Shy Can Outsell Anyone by Matthew Pollard with Derek Lewis.  It’s an absolute must read for entrepreneurs, founders, CEOs of startups and anyone launching, selling or promoting  something.

If you’re an expert in your field, people need you, but you also need to sell them on your skills and services. Sales is a separate job, but as anyone who has built an empire can tell you –it’s often the person with the most skin in the game  —you that it falls to.

“The competitor to be feared is one who never bothers about you at all, but goes on making his own business better all the time.” -Henry Ford

Pollard hits the nail on the head on how so many people who excel at what they do would rather focus on just that –skills and services, rather than sales.

Now, this is a health blog and you may wonder why I’m blogging about a how to sell book on it. It’s because people like me, who are seen as extroverts, but in reality are introverts, do experience a lot of anxiety when it comes to promoting themselves, rather than others. We can promote the heck out of someone else, but freeze when it comes to promoting ourselves. It’s the old fight or flight response. This book helps alleviate that.

“In selling as in medicine, prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.” -Jim Cathcart

Somehow, we introverts manage to attract clients effortlessly, but if we fine-tune the process, that success scales beyond unicorn territory.

Pollard steps in with a roadmap tailored precisely to people who don’t attend every networking event because they’re busy getting the job done. Their passion is in the work, not in selling. Yet, they have all the knowledge, so they end up being the best ones to sell it. Their WHY is strong. If you’ve ever met someone truly passionate about their business their face lights up like a Christmas tree when discussing it.

Pollard’s roadmap is based on his own success, after finding that introverts consistently outsold everyone on his own team.

Ironically, the author himself is an introvert, yet in 2014, after moving to the United States and knowing no one outside his girlfriend, he won several government proclamations for his work with small business and was invited to events as one of the most connected people in the city, all within less than a year.

He has transformed over 3,500 struggling businesses into success stories, and has worked with solopreneurs and startups to enterprises such as Microsoft and Capital One. He is the founder of the nationwide Small Business Festival, and has created five multi-million dollar ventures from scratch.

AND he’s a self-procraimed introvert at his core.

Most introverts are so great at their functional skills, they prefer to focus on the work. I’d posit to say Mark Zuckerberg is probably one of these people. Bill Gates too. Many lawyers, consultants electricians are the same.

“Introverts beat their (extroverts) ‘gift of gab’ counterparts, hands down. Contrary to all the myths and beliefs, I discovered that introverts make the best sales people.” -Matthew Pollard

According to Pollard, sales is simply just another skill geniuses and smart people can learn. Extroverts rely more on their personalities. He says introverts have an advantage because they rely on the system, and they’re not deterred by emotion.

So much of what he writes in this book resonates with me. One thing I’ve encountered on social media is being pitched constantly.  A huge turn-off for me is when someone immediately pitches me without even establishing any sort of rapport.  In his 7-Step System, establishing rapport and trust is at the top.

I have to agree, and I know colleagues will too. I even had to remove names from my Referrals on Linked In, because people I didn’t know were using my name to reach out to people who recommended me asking them for jobs. Since I’ve known these people for decades, they alerted me.

They weren’t even asking for entry-level positions, advice or an internship. No. They jumped right to “Can you get me a producer job on Good Morning America?” and they were often right out of school. To top that off, I didn’t know them. They were simply a social media connection.

They didn’t establish initial rapport with me OR the other person. No one wants to feel used. And that’s the exact feeling you get when someone you don’t know asks for a favor –and a huge one at that. One that has tremendous value encompassing all your knowledge, skills, experience, contacts and hard work.

Pollard talks about his early days and how he learned a lesson the hard way.

“…when I got in front of the business owner, I’d launch straight into my spiel. Without any kind of rapport –without any sort of personal connection –I was just a commodity, a nameless, faceless salesman trying to land a sale…establishing even the slightest connection on a personal level helped make a person’s attitude toward me more positive.”

So true. It made my mind flash back to those people I do respond to professionally on Linked In or Facebook, and it’s those people who do that. They are rare. The majority of people are like people who start working out at the gym without warming up. They end up in pain and ditch going back. Their fitness goals don’t get met. In business, your sale, pitch or promotion doesn’t get results.

Credibility is another biggie. Since introverts don’t self-promote, we as”sume anyone approaching us has done their homework and knows our background and that we’ve worked with the best and achieved results.

Authentic rapport + credibility is what establishes trust. Trust is at the foundation of all relationships, albeit business or personal.

“If people like you, they’ll listen to you. But if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” -Zig Zagler

When your intentions are right (and they absolutely should be), you are there to provide a product or service that people actually need or want.

“It (your product or service) should make their lives easier help them solve a problem, make them money, save them money, or in some way truly benefit them.”

“Think of it like going to the doctor. I’m not a medical expert; when something’s wrong, I just know that something’s wrong. I don’t go see the doctor already armed with the knowledge of my treatment plan, the prescriptions I need, and which tests need to be run. I need help, but I lack the expertise to figure out what that looks like…that’s why we pay for experts: Doctors draw on their experience with past patients to identify potential causes and the continue to ask more and more specific questions until they have a pretty good idea of the cause of the pain. Your back pain may actually be kidney trouble. Your weight gain could be indicative of a thyroid problem…”

You, the introvert expert must ask probing questions, so you can tap into all your experience, knowledge and skills to provide their solution.

Henry Ford is regarded as one of the greatest businesspeople and industrialists ever, beating dozens, perhaps even hundreds, of other automobile manufacturers to become a titan. He’s one of the top ten richest people who ever lived in modern history. His secret?

He never stopped improving the process.

I don’t want to give away the entire book here because it’s worth every penny for every introvert in business or person who wants to be in business for themselves or is an introvert closing deals on behalf of a larger corporation. Improving the process step-by-step is exactly what Pollard helps you do.

Best of all…

“The Introverts Edge” by Matthew Pollard is based on you being authentically you. That’s a healthy recipe in business AND life. -Maria Dorfner

“This book will be a game changer for any introvert who hates selling or believes they just can’t do it. You can!” -Neil Patel, New York Times bestselling author

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For More Information visit:
http://www.theintrovertsedge.com

You can also join Matthew Pollard and other professionals committed to sales success in The Introvert’s Edge Inner Circle  –an online community for introverts.

