General Information

How to Safely Get Children Outside During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How to Safely Get Children Outside During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By | General Information
How to Safely Get Children Outside During the COVID-19 Pandemic

We all know how important sunshine and outdoor activities are for our children. The recent emergence of the coronavirus pandemic has caused significant fear for many families causing them to avoid venturing out of the house. has outlined some specific ways parents can encourage outdoor play while keeping children safe.

  • Allowing children to build nature sculptures with twigs, leaves, cones, rocks and other things naturally found outdoors can stimulate their creativity and improve fine motor skills. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen before heading out!
  • If you’re able, biking is a wonderful way to get outdoors with the family. Lubbock has several parks that are bike friendly, just be sure each child has a properly fitted helmet
  • Encourage imaginary play by letting children use old pots and utensils to make their own kitchen outdoors and prepare mud pies and mud cakes.
  • A nature scavenger hunt is a great way to continue learning away from the kitchen table. Consider encouraging children to create a nature journal of trees and/or animals they see along the way. They can even do some research on that gorgeous cardinal they spotted! My youngest son loves to collect acorns on our walks, so we have started carrying a Ziplock bag for him to carry them. They can be left in a container outside for the squirrels.
  • Enjoy some ball time outside. Kick the soccer ball back and forth, play catch with a football, softball, tennis ball, etc. You don’t need a net to play volleyball, draw a chalk-line net on the concrete.
  • If you choose to play on outdoor equipment at a park test the temperature first, it may be very hot if it is in the sun. I recommend carrying Clorox wipes to wipe down equipment before and after play.

Outdoor play is very important for children, teens and adults. It improves physical and mental well-being, increases focus and engagement in learning and is a great mood-booster. Any parent of a toddler will tell you if he’s fussy, take him outside! The same is true for children, teens and adults alike.

Tanya Russell MSN, RN, CPNP is now offering pediatric urgent care at Grace Clinic® Mondays-Thursdays 8 am – Noon. Learn more about Tanya Russell or call 806-744-7223 to book an appointment.

Healthy Weight Week

By | General Information

Healthy Weight Week is going on now! It’s a time to celebrate healthy, diet-free living habits that last a lifetime. These habits are what produce weight loss, weight maintenance and good health. Methods like starvation diets, diet pills and low-calorie diets are often tried as a quick fix to a long-term problem, and usually, don’t work. Healthy weight differs from one person to another depending on several factors such as height, bone density, body type and body composition. We each have different body types and compositions that require a different approach for healthy weight loss. The following are activities and ideas to better your health.

Stop dieting. Diets are not individualized. Every single person has unique energy and nutrient needs, based on a number of factors – height, weight, activity level, hormonal health and stress levels. All of these factors contribute to how much and what you should be eating.

Be active. Physical activity is good for your body and your mind, as well as adding years to your life and life to your years. An active lifestyle has many benefits. Regular physical activity not only improves the quality of your daily life but also increases your lifespan by reducing the risk of chronic illness.

Relax. Take time for yourself to relax and relieve the stress in your life. Stress can lead to health problems that make maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle more difficult.

Eat well. Everything that you eat and drink matters and all five food groups should be incorporated into your daily meals. The right combination of these foods can help you be healthier now and in the future.

By incorporating these ideas and activities into your daily routine you have a better chance of getting healthy and staying healthy. Celebrate Healthy Weight Week by making a promise to yourself that you will make healthy choices that are realistic for your body type in 2018.

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

By | General Information

Alzheimer’s is a devastating disease that more than 5.5 million Americans suffer from. Alzheimer’s disease is one of the biggest concerns many of us have as we get older, especially if you’ve witnessed a loved one affected by the disease. Researchers across the world are racing towards a cure, but unfortunately still do not have one. There are ways that we can prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias through a combination of healthy habits. By identifying and controlling your personal risk factors, you can maximize your chance of lifelong brain health and take steps to preserve your cognitive abilities.

  • Get regular exercise. Regular physical exercise can reduce your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by up to 50 percent. Exercise protects against Alzheimer’s by stimulating the brain’s ability to maintain old connections as well as make new ones.
  • A healthy diet. Alzheimer’s is sometimes described as “diabetes of the brain,” and a growing body of research suggests a strong link between metabolic disorders and the signal processing systems. These healthy eating tips can help reduce inflammation and protect your brain. Cut down on sugar, avoid trans fats, get plenty of omega-3 fats and cook at home often.
  • Get quality sleep. It’s common for people with Alzheimer’s disease to suffer from insomnia and other sleep problems. If nightly sleep deprivation is slowing your thinking and affecting your mood, you may be at a greater risk of developing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The vast majority of adults need at least eight hours of sleep per night.
  • Control blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