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Five Easy, Creative Ways to Consume More Fruits & Veggies

Posted by | Posted in Bariatrics, Expert Tips, Nutrition | Posted on 30-04-2012

Eat your fruits and veggies.

You hear the phrase so much that eventually it becomes stale — much like the broccoli you keep leaving on the plate. But good nutrition doesn’t have to be boring. Spice things up this season by adding color, flavor and texture to your plate.

“Adults need to aim for two cups of fruit and two to three cups of vegetables a day,” says Janelle Cornell, RD, LDN, a dietitian with Taylorville Memorial Hospital. “Now instead of the food pyramid, focus on the plate itself. Fruits and veggies should be half of your plate.”

Mix up your fruits and veggies this season with these five tips from Cornell. Read the rest of this entry »

Beyond ‘No’ — Positive Discipline Methods for Children With ADHD

Posted by | Posted in Expert Tips, Mental Health, Parents, Pediatrics | Posted on 26-04-2012

Discipline can be challenging but is very necessary, especially for parents of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It is important to remember that not all discipline has to be negative.

“It’s important to encourage and educate parents about praising and rewarding desired behaviors, as opposed to focusing on failures with a punitive mindset,” said Brandi Paluska, a licensed professional counselor at The Children’s Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinoi

For example, if a child frequently hits when she is angry, they often hear, “Stop hitting. Keep your hands to yourself.” A more productive way of modifying this type of behavior is to acknowledge when the child manages a situation without using physical violence. Tell the child, “You did a really good job keeping your hands to yourself when Sara took your toy. I know that was hard for you, and I am so proud.” 

Paluska encourages parents to follow that type of statement with non-verbal praise, such as a pat on the back or hug, or by rewarding the child with a small privilege to encourage the child to repeat the same behavior in the future. Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Let a Medical Condition Sideline Your Desires to be Active

Posted by | Posted in Diabetes, Events, Exercise, SportsCare | Posted on 25-04-2012

Exercise can help reduce the risk of certain cancers, lower blood pressure and risk of heart disease, slow down mental decline, boost your emotional well-being and energy level, fight obesity and much more.

So why NOT exercise? Excuses can be plentiful, but even if you have health concerns, you shouldn’t live a sedentary lifestyle.

“Healthy living is still an important goal, even if you have health concerns,” said John Gee, a physical therapist at Memorial SportsCare. “Exercise is an important goal for many medical conditions, from low back pain, sciatica, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, osteoarthritis or following a stroke. With all of these, exercise usually helps with pain management and strengthening that helps lead to continued independence.” Read the rest of this entry »

Bloodless Brain Surgery – How Some Tumors Are Treated Without Incisions

Posted by | Posted in Cancer Care, Memorial Medical Center, Neuroscience | Posted on 24-04-2012

Memorial Medical Center’s Regional Cancer Center has two top-of-the-line Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators to use during a patient’s radiation therapy.

Once treated through surgery, some brain tumors are now treated as an outpatient procedure – and without a single incision – using a linear accelerator.

Stereotactic radiosurgery, also known as bloodless brain surgery, “is a form of radiation therapy that can control and decrease the size of tumors without putting the patient through the risk involved with a standard open operation,” explained Brian Russell, MD, a neurosurgeon with Springfield Clinic during an interview with Bob Murray on radio station WTAX.

Memorial Medical Center’s Regional Cancer Center is one of only a few facilities in the nation to have two top-of-the-line Varian TrueBeam linear accelerators. These state-of-the-art machines shape the beams used for radiation therapy to treat cancer or to prevent additional tumor growth. Read the rest of this entry »

The Gift of Life: Organ Donation Saves Lives

Posted by | Posted in Transplant | Posted on 19-04-2012

Christina Geisler and her mother, Kathy Geisler

At just 20 years old, Christina Geisler needed a kidney transplant.

It started in late 2010 when the Gillespie native noticed her urine was discolored. In January 2011, she was rushed to the hospital and immediately went on dialysis. She was later diagnosed with Goodpasture’s syndrome, a rare disease where your antibodies attack the kidneys and lungs.

