Friday, August 25, 2017

Wellness Tips for Great Health

Many people want to get healthy, but then they engage in behaviors that are diametrically opposed to the realization of that goal. If you realize that getting healthy takes work and are ready to put in the required effort, here are some tips for you. Utilize some or all of the information found here to make great health yours:
  1. Stop Watching Television And Become More Active.
    Research studies have indicated that people who watch more than three hours of TV may be compromising their brain health. As indicated in a LiveScience article, one study found that individuals who watched a lot of television performed more poorly on cognitive tests than those who didn't. Thus to promote not only your physical health but also your brain health, put that remote control down and become more physically active. You'll reap a wide range of brain benefits when you engage in exercise, some of which include improved memory and enhanced cognitive function.
    Some of the other great benefits of exercise include:
      • increased pulmonary ventilation
      • increased cardiac output 
      • increased respiratory capacity
      • improved body composition
      • increased aerobic capacity
    Note that the ideal exercise routine will include stretching, cardiovascular activity, and weight-bearing exercise. Also keep in mind that if you don't like lifting weights, you can do resistance exercises using your own body weight. If you haven't exercised in a long time, it is a good idea to speak with a physician like one of the professionals at Cypress Family Medicine before you begin.
  2. Get Off The Standard American Diet (SAD) Right Now. junk food
    If you eat like most Americans, know that your food habits are not conducive to optimal health. In fact, the SAD is chock full of harmful processed goods and sodium-rich items that can take a toll on your heart and weight. To really eat in a manner that is conducive to wellness, be sure to incorporate more leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale into your diet. Also consume a wide range of delicious fruits such as apples, bananas, pears, cherries, and peaches. Finally, make a point to educate yourself about nutrition. For example, note that vitamins perform specific physiological functions that enhance your level of well-being. Vitamin E is responsible for protecting blood cells and fatty acids from destruction within your body. You can obtain vitamin E through foods such as nuts and green leafy vegetables.

So, basically - get off your butt, get moving, and stop eating all that junk food!

Turning the television off, exercising regularly, and abandoning the traditional American diet are three keys to attaining optimal health. Make these lifestyle changes immediately so you can begin to thrive inside! I promise it will all be worth it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Best Storage Option

2012_212X_11I thought it was awesome when my Dad bought a boat. What I didn’t realize was that he would have nowhere to park it.  So it sat and sat until it killed some grass.  The thing also got covered with leaves in the fall.  Then he decided that it needed a place to live permanently.  So we did some research into how he could store it.

Self Storage
The first idea we investigated was a self-storage unit, but those are really expensive.  Plus you don’t have ready access to your boat. Say it's a nice day, and Dad wants to go out on the lake and take my kids with him. That’s a win-win for me, but first he has to go and pick the boat up at the storage place, and by then the kids are cranky and tired of waiting.  Paying a monthly fee for someone to keep your boat locked up just doesn’t make sense.

New Garage
Then we looked into building onto his house.  This was his idea not mine. I already knew I couldn’t afford it, and I doubted that he could. Sure enough, the quotes he got for building a new garage were over $20,000.  He could buy another boat for that! What’s more, there would be a lot of turmoil during the process. A foundation would have to be dug. Heavy equipment would run all over the yard.  I saw that happen with a renovation a few years ago at a neighbor’s house. In the end, they spent another $1,000 just to reseed and replant their yard.   

Free-standing Carport
So then we looked into getting a free-standing carport.  I was surprised that a metal carport was such an affordable option.  It wouldn’t disturb the yard or require much in the way of installation.  Sure enough, Dad went for it.  The new carport was installed quickly. Mom was happy because it was a no-mess, no-fuss solution. Dad was very happy because it cost a tiny fraction of what a garage would have cost, and it protects his boat. This seems like a good option for cars and campers, too. You protect your investment from the worst of the weather, but you don't spend a fortune doing it.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post. My dad did not buy a boat, though it would be cool if he did. He did build a carport, though.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Because I Have So Much Free Time

When I first started blogging, I used Photobucket to host a lot of my images. Thinking about it now, I'm not sure why. I've used Blogger for ages, and I can just use Google for all the images I need for my blog. They even make it super easy to add photos from my phone - which happen to be pretty much the only pictures I seem to take these days. (see example 'eclipse' photo on the right)

And now, after all this time, Photobucket has decided to change things (read: they want money) so that I can no longer use my Photobucket images on my blog - not only all images going forward, which would be OK since I haven't actually used them to host any blog images in ages (did I mention how easy it is to use Google?) - but every single image that I have ever used. So, everywhere that I have an image I hosted on Photobucket (and included in my post with code provided by Photobucket), I now have this super ugly graphic telling me that I need to upgrade my account. Oh Yay.

So now I have to go back through every post looking for those ugly graphics, figure out what image was supposed to be there, and then get them downloaded from there and re-uploaded (to Blogger and Google), and then fix the code so that the images display properly. Because, of course, I have nothing else to do with my life...

Thanks, Photobucket. I love you too. (jerks)

And, yes, if I wasn't such a perfectionist, I'd just let it go. They're all old posts anyway. Except for those things in the sidebar - what were those, anyway? And the background on my recipe blog. That is the final straw! (or was - got that one fixed at least)


Monday, August 21, 2017

Independent Health Insurance Options

doctorsMany small businesses and families need independent health insurance. In Florida, the Office of Insurance Regulation reviews health insurance plans that offer wellness and preventive care benefits. Insurers must provide access to health care and medical services when the insured needs them.