As a thank you for buying the book, you get a year’s subscription to The Inner Circle providing access to a lot more advice for free at http://www.theintrovertsedge.com/innercircle

___________________________________________________________________________________

Pollards mission is to bridge the chasm between someone’s struggling dream and a rapid growth business they love. I’d say he’s doing so with this book because he himself has the introvert’s edge: focus, compassion, empathy, understanding and a unique ability to listen intently and thoroughly prepare.

I’m reminded on this historic day of The Royal Wedding how Princess Diana was quiet and shy.  Yet, the entire world embraced her as The People’s Princess. There is also a quiet shyness to Prince Harry and Meghan.

Together, they quietly embrace doing great charity work together. In fact, it’s how they fell in love.  Helping others. As Rev. Curry so beautifully stated, there is power in love.  GREAT power. Congratulations to Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Sussex and His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex.  You personify The Introvert’s Edge.  ~Maria Dorfner

 

Book Available on Amazon

MEDIA

TO BOOK AN INTERVIEW with MATTHEW POLLARD CONTACT HIM DIRECT AT:
matthew@matthewpollard.com OR (c) 512-993-5033

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Almost Half of Cancer Preventable

walking5The latest study says almost one-half of all cancer deaths are attributed to risk factors within your control. Finally, science catches up to what I’ve known all my life.

Dale Shepard, M.D., of Cleveland Clinic did not take part in the study, but says it’’s no surprise that many of these factors are bad for our health, but many people don’t realize the impact of making healthy lifestyle changes.

“Shepard says, “Half of the people who get cancer might be able to prevent death from their cancer had they modified some risk factors.””

The study looked at U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) records of cancer incidence and death for 26 cancer types in adults ages 30+ in year 2014.

They found that these cancers were largely a result of 17 modifiable lifestyle behaviors.

The behavior that had the most negative impact was smoking, but researchers also pointed to factors such as obesity, alcohol intake, poor diet and lack of exercise.

Again, that’s:

OBESITY

ALCOHOL INTAKE

POOR DIET

LACK OF EXERCISE

SMOKING

Dr. Shepard says it’s important to note that not all cancers can be prevented from lifestyle modifications, but studies like this show that if we do take the necessary steps to improve our overall health, our likelihood of developing certain cancers can be significantly decreased.

“”People often times don’’t link everyday lifestyle habits to cancer risk in the way that they do to heart disease, but it also holds true for our overall health.Eat a heart healthy diet; get exercise; watch your weight; be active,”” says Dr. Shepard. “

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Those sorts of things are things that people are maybe more used to thinking about with other diseases, but we know that, with studies like this, up to 40 percent of cancers can perhaps be prevented by doing the same things.”

Dr. Shepard says it’s important to remember that the more lifestyle risk factors that are combined, the more a person’s risk for cancer increases.

“If you drink alcohol, are inactive, are overweight, and have a poor diet, it can add up to a 20 percent increase in risk of cancers pretty quickly,” he said.

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Complete study can be found in the journal CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians.

SOURCE: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21440/full

So remember to make HEALTHY CHOICES daily like following this blog!

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Sunday is World Cancer Day.  It should be World Health Day!
A day to raise awareness about healthy living. What you focus on expands. Anyone diagnosed or living with cancer NEEDS to focus on health, not illness.

Tomorrow’s Time Change May Change Your Mood

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Tomorrow marks the end of Daylight Saving Time –when we turn clocks ‘back’ one hour.

According to Scott Bea, PsyD, of Cleveland Clinic, when it gets darker outside sooner, it can impact our likelihood of developing seasonal affective disorder, or ‘SAD.’

“”Of course we know people in Florida aren’’t going to suffer quite as much,”” says Dr. Bea. “

Research shows the rate of seasonal affective disorder down there is about 1.4 percent, but if you get up to New Hampshire, it’s about 9.7 percent. So where you exist in relation to the equator makes a difference.”

 

Dr. Bea says ‘SAD’ is marked by 3 things:

sleepiness

withdrawal

irritability

 

Research has shown that women tend to suffer from ‘SAD’ about four times as much as men do, but when men develop symptoms, they tend to be more severe.

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In addition to longer periods of darkness, the grayness of winter impacts a lot of people.

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About four percent of folks will experience ‘SAD’ during the winter, while another ten percent will get ‘winter blues.’

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Dr. Bea says light therapy works for many people. He suggests getting a light-therapy lamp, sitting in front of it for about 30 minutes every day, ideally in the morning.

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Starting light therapy as early as October and keeping it going through the spring will provide the most benefit.

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And, if nothing else, Dr. Bea says just getting outdoors more often can help too.

“”What people do is they stay indoors and so they don’t get ordinary light exposure.  One of the problems is we’’re not outside enough, even on a cloudy day, if you’re outside for thirty minutes in the morning, you’re going to get enough light exposure and that seems to make a difference.””

Dr. Bea also suggests creating social obligations – meeting up with other people or perhaps taking up an exercise program – can be beneficial for our mental health during colder months.

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Again, to keep smiling through darker, colder weather follow these tips:

  1. GET OUTDOORS, ESPECIALLY IN MORNINGS FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES
  2. SOCIALIZE WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS -LAUGHTER!
  3. MAINTAIN A DAILY EXERCISE ROUTINE
  4. USE LIGHT THERAPY 30 MINUTES DAILY UNTIL SPRING

If you’ve used light therapy in the past, we’d love to hear from you.

There are several brands available on Amazon from small portable ones you can place on your desk for about $39. and ones costing up into the hundreds so if you’ve used one, please let us know if and how it worked for you!

 

Stay healthy!

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SOURCE: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4673349/

One Woman Starts Legislation Sweeping Nation To Inform Women Of Dense Breast Tissue

 

nancycappello1In 2004, Nancy Cappello, PhD from Connecticut, was diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer.

She was shocked as she had no prior risk factors, and normal screenings for a decade.

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“I was shocked my cancer had metastasized to 13 lymph nodes and was the size of a quarter, I asked my team of doctors, with my latest ‘normal’ mammogram report in hand, how could this happen since I just had a normal mammogram.” -Nancy

Each physician told her that her cancer was hidden by the mammogram due to her dense breast tissue.