“I lost 20 pounds in no time at all,” she said. “At one point, I just ate ice. It was awful.”

Her mother, 59-year-old Kathy Geisler, decided to donate one of her kidneys once the doctors realized Christina’s own kidney function would not return.

“It was a no-brainer,” Kathy said. “I felt blessed I could do this for her.” Read the rest of this entry »

Water Walking: A Different Way to Exercise

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, SportsCare | Posted on 18-04-2012

More people are trying out pool walking as a way to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. Walking in a pool is easier on the joints, explains Grace Sorrentino, RN, cardiac rehab nurse with Memorial Heart and Vascular Services.

Because of the buoyancy of the water, “you’re only supporting 50 percent of your body weight, which is really important for people who have some limitations,” she says, including people with arthritis or fibromyalgia or who are overweight. “If you’re not able to use machines to exercise, you should consider water walking for your exercise,” Sorrentino says. Read the rest of this entry »

Ready for a Run? Don’t Dash Off Before Stretching Properly

Posted by | Posted in Biathlon, Classes, Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 17-04-2012

Whether you’re sporting your first pair of running shoes or have been running for years, a solid warm-up and cool-down are essential before and after your run.

In the video below, Memorial SportsCare certified athletic trainer and licensed physical therapist Amanda Wilson explains proper dynamic (movement) stretches to do before a run and static (holding) stretches to perform as part of your cool down. Read the rest of this entry »

Money Stress? 5 Tips to Control Your Financial Health

Posted by | Posted in Mental Health | Posted on 16-04-2012

There’s no avoiding it. The deadline for filing taxes is here whether you like it or not. And for some, that means increased stress and anxiety.

Maybe you already received a refund and you’re not affected by the April 17 deadline (delayed because April 15 falls on a Sunday, and Emancipation Day, a holiday observed in the District of Columbia, is Monday, April 16).

But for others, the looming deadline can lead to health problems like poor sleep, decreased appetite and lack of motivation. And if left unchecked, your financial funk could turn into a serious medical issue.

“At tax time, we’re bombarded with the amount of money we actually make, the cost of our mortgage, medical costs, childcare costs, and how much that early withdrawal from our retirement fund will be going to Uncle Sam,” said Amber Luhtala, MA, LCSW, with Memorial Counseling Associates. “When the stress is not addressed in a proactive manner, it can negatively affect all aspects of your life.” Read the rest of this entry »

Get Back on Track to a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted by | Posted in Exercise, Expert Tips, SportsCare | Posted on 11-04-2012

Now that spring has sprung, you may be considering getting back into shape after a winter off – or perhaps ramping up your already existing workout regimen. Regardless of what you do and how you start, taking a few steps to live a healthier lifestyle is certainly worth your while, said Daniel Adair, MD, co-medical director and founding physician of Memorial’s SportsCare and an orthopedic surgeon at Springfield Clinic.

“In spring, we all want to get a lot more active,” said Dr. Adair, who strongly encourages people of all ages to pursue a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and exercise.

“Most people who exercise will be happier, they’ll enjoy life better and they’ll find they’re able to do more things they enjoy, whether it’s gardening, biking or just spending time with their grandchildren or with their own children.” Read the rest of this entry »

Sweet Relief: Treat Yourself to the Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Posted by | Posted in Classes, Exercise, Maternity | Posted on 09-04-2012

In 2000, pregnant and experiencing health complications, Ruta Kulys turned to meditation practices to help relieve her stress and better prepare for her child’s birth. It worked so well, she knew she was onto something.

A licensed clinical social worker at Memorial Counseling Associates, Kulys followed up her positive experience with meditation practices by receiving professional training in mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR), which teaches meditation and yoga to help people manage stress. Her knowledge and talent as a yoga instructor led her to partner with Memorial’s Family Maternity Suites to offer prenatal yoga classes.

Prenatal yoga can be an ideal way to stay in good physical condition during your pregnancy and is a great way to take care of yourself and your growing little one. During a time of rapid physical and emotional changes, prenatal yoga provides relief from the common discomforts of pregnancy and time for deep relaxation. Read the rest of this entry »