Sometimes your concierge medicine doctors at MD 2.0 in Jupiter, Florida, feel we’re constantly raining on your parade, telling you to do things you don’t particularly want to do and to give up things you enjoy.
Ninety-one percent of Americans have a cell phone. So when experts talk about cell phone addiction, many people think they may as well be talking about a car addiction, or a refrigerator addiction, or a washing machine addiction. After all, it’s just another appliance that makes our lives easier, right?
In recent years, researchers and the athletes themselves have revealed that the constant hits suffered by professional football players result in a neurodegenerative disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Further research has shown that CTE has also been detected in other athletes and military veterans who have been exposed to concussive blasts during deployment.
Given the ubiquitous use of cellphones, it’s not surprising that your concierge primary care doctors in Jupiter, at MD 2.0, should hear frequent questions about the dangers associated with them. These questions naturally increase following such news reports as this week’s warning by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) regarding cellphone safety.
All light suppresses the secretion of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your body clock. During the day, this is a desirable effect, because it keeps you awake. At night, you need melatonin to help you drift off to sleep.
The people in Houston and surrounding areas had very little warning of the magnitude of the catastrophe that was about to hit. Hurricane Harvey blew up from a tropical depression to a Category 4 storm in a nearly unprecedented 48 hours. Although forecasters had been warning for days that Harvey would stall, the models predicting 50 inches of rain in the area were considered outliers—that is, a worst-worst-worst case scenario. Unfortunately, that scenario came true with a vengeance.
Jupiter, Florida, has some of the most alluring beaches in the world, so it’s no wonder that visitors as well as locals like to spend so much time there. Lurking beneath all that beauty and fun are some hidden hazards that could ruin your day in the sun, or even end up killing you. Your primary doctors in Jupiter at MD 2.0 often end up treating patients for injuries that could be avoided. Here are 10 hazards to watch out for when you head to the beach.
So Earth is now a verb? It is if you believe the latest research on the positive health effects of slipping off your shoes and walking barefoot on the ground.
Something we all did as kids—and probably haven’t done much since—has been said to: reduce blood sugar levels by 31%; increase levels of immune-boosting globulins; increase concentrations of the thyroid hormone thyroxin; combat insomnia; speed wound healing and reduce pain.
Other claims for “Earthing” include higher energy levels and a better response to stress. Advocates contend that the exposure to the free electrons available when your feet touch the ground reduces inflammation in the body and thus impacts such varied ailments as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and thyroid disorders, among others.
Not bad for something that’s free and as simple as cloud-watching.
The term “Earthing” was coined by Clinton Ober who, with Dr. Stephen T. Sinatra, led the research into the effects of barefoot contact with the earth. It is based on the principle that our bodies’ electrical rhythms connect with the earth’s electrical field when we are in direct contact with the ground. It doesn’t work if you’re wearing shoes, because the soles interrupt the electrical connection.
Scientists have known for decades that the surface of the Earth releases a supply of free and mobile electrons in unlimited quantities. What they’ve discovered in the last few years is that, when your skin comes into contact with the ground, millions of these negatively charged particles are released into your body, according to Sinatra.
While some critics (such as Dr. Andrew Weil) advocate more research to confirm the many claims for the benefits of Earthing, most say it can’t hurt to try it. Which is all its proponents are suggesting.
What does this mean for you? It means that, for the price of slipping off your shoes and standing on the earth, you may be able to improve your well-being in ways you wouldn’t think of.
Here are the basics of Earthing:
- Water is a conductor, so if possible try to walk on wet grass or sand. Salt water conducts better than rain, dew or pool water, so if you can walk on the beach, so much the better.
- The sole of the foot has more nerve endings, inch for inch, than any other part of the body, so while it will be beneficial to place any part of the body on the ground, contacting the earth with the soles of the feet will give the most satisfactory results.
- If you’re worried about stepping on bees, fire ants or other hidden hazards while walking, get a lawn chair and sit in a single spot and read a book or listen to music. The important thing is to make bare-skin contact with the earth.
- Try to “Earth” at least 40 minutes a day, if possible, but any amount of time should produce noticeable results. The more you do it, the faster you’ll see the effects.