Dense breast tissue is comprised of less fat and more connective tissue which appears white on a mammogram. Cancer also appears white thus tumors are often hidden or masked by the dense tissue.

As a woman ages, her breasts usually become more fatty. However, 2/3 of pre-menopausal and 1/4 of post menopausal women (40%) have dense breast tissue. 

Additionally, as the density of the breast increases, the risk of breast  cancer also increases.

Radiologists have been reporting a woman’s dense breast tissue to her referring doctor for twenty years.   Most often, that information is not conveyed to the patient.

Displaying heterogeneously or extremely dense breast tissue on a mammogram is considered dense (BIRADS C, D). 

Learn More

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Amy Colton, Nancy Cappello

“After an extensive search of the literature, which existed for decades before my diagnosis, I learned that 40% of women have dense breast tissue, that mammograms are limited in ‘seeing’ cancer in dense breasts and that there are other technologies, such as ultrasound or MRI that can significantly ‘see’ cancers that are invisible by mammogram.”

When Nancy asked her doctors to report dense breast tissue to women in her community, each of them refused.  

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Nancy Cappello featured in the New York Times

“My Italian heritage with our tenets of truth and justice immediately kicked in.”

 

Her doctors’ rejection led to action when in 2009, Connecticut became the first state in America to report dense breast tissue to the patient through the mammography report.

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As of today, thanks to Nancy Cappello’s unplanned advocacy, thirty-one states have a density reporting law and more are pending.

 

Nancy Cappello: One of 8 ‘chemo’ infusions 3 months before 11th NORMAL mammogram

Nancy has since been honored by UNICO at its national convention with the 2017 Americanism Award for her breast health advocacy through the work of her two non- profit organizations, Are You Dense Inc. and Are You Dense Advocacy Inc.

The Americanism award recognizes an Italian-American who has made an enduring impact on humanity which encompasses the cornerstone of UNICO’s foundation.

“When I received notice of this prestigious honor, I bowed to give thanks to my parents and my Italian ancestors, who paved the way for me to relentlessly pursue an early diagnosis for women with dense breast tissue, through the democratic process, turning an injustice to justice for women’s breast health.”

Unico National President Tom Vaughn, Nancy Cappello and her husband Joe, Francine Nido, Unico’s National Secretary

Check out the following map link to find out if your state has a law and updates:

http://www.areyoudense.org/news-events/density-reporting-bills-spread-across-country/

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For More Information on Nancy’s incredible advocacy work please visit: http://www.areyoudense.org

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So much valuable information for women on http://www.areyoudense.org

 

Thank you, Nancy!

 

UPDATE:

BREAKING HEALTH NEWS:  Senators Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Dean Heller (NV) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (CT) and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA) introduce a national bill requiring physicians to notify patients whether or not they have dense breast tissue.

On Twitter: Representative Mike Rohrkaste  and Senator Alberto Darling  introduce bill in Wisconsin to prompt patient notification if they have dense breasts, which increases cancer risk.

#NotifyMeNow

Helping Kids Cope After A Tragedy

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By Dr. Robin F. Goodman

With the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas, a 24 hour news cycle, and wide access to social media kids are more on top of current events more than ever before. Parents have a tough job when scary things are in the news. But there are some general guidelines to keep in mind when tackling such topics. Below are some brief tips:

 

·        Be honest.

·        Be age appropriate.

·        Be attentive and listen to their specific worries.

·        Be aware and review your own family safety plans

·        Be careful managing your own fears.

·        Be comforting and focused on the here and now.

 

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We have all been struck by the tragic events in the news and offer the following suggestions to the adults who will guide their children.

Talk to your children: Start with a general statement or question then listen to what they say or ask. Look for opportunities to check in more than once.

Be honest: Use age appropriate language, share basic information, and correct misinformation. It’s OK to say “I don’t know” and focus on what you do know.

Reassure: Using routine and structure to reassure children they will be all right, you are all right, and things in their world will continue. Remind them of the people that take care of them and how to get help.

Return to the familiar: Getting back to familiar tasks and distracting or even fun activities provides balance and perspective.

Use media sense: Turn off or limit TV viewing especially for little ones. Monitor what news and social media children and teens are watching or using.

Model coping: Adults have feelings and can help children by modeling appropriate ones and especially how to cope with upset or sadness in healthy ways.

Encourage expression: Children may more easily express their thoughts and feelings in pictures, music, play and poems. Be careful not to press for details but rather validate how they feel and problem solve ways to feel better.

Stay connected: Being connected to others – friends, family, a faith community – can be especially healing and powerful when feeling upset, overwhelmed and alone.

Provide comfort: Hugs – given and received – help everyone, young and old.

Find the good: Look for stories of hope. Cope with kindness. When able, be the hope – reach out a hand, offer help, care for others day to day.

 

Dr. Goodman, a licensed clinical psychologist and art therapist, with particular expertise in trauma and bereavement, was clinical director of the New York City Children’s Grief Connection. She has published, taught and lectured in the United States and abroad. Her credits include more than 100 online articles and five books.

Her Caring for Kids after Trauma and Death: A Guide for Parents and Professionals, was used throughout the country following 9/11 and the war with Iraq. She was a clinical associate professor of psychology at NYU School of Medicine, and while at the NYU Child Study Center was Director of Bereavement Programs and co-directed a research and clinical program for children bereaved after 9/11. She has been a frequent on-air contributor to national and local media.

She can be reached at (917) 757-1286

For More Information visit:

https://www.acaringhand.org/single-post/2012/12/16/Helping-Children-After-Tragedy

 

Talking to Kids About Tragic News Events

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After any disaster, parents and other adults struggle with what they should say and share with children and what not to say or share with them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents, teachers, child care providers, and others who work closely with children to filter information about the crisis and present it in a way that their child can accommodate, adjust to, and cope with.

Where to Start – All Ages

No matter what age or developmental stage the child is, parents can start by asking a child what they’ve already heard. Most children will have heard something, no matter how old they are. After you ask them what they’ve heard, ask what questions they have.

Older children, teens, and young adults might ask more questions and may request and benefit more from additional information. But no matter what age the child is, it’s best to keep the dialogue straightforward and direct.

Avoiding Graphic Details & Exposure to Media

In general, it is best to share basic information with children, not graphic details, or unnecessary details about tragic circumstances. Children and adults alike want to be able to understand enough so they know what’s going on. Graphic information and images should be avoided.

Keep young children away from repetitive graphic images and sounds that may appear on television, radio, social media, computers, etc.

With older children, if you do want them to watch the news, record it ahead of time. That allows you to preview it and evaluate its contents before you sit down with them to watch it. Then, as you watch it with them, you can stop, pause, and have a discussion when you need to.

Children will generally follow good advice, but you have to give them some latitude to make decisions about what they’re ready for. You can block them from seeing the newspaper that comes to the door, for example, but not the one on the newsstand. Today, most older children will have access to the news and graphic images through social media and other applications right from their cell phone. You need to be aware of what’s out there and take steps in advance to talk to children about what they might hear or see.

Talking to Very Young Children

The reality is that even children as young as 4 years old will hear about major crisis events. It’s best that they hear about it from a parent or caregiver, as opposed to another child or in the media.

Even the youngest child needs accurate information, but you don’t want to be too vague. Simply saying, “Something happened in a faraway town and some people got hurt,” doesn’t tell the child enough about what happened. The child may not understand why this is so different from people getting hurt every day and why so much is being said about it. The underlying message for a parent to convey is, “It’s okay if these things bother you. We are here to support each other.”

Talking to Gradeschool Children & Teens

After asking your child what they have heard and if they have questions about what occurred during a school shooting, community bombing, natural disaster, or even a disaster in an international country, a parent can say something such as:

“Yes. In [city], [state]” (and here you might need to give some context, depending on whether it’s nearby or far away, for example, ‘That’s a city/state that’s pretty far from/close to here’), there was disaster and many people were hurt. The police and the government are doing their jobs so they can try to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.”

A parent can follow-up as needed based on the child’s reactions and questions.

Talking to Children with Developmental Delays or Disabilities

Parents who have a child with a developmental delay or disability should gear their responses to their child’s developmental level or abilities, rather than their physical, age. If you have a teenage child whose level of intellectual functioning is more similar to a 7-year-old, for instance, gear your response toward her developmental level. Start by giving less information. Provide details or information in the most appropriate and clear way you can.

Talking to Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

What’s helpful to a child with an ASD may be different. For instance, the child may find less comfort in cuddling than some other children. Parents should try something else that does calm and comfort their child on other occasions. Ask yourself, “Given who my child is, his personality, temperament, and developmental abilities, what might work for him?”

Signs a Child Might Not Be Coping Well

If children don’t have a chance to practice healthy coping, a parent may see signs that they’re having difficulty adjusting. Some of things to look for are:

  • Sleep problems: Watch for trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, difficulty waking, nightmares, or other sleep disturbances.
  • Physical complaints: Children may complain of feeling tired, having a headache, or generally feeling unwell. You may notice your child eating too much or less than usual.
  • Changes in behavior: Look for signs of regressive behavior, including social regression, acting more immature, or becoming less patient and more demanding. A child who once separated easily from her parents may become clingy. Teens may begin or change current patterns of tobacco, alcohol, or substance use.
  • Emotional problems: Children may experience undue sadness, depression, anxiety, or fears.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if a child is reacting in a typical way to an unusual event or whether they are having real problems coping, and might need extra support. If you are concerned, talk to your child’s pediatrician or a mental health professional or counselor.

Don’t wait for the signs. Start the discussion early, and keep the dialogue going.

Additional Information on HealthyChildren.org:

​​Additional Resources:

Prevent Illness After Floods

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When returning to your home after a flooding emergency, be aware flood water may contain sewage. We’ve learned a lot from past floods. Please stay informed and healthy.

 

Health Risks and Hazards Caused by Floods by Naoki Minamiguchi

Introduction

A flood can devastate homes, commercial buildings, agricultural and pastoral lands, public goods, and other physical properties. However, during the flood and its aftermath, there are also threats to one’s health and safety.

In the flood occurred in Bangladesh in 1988, diarrhea was found to be most common illness and a major cause of death amongst the population affected by the flood that helped spread the disease (Siddique, et al 1991).

Prevalent respiratory infection induced by the flood was also blamed for the high morbidity and death toll – 46,740 patients and 154 deaths – in the devastated areas.

In developing regions of the world, acute sanitation problems and various water-borne diseases – such as diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and typhoid – threaten disaster affected populations, especially the poor and vulnerable, due to lack of access to safe drinking water, medicine and hygienic food.

While infection risks may be low in industrialized countries (Public Health Laboratory Service 2000), floodwater is generally contaminated by various pollutants: sewage, human and animal feces, pesticides and insecticides, fertilizers, oil, asbestos, rusting building materials, and so forth.

This was evidenced by the health and environmental tests carried out on the floodwaters in New Orleans where the unprecedented flooding and destruction was caused by Hurricane Katrina – one of the worst natural disasters ever occurred in the United States – and hundreds of thousands of residents lost homes and were displaced in temporary shelters.

The tests revealed a clear signal of bacteria and lead hazards to human health and warned the public to avoid exposure to the contaminated water accordingly (Gerencher 2005).

Sources of Health Risks and Hazards

Although the public attention is normally paid to the risk of physical property destruction caused by floods, it is strongly suggested that each of us remembers and practices some basic precautions to prevent possible diseases and injuries during and after flooding and to maintain good health during the repercussion of floods.

Amongst others, the following health risks and hazards are the common health threats.

Unsafe food

Floodwaters contain disease causing bacteria, dirt, oil, human and animal wastes, and farm and industrial chemicals.

They carry away whatever existing on the ground and upstream.

Their contact with food items including foodcrops in agricultural lands during flooding can make that food unsafe to eat and hazardous to human health.

Power failures caused by floods also damage stored food.

Refrigerated and frozen foods are affected during the outage periods, and thus must be carefully monitored and examined prior to consumption.

Foods kept inside cardboards, plastic bags, jars, bottles, and paper packaging are equally subject to disposal if contaminated by floodwaters.

Even though the packages do not appear to be wet, they may be unhygienic with mold contamination and deteriorate rapidly. (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 2 September 2005; Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services 2005; NDSU various years)

Contaminated drinking and washing water and poor sanitation

 

Flooding impairs clean water sources with pollutants and devastates sanitary toilets.

Direct and indirect contact with the contaminants – whether through direct food intakes, vector insects such as flies, unclean hands, or dirty plates and utensils – result in waterborne illnesses and life- threatening infection diseases.

The pollutants also saturate into the ground water and/or can infiltrate into sanitary sewer lines through the ground. In addition, wastewater treatment plants, if flooded and malfunctioned, can be overloaded with polluted runoff waters and sewage beyond their disposal capacity, resulting into backflows of raw sewage to homes and low lying grounds.

Private wells can be also contaminated or damaged severely by floodwaters, while private sewage disposal systems also become a cause of infection and illnesses when they are broken or overflowed (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 10 September 2005).

In this manner, unclean drinking and washing water and sanitation, coupled with lack of adequate sewage treatment, can lead to disease outbreaks, e.g. life-threatening cholera, typhoid, dysentery and some forms of hepatitis as experienced in the floods in Bangladesh and New Orleans.

Indeed, many lives were claimed by the infectious diseases broken out during and after the wave surges of the Indian Ocean Tsunamis and resultant floods that devastated regions along the coasts in Southeast and South Asian countries (Government of Western Australia; Indonesia Relief 2005; Rose 2005; WHO).

The key to preventing a health catastrophe is therefore a basic hygiene: i.e. clean and safe water and toilets.

Mosquitoes and animals

Prolonged rainfall and floods provide new breeding grounds – wet areas and stagnant pools – for mosquitoes and can lead to an increase in the number of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue and West Nile fevers (Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services 2005).

It is also suggested to avoid contact with wild animals, rats and rodents that possibly carry viruses and diseases, and to get rid of dead animals in accordance with official guidelines issued by local animal control authorities if any (CDC Fact Sheet 10 September 2004).

Leptospirosis, or Weil’s disease – a zoonotic bacterial disease associated predominantly with rats – often accompanies floods in developing countries (Leptospirosis Information Center).

The leptospirosis risk is however very low in the industrialized regions unless any cuts or wounds have direct contact with the disease contaminated floodwaters or animals.

Molds and mildews

Excessive exposure to molds and mildews can cause flood victims – especially those with allergies and asthma – to contract upper respiratory diseases and to trigger cold-like symptoms, e.g. sore throat, watery eyes, wheezing and dizziness (CDC 2006; FEMA 2005; North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services).

Molds grow in as short a period as 24 to 48 hours in wet and damp areas of the buildings and homes that have not been cleaned after flooding such as water infiltrated walls, floors, carpets, toilets and bathrooms.

Although molds exist naturally as well as in our normal life, very small mold’s spores can be easily inhaled by human bodies and cause allergic reactions, asthma episodes, and other respiratory problems if a large amount of molds are inbreathed.

Amongst others, infants, children, elderly people, and pregnant women are considered most vulnerable to mold induced health problems.

Carbon monoxide poisoning

Post-flood carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is reported to be a growing problem in many developed countries. CO can be found in combustion fumes, e.g. fumes generated by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, and gas ranges, or by burning charcoals and woods.

In the event of power outages following floods, the flood victims tend to use alternative sources of fuels or electricity for heating, cooling, or cooking inside enclosed or partly enclosed houses, garages or buildings without an adequte level of air ventilation (Environmental Health Center

2001).

CO builds up from these sources and poisons the people and animals inside. CO poisoning therefore should be regarded as a potential hazard after major floods.

Other hazards when reentering and cleaning flooded homes and buildings

Besides the flood related health problems described above, flooded homes and buildings can pose other significant health hazards and risks after floodwaters recede.

First of all, electrical power systems including fallen power lines can become hazardous during cleanup activities (CDC Fact Sheets 11 September 2004 and 29 August 2005).

One should avoid turning on or off the main power while standing in the remaining floodwater.

Gas leaks that may be occurring from pipelines or propane tanks can trigger another disastrous outcome – e.g. fire and explosion – when entering and cleaning damaged buildings as well as endeavoring to restore utilities services (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 27 October 2004).

Flood debris – such as broken bottles, woods, stones and walls – may also cause fresh wounds and injuries when removing contaminated mud and cleaning damaged buildings.

Extreme caution must be used with possible chemical hazards during flood recovery.

Containers of hazardous chemicals including pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, car batteries, propane tanks, and other industrial chemicals may be hidden or buried under flood debris (CDC Fact Sheets 10 September 2004 and 6 April 2005).

Lastly, a health hazard can also occur when hazardous dusts and molds remaining in the ducts, fans and ventilators of air-conditioning and heating equipment are circulated throughout the building and inhaled by those engaged in cleanup and restoration unless it is properly cleaned after flooding (North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services).

Mental stress and fatigue

A flood can cause both emotional and physical stress. However, various reports attribute a major health hazard of floods to mental stress or psychological distress due to exposure to extreme disaster events (NDSU various years).

Having experienced a devastating flood, seen loved ones lost or injured, and homes damaged or destroyed, flooding poses a long-term psychological impact on the flood victims. In addition, the cost and labor required to repair flood-damaged homes places severe financial and psychological burdens on the people affected, in particular the unprepared and uninsured. Post-flood recovery – especially when it becomes prolonged – can commonly cause mental disorders, anxiety, anger, depression, lethargy, hyperactivity, sleeplessness, and in an extreme case, suicides amongst the flood victims.

Behavior changes may also occur in children such as an increase in bed-wetting and aggression. There is also a long- term concern amongst the affected that their homes would be flooded again in the future. Dr Noji argues that many reported morbidity problems caused by disasters including hypertension and cardiovascular disease – and even leukemia and lymphoma – may be stress-related (Noji 1997).

While more attention is usually paid to the cleanups and repairs of the damaged buildings and properties during the aftermath, it is also required for individual victims to look after him/herself and his/her family, and when appropriate to obtain proper emotional support from local authorities, relief agencies, psychological counselors, mentors, friends, relatives, etc.

Conclusions

Restoring flooded homes, buildings and properties is an overwhelming task both physically and emotionally. It is often not easy for the depressed flood victims to even identify where to start while avoiding potential health risks and hazards of devastating flooding.

A number of guidelines and detailed instructions for restoration have been already issued by local governments, health centers, research institutions, and international organizations involved with disaster relief and assistance in order to protect the flood victims and rescue and restoration workers from various health threats discussed in this report.

Flood Protection Handbook of the Boulder County, for instance, contains invaluable information on concrete actions to be taken before, during and after

a flood (Boulder County 2002).

All governmental bodies or public entities are strongly encouraged to follow suite if they have not implemented a similar course of actions.

They are also expected to address the health risks and hazards in national, regional and community flood management plans and programmes and to make appropriate effort to raise public awareness of such risks and hazards.

References

  • –  Boulder County (2002) Flood Protection Handbook. Boulder, Colorado
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) Key Facts about Flood Recovery. Fact Sheet 10September 2004. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) Reentering Your Flooded Home. Fact Sheet 27 October 2004. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2004) What You Need to Know When the Power Goes Out Unexpectedly. Fact Sheet 11 September 2004. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) After a Flood. Fact Sheet 6 April 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Detroit Health Department, et al. (2004) Imminent Health Hazard Emergency Response Reference forRegulators
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) Disinfecting Wells Following an Emergency. FactSheet 10 September 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) How to Protect Yourself and Others from ElectricalHazards Following a Natural Disaster. Fact Sheet 29 August 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2005) Keep Food and Water Safe After a Natural Disasteror Power Outage. Fact Sheet 2 September 2005. Atlanta. CDC
  • –  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2006) Health Concerns Associated with Mold in Water- Damaged Homes After Hurricannes Katrina and Rita — New Orleans Area, Louisiana, October 2005. Morbidity and Mortarity Weekly Report 55(02); 41-44. 20 January 2006
  • –  Environmental Health Center (2001) Air Quality Problems Caused by Floods (http://www.nsc.org/ehc/indoor/floods.htm) Washington DC. National Safety Council
  • –  Federal Emergency Management Agency (2005) Storm Drenching May Foster Mold Growth and Become a Health Hazard. Release Number: 1612-014. 30 November 2005. Atlanta. FEMA
  • –  Government of Western Australia. Asia Tsunami (http://www.health.wa.gov.au/tsunami/professionals.cfm)
  • –  Indonesia Relief (2005) Rebuilding After the Tsunamis: Addressing Infectious Diseases in Indonesia. 12

April 2005 (http://www.indonesia- relief.org/mod.php?mod=publisher&op=viewarticle&cid=27&artid=654)

http://www.newsweek.com/hurricane-harvey-infectious-diseases-flood-water-bacteria-viruses-656093– Ross, E. (2005) No Major Disease Outbreaks Yet, But Health Officials Say Clean Water and Sanitation are Key to Preventing Life-threatening Cholera, Typhoid and Dysentery. AP Worldstream. Jakarta (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi- bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2005/01/01/international1508EST0500.DTL)

  • –  Siddique, A.K., et al (1991) 1988 Floods in Bangladesh: Pattern of Illness and Causes of Death. Journal of Diarrhoeal Diseases Research 1991 December; 9(4): 310-4.
  • –  Noji, E (1997) The Public Health Consequences of Disasters. New York. Oxford University Press–World Health Organization. Three Months after the Indian Ocean Earthquake-Tsunami. (http://www.who.int/hac/crises/international/asia_tsunami/3months/report/en/index.html

From Washington State Labor & Industry:

10 Most likely Hazards After a Flood

  1. Electrical and Gas Hazards
  • Take caution and treat all electrical lines, wires, equipment and fixtures as if they are energized until proven otherwise.
  • Immediately evacuate buildings if a gas leak or odor is detected, and notify the site supervisor or competent person.
  1. Motor Vehicles
  • Monitor local road conditions and obey closure signs. Don’t drive though flowing water. Six inches of water may cause you to lose control of your vehicle and two feet of water will carry most cars away.
  • Standing water may not carry you away, but you may not be able to tell how deep it is. Unless you know how deep it is, it’s best to not drive through standing water.
  • Be aware of seen and unseen road hazards such as building debris, tree limbs, and pot holes. Also floods bring mud and roads can become very slick.
  1. Respiratory Hazards
  • Gasoline, propane and diesel-powered equipment (such as portable generators, power washers, compressors and pumps) should only be operated in well-ventilated outdoor areas to prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide gas.
  • Stay upwind of or away from dust-generating activities, in particular involving crystalline silica-containing materials like concrete, brick, tile, drywall, mortar, sand, or stone.
  • Identify building materials such as painted surfaces and pipes that may contain lead.
  • If an area is known or suspected to contain asbestos, ensure that an assessment has been done by a competent individual before entering the area; if asbestos is present, wait until it is removed or contained.
  • Notify the supervisor immediately if asbestos is identified at the site and stop work until it has been removed or contained.
  • Refrain from entering areas with extensive mold buildup.
  1. Chemical Use/Exposure
  • Be aware of your surroundings. If there is evidence (sight or smell) of chemicals or their use, avoid that area and request an Industrial Hygienist accompany you.
  1. Sharp, jagged debris
  • Tree limbs.
  • Construction or demolition debris.
  • Broken glass.
  • Animal bites, both stray pets and wild animals.
  1. Roofing and Working from Heights
  • Ensure the use of fall protection systems: guardrails, safety nets or fall arrest systems.
  • Identify areas of structural weakness.
  • Identify ladder hazards and ensure their safe use.
  1. Power Tools
  • Ensure guarding on power tools is in good working order and always used.

 

  • Inspect all extension cords, remove from service those that are damaged, cut or have exposed wiring and inner insulation.

 

  • Use ground-fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) or double-insulated power tools that are approved by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory.
  1. Flood Waters (Drowning/Walking)
  • Same as with driving, six inches of moving water may cause you to lose your footing and two feet of water will carry you away. Stay out of moving water.

 

  • Even standing water can present similar hazards. The water most likely will not be clear; therefore you won’t see how deep even a small puddle is. Avoid walking in standing water unless you know it is safe to do so.

 

  • Be aware of seen and unseen hazards such as building debris, tree limbs, and pot holes. Also floods bring mud and walkways can become very slick.
  1. Noise
  • Ensure the use of hearing protection when noise levels exceed 85 decibels. Generally, if you cannot hold a normal conversation at arm’s length due to noise, then hearing protection should be worn.
  1.  Personal Decontamination
  • Always wash hands with soap and water before eating, drinking, smoking, applying lip balm or cosmetics to prevent contamination of the mouth, nose or eyes with hazardous materials or infectious agents. Use a waterless alcohol-based hand cleaner if water is not available.

 

  • Decontaminate raingear and rubber boots that have been exposed to potentially hazardous materials.

 

 

For more information on how to protect yourself and your family, visit CDC’s Flood Water After a Disaster or Emergency.

 

Health Benefits of Spinning and How To Do It Right

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spin13These Spin tips will keep you sweating, smiling and secure knowing you’re doing it right.

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First, here’s a little history on how Spinning was first created. Back in the ’90’s medical anchor, Ileana Bravo and I interviewed the founder of something people in Miami were talking about called “Spinning.”  We produced a health segment for NBC Miami and interviewed the Founder of it.  His name was Johnny G.

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The TODAY SHOW picked up the Miami story and spinning spun off nationwide. Johnny G. wanted other people to be able to reach their champion within from anywhere the same way he desired to after being sidelined in a car accident.

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The founder, Johnny G’s full name is Johnny Goldberg. He was a champion endurance bicycle racer. His passion to create a different type of indoor bike was ignited after he was hit by a car while training on his bike outdoors at night.

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Following that accident, Johnny G. spent ten years developing the right type of indoor cycle that would feel like his real road bike.

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The Spinner® bike officially launched in NYC in 1993 and was offered at Crunch Gyms.

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Here’s what it looks like.

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Spinning is still hotter than ever because of all of the above and more.

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Print

Now you know why it’s so popular with men and women. Here’s how to do it right.

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Proper set-up and form helps you avoid injury and maximize all those health perks.

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Everyone can benefit from a few expert tips. Numero Uno:  Warm up.

Best Warm Up Moves Before a Spinning Bike Class

by Brian Willett

Warm-up moves can help you burn more calories, reduce risk of injury, and improve your performance on the bike. Of course, certain warm-up moves will be more effective than others, so choosing well is important.

Quadriceps Moves

Your quadriceps — the large group of four muscles on the front of your thighs — drives the motion of spinning workouts, providing power to move the pedals. You can get your quadriceps ready for spinning with body-weight squats, light pedaling and the standing quadriceps stretch. To perform that stretch, stand with one hand leaning on a wall for support, and the other hand holding your foot to your buttocks so you are standing on one leg. Be sure to flex your knee completely when performing the standing quadriceps stretch to ensure you are fully stretching the muscle.

Hamstrings Moves

Your hamstrings are located on the back of your upper leg, and like the quadriceps, they are involved in every pedal stroke when spinning. An easy way to get your hamstrings ready for spinning is to bend over and touch your toes. You can also sit down and perform a sit-and-reach motion. According to a study from the February 2005 edition of the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,” performing static stretches rather than dynamic moves is preferable for improving flexibility.

Back Moves

Your back muscles have to work hard to maintain proper posterior chain alignment and prevent you from slouching over when you ride. Thus, it’s important that you warm up your back muscles to prepare them for that work. You can stretch your back muscles in several ways, such as by lying on your back and pulling your knees to your chest, or doing the cat-cow stretch.

Shoulder Moves

Although your shoulders don’t push the pedals, they do help support your upper body while you ride and assist in steering. Moves such as jumping jacks, arm circles, and extending your arms behind your back as far as you can will help you get your shoulders loose and ready for your spinning class.

Calf Moves

The muscles of your calves are small, but they can produce a lot of power when cycling. Both squats and jumping jacks can help warm up your calves, but you may also wish to perform calf stretches while leaning against a wall. To do so, put both hands on a wall and lean into the wall, with one leg bent at the knee and one extended fully back.

 

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Now that you’re warmed up, I spoke with expert Spin Instructor, Julie Insogna.

Now that you’re warmed up, I spoke with Spin Instructor, Julie Insogna about your next move:

QUESTION:

FIRST, TELL US WHEN AND WHY YOU GOT INTERESTED IN SPINNING?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SPINNING?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

WHAT’S THE FIRST THING SOMEONE SHOULD DO WHEN ENTERING A SPIN CLASS?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

WHAT’S THE SECOND THING THEY NEED TO DO?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

THIRD?
JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

ANYTHING ELSE SPINNERS NEED TO KNOW?

JULIE INSOGNA:

QUESTION:

WHERE CAN PEOPLE TAKE YOUR CLASS OR FIND OUT MORE ABOUT IT?

 

Thanks, Julie!  

More Great Spin Tips by Deb Cheslow:

What to Wear in Spin Class

spin3When you first start spin, you might want to wear padded cycle shorts as the saddle takes some getting used to.

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Most spin classes have bikes with pedals that accommodate people in sneakers in addition to one or two types of cycle clips that attach to cycling shoes.

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When we first started spin, we wore sneakers for a couple months before making the commitment to buy the shoes. In hindsight, we would have purchased those “spin shoes” much sooner, as you have so much more leverage and less wiggling when you’re clipped into the spin pedals. It also puts much less stress on your shins and toes!

How to Set Up Your Bike

Spin class bikes are not beach cruisers. You don’t want your knees crumpled; you don’t even want them at a 90-degree angle.

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You want your knees to be slightly extended but not so much that you can’t put full pressure on the down stroke of your pedal.

 

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Most spin enthusiasts also bring their bike handles up higher than they would a road or mountain bike to accommodate running out of the saddle (we’ll get to this in a minute).

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And, make sure that you’re not reaching dramatically to those handlebars when you’re seated on the bike.

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Everything is adjustable and this is where it’s most important that your spin instructor get you dialed in.

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Spin is All About Tension and Tempo

Your spin instructor expects you to keep tempo with the song so that everyone in the class is on the correct “leg” for certain activities.

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Tension knobs on the bike will take you from no tension to “drag” (where you begin to feel tension or “the road” as they call it) and subsequent turns up from there make the ride increasingly “steep.”

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While no beginner in spin class is expected to keep high tempo AND tension like the advanced riders are accustomed to, you want to work your way into higher tension as it burns more fat and enhances your cardio workout.

Initially, though, just focus on the tempo, right, left, right left, right left, march!

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About Jogging, Sprinting and Running Out of the Saddle in Spin Class

 

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Spin usually requires seated climbs and runs as well as “running out of the saddle” where you’re actually jogging or sprinting while standing above the saddle of the bike.

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For beginners, the runs out of the saddle can be too demanding.

DON’T LET PEER PRESSURE CONVINCE YOU TO RUN WHEN YOU’RE NOT READY TO.

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Most spin enthusiasts have been doing this a long time, BUT they started right where you are starting. When you try to run out of the saddle at the same amount of time or distance these “regulars” are accustomed to, you can hurt yourself.

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Swallow your pride and stay in the saddle, keeping tempo and increasing your tension slightly until you feel you can take on a jog initially for a few given seconds. Build up from there!

When you begin to run out of the saddle, do NOT lean your body weight (or your elbows!) on your handlebars.

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This puts too much torque on your knees and can damage them. Rest your hands lightly on the handlebars and focus on sitting back, above the saddle, so the strong leg muscles of your quads and hamstrings are doing the work.

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Your spin class instructor will take you on intermittent (and imaginary, of course) hills, downhills and road runs.

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At times, he or she will ask you to do intervals where you sit in the saddle for a number of counts, then run above the saddle for the same number of counts – and sometimes, these counts can be just 2 or 4!

Remember the rules during intervals (or “jumps”) – if you’re not ready, sit your butt down and just keep pedaling.

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If you are ready, try a few, making sure you don’t lean on the handlebars.

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About “Hill Climbing” in Spin Class

Sitting on the saddle and pedaling in spin class does not necessarily mean you’re resting or “recovering.”

In fact, riding “in the saddle” with solid tension will burn more calories than sprinting.

 

A good spin instructor will methodically increase tension as you ride in the saddle, effectively making you feel like you’re pedaling up an increasingly steep hill.

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In these situations, you want to protect your knees once again by sitting as far back on the saddle as you can.

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By doing so, you’re  taking the pressure of the climb off your knees and re-depositing it where it belongs – in the strong muscles of your rear end. (And last time we checked, most people didn’t need to do much toning of their knee caps.)

Beware These Spin Instructor Indiscretions …

If your spin class instructor suddenly changes counts or actions, consider that a red flag – your instructor should give you full and fair warning in advance as to what’s coming up at least a few counts down the road.

As an example, we have a great (certified) spin instructor who’s been teaching for years. As one song ends and the other begins, he might say, “This is an interval run in the saddle and out of the saddle with 30 seconds up, and 30 seconds’ recovery in between.”

Then, as the song plays, he will be adding comments such as, “Next round is just 20 seconds up, same recovery.”  It’s enough to keep you informed and keep you hanging on knowing that the NEXT song will be a completely different action!

Some spin instructors will also make the error of doing extreme activities for too long. (Personally, we think this is an ego thing where they’re more concerned with looking better than the rest of the class riders than actually guiding the riders and watching the riders for signs of fatigue.)

As an example, we’ve been in classes with spin instructors who sprint (at least double-time to the beat of the song) out of the saddle for the entirety of the song. If it’s a short song around 2 minutes, and if the spin instructor offers optional breaks to sit down during the course of the song, that’s OK.

If, however, they insist on everyone in the class sprinting for a long duration, even the most advanced riders will have difficulty maintaining proper form.

In other cases, you might see a spin instructor insist on short intervals with 2 beats in the saddle and 2 beats above the saddle for several minutes at a time. An extended session of “jumps” can cause any rider to break good form, thus putting the knees at risk.

Again, if it begins to feel too much for you or a particular session of activity (jumps or sprints or hill climbing) is forcing you out of maintaining correct posture and form, SIT DOWN!

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Then, as you try different classes with different instructors, you will begin to see which instructors are actually the best teachers. Even as they push you and do advanced work, they are still watching their riders to ensure safety and fun.

This brings another point to mind: Only take spin classes where the instructor is situated to watch the riders during the class. He or she will either be riding with the group and facing a mirror, or the spin instructor can position the bike to face the riders. It’s important that the gym provide this aspect in the spin class.

Music Can Be Key

Every spin instructor has a different style and collection of music. If you don’t like the style or can’t stand the music, move on. Because spin is built on the tempo of the songs, when you like what you’re hearing, you’re better able to keep the pace.

When you’re in a spin class with an instructor you enjoy and music that’s more to your liking, you’ll find the hour zips by. (Honest!)

Stick With It!

When you’re a beginner, try not to quit and leave the spin class (though no one will call you names if you do). Just sit down in the saddle, take the tension down, and continue to peddle through the end of the class if you can.

You’ll be prouder of yourself for enduring, and you can push yourself in the next class to stay up and in the class activity another few moments. Give yourself permission to build into this activity and you’ll find that you enjoy it more each time.

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I also spoke with an expert from the Cleveland Clinic about spinning’s health benefits.

 

Don’t forget to bring water to spin class. There’s a holder for it on bike.

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Recommended Links:  

“7 THINGS YOU’RE DOING WRONG IN SPIN CLASS”
https://www.wellandgood.com/good-sweat/7-things-youre-doing-wrong-in-spin-class-and-how-to-fix-them/

 

Johnny G. himself has an instruction video and  Spinning Instructor Certification info at:
http://spinning.com/johnny-g-live/

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Thanks Johnny G. for keeping us sweating and smiling.

 

You can find a variety of Spin Shoes & Shorts on Amazon at:
https://www.amazon.com

 

Now you know why…

 

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And why you should too!

One thing I forgot to mention is you will absolutely loathe your first spinning class. It will be hard. You will ache. You may walk out of a class early. You might exclaim, “Never again!” But, as with anything worthwhile, if you commit to it, the rewards are worth it.

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Your physical and mental endurance will keep getting stronger as you look back on that first day and laugh in disbelief because classes go real fast for you now.

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“Unleash the champion within.” ~Johnny G

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blog contact:  maria.dorfner@yahoo.com

BE SURE TO TUNE IN TO GOOD MORNING AMERICA NEXT WEDNESDAY WHEN THE ARTIST OF MY FAVORITE SPINNING SONG RIGHT NOW WILL PERFORM: . LIVE. Only on 💃

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