Independent health insurance Florida plans offer a few different options. Most insurers offer the same kinds of health services, but plans differ in cost sharing and the manner in which services are provided to beneficiaries. The following type of independent health insurance plans are offered in Florida:

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Options

A private Florida PPO allows the insured to receive health care and medical services for any provider or doctor. Costs to the insured are less when he or she uses the PPO’s in-network providers. All PPO plans in Florida require the beneficiary to pay a deductible. It’s necessary for the insured to meet the deductible threshold before the PPO plan begins to pay a portion of healthcare costs.

If you’re scheduling a surgical procedure, take the following steps to ensure your medical costs are covered by the PPO plan:
  • Check the PPO provider directory. Confirm that the surgeon, surgical center or hospital, or other healthcare providers are participating in the PPO network.
  • Call the healthcare provider’s office to confirm that he or she is in the PPO network.
  • Realize that you must pay more for healthcare providers who don’t participate in the PPO network.
  • Note that some plans, such as Florida Blue, allow the insured to receive services from any healthcare provider or physician, but out-of-network costs may be significant.
  • Check “pre-determination of benefits.” Ask the provider to estimate the costs of the procedure. Alternatively, use the private health insurance plan’s cost estimator tools.
Before receiving any care from the provider, surgical center, or hospital, the insured must show his or her plan member identification card. This information can help the provider to determine the insured’s costs of care.

Standard and high-deductible PPO plans are available in the state of Florida. To offset the out-of-pocket costs of care, it’s possible for the insured to use funds in a Health Care FSA or a Limited Purpose FSA for vision and dental costs.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Options

HMO plans can help the insured to save money on private health insurance plans in Florida. Unless the insured goes out of network, he or she typically has no deductible to meet for the plan year in a standard HMO plan. The insured may need to make copayments for provider visits or make higher contributions for coverage. A Health Care FSA can help members to offset the costs of healthcare in Florida.

A high-deductible HMO costs less in premiums to the insured but includes a higher deductible, such as an in-network per person or per family deductible for the plan year.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

No Totality Here

One of my Facebook friends just posted this neat site that lets you put in your zip code to see a simulation of next Monday's solar eclipse in your area.

Here's what the peak coverage should look like at my house:

We won't be in the area of complete totality, but it will still be interesting to check it out. Of course, I haven't picked up any of those eclipse glasses or even figured out the best way to 'watch' it. I'm thinking I'll definitely be checking out the shadows on the driveway through the leaves on my tree, but other than that, I don't know.

ABC News is planning to do a live special Monday afternoon, and NASA will be streaming it live with views from NASA research aircraft, high-altitude balloons, satellites and specially-modified telescopes. They'll also include live reports from Charleston, as well as from Salem, Oregon; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Beatrice, Nebraska; Jefferson City, Missouri; Carbondale, Illinois; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Clarksville, Tennessee.

What are your plans for viewing the eclipse?

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Health Care Made More Convenient

Doctor Looking for a physician for your health care needs can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.  However, many Houston family physicians have chosen to provide healthcare options all in one online place through Spring Medical Associates.  Many people call them their go-to website and love the convenience of having several types of doctors all in one place.  They provide a variety of convenient healthcare services via online appointments, specialists are also available as well as onsite x-rays and labs.

Healthcare in One Place - Searching for a general physician or even a healthcare specialist all over the internet can be a challenge.  To make healthcare a lot more convenient and easier to handle, many healthcare developers are combining services in one central online location to meet the demand of their patients. Spring Medical Associates is one of these places that have gotten onto this new type of healthcare bandwagon.  On websites such as this one, patients can easily search for the doctors by name, gender, specialty, and even language.  Sites such as this one allow the patient to search by languages, such as Chinese, Hindi, Telugu, and French.
Specialists Available - Specialists doctors may be another challenge for some patients to find. However, websites such as Spring Medical Associates helps patients find specific specialists all in one online site.  The website provides walk-in appointments, online appointments, and same-day appointments for specialists, such as ear-nose-and-throat specialists, interventional pain specialists, and breast specialists.  Patients can also find specialists that work in primary care or family medicine, urology, and even general surgeons.

Onsite Technology - Another challenge in healthcare is finding doctors’ offices that have onsite x-ray technology and labs.  Spring Medical Associates is one of the places where patients can make a doctor’s appointment and know that laboratories and x-rays are on site.  This can save the patient time, gas money, and energy when they are especially sick.

Getting check-ups, routine care, and maintaining health care are so much more convenient when medical associations provide a network of healthcare providers all in one online location.  

It Takes a Bit Longer

Our grandson Jason is visiting this week. He's 6 and about to go into the first grade. I'm not sure who told him he could grow up so fast, but he's certainly doing it.

Ready to go, sporting his new Spiderman
water squirter (from the cereal box)
I usually get up every morning after Jeffrey leaves for work and go walk 2 or 3 miles. With a 6-year-old here, I can't exactly do that, so I made him promise to go walking with me. Of course, that means I have to wait until he gets up in the mornings, so we're not leaving until quite a bit later than normal. (I should probably start getting him up earlier so he can start getting ready for his really early mornings once school starts, but he does have all month...) And then it takes quite a bit longer than usual to walk those 2 miles. His little legs are a bit shorter than mine, and he's always stopping to pick things up or look at flowers or trees or bugs. It's a boy thing, I guess.

Getting hot

Yesterday we walked a mile - and then we went to the playground and played for a bit afterward. Jason wants to be an American Ninja Warrior when he grows up, and those playgrounds offer all kinds of 'obstacles' for training.

On the home stretch

Then today Jason was determined to walk 2 miles, and a Ninja Warrior should be able to walk 2 miles, so I took him on my regular route. He made it! Never mind that it took an hour to do it...

And we made it!