Living in South Florida, it’s always nice to take advantage of the sunshine and beautiful scenery. There’s nothing better than a cool breeze during an intense workout, like a run on the beach by the ocean. But are you exercising responsibly under the hot sun? Here are just a few tips for working up a sweat in the blazing heat.
1. Wear Sunscreen
It isn’t just for an afternoon at the beach. If you plan on spending any substantial length of time outdoors, put on sunscreen before you do. Make sure you choose a brand that provides UVA and UVB protection. Even if it’s cloudy outside, lather it on!
2. Choose Your Socks Carefully
Most exercise requires your feet, so if your sweaty socks are giving you infections, irritations or injuries, you might wind up sidelined while your feet heal. To avoid this fate, buy socks in light, breathable fabrics.
3. Eat Complex Carbs
Complex carbs work on a slow-release system. If you eat them the night before you work out in the sun, you’ll start converting them into energy the next day while you’re actually outdoors. It’s never okay to skip a meal, especially when you’ll be burning calories!
4. Take Your Vitamins
Vitamins C and E will help protect you from the effects of the sun. They can also take some of the sting out of your sunburn if you weren’t quite quick enough to grab them from your medicine cabinet. It’s good to stock up on aloe vera or an aloe vera gel just in case you get a little burn. Aloe is very soothing!
5. Watch Your Colors
You might already know that black clothing absorbs sunlight, but were you aware that any colored fabric can be a beacon for the sun? To avoid the worst of its heat, wear white. And keep it loose and light – or opt for clothing items that have SPF in the fabric!
6. Protect Your Scalp
Skin cancer can develop anywhere, including the small exposed sections of your scalp. For the best protection, wear a hat outdoors; if your sport or exercise routine won’t allow it, consider wearing your hair another way.
7. Take a Day Off
Heat stress can build up over time. If you exercised in blazing weather yesterday, you’re more at risk of heat stroke and heat exhaustion than someone who didn’t. Remember to take breaks and allow your body to fully recover from the heat.
8. Mind Your Allergies
Stuffy noses and watery eyes aren’t conducive to a good workout. If you have a problem with pollen, start taking antihistamines before you hit the park. Give them time to work through your system before you expose yourself to allergens.
9. Stay Hydrated
We can’t stress this one enough! Last but certainly not least, always have a supply of fresh water when you exercise outdoors. Not only will it keep you from overheating in the sun, but it will also keep you performing at your strongest, fastest and most limber. Drink water before, during AND after your workout!
These are just a few tips for exercising outdoors. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to exercise on the green grass or sandy beach under a cloudless sky, but make sure you take precautions so you won’t regret your decision tomorrow!
Limit your time outside:
Allergies are often triggered when one breathes pollen from the air into their lungs. That is why one of the best things you can do to beat spring allergies is to limit your time outside. Keep in mind that pollen counts are typically highest during the early morning hours so maybe wait until the afternoon to venture out.
There are a variety of medications that can be used to manage allergy symptoms. Talk to your medical professional about the medications that are right for you to use. Antihistamines are examples of medications that can be used to reduce allergy symptoms. They work by blocking the body’s responses to allergens. They can work very quickly. In fact, some antihistamines can work in less than an hour.
Allergy shots are often recommended by health care professionals. Every shot contains a small amount of the allergen. Exposure to the allergen helps your body build up a resistance to it. Most people need to get an allergy shot every month. Allergy shots typically have to be used for three to five years.
Take a hot shower:
Taking a hot shower can help reduce allergy symptoms. The steam will help clear out your sinuses. It is best to take a hot shower after you have been outside.
Eat a healthy diet:
A healthy diet can help you fight allergy symptoms – it’s great for your overall health! In fact, studies have shown that people who fill their diets with fruits and vegetables are less likely to experience allergy symptoms. Researchers do not know the exact link between diet and allergies. However, they do know that a healthy diet helps boost your immune system.
Increase your fluid intake:
Fluids can help thin out your mucus. That is why increasing your fluid intake can be beneficial. Not only should you drink water, but you should also consider drinking hot fluids, such as broths and teas. Amp up your fluid intake and your body will thank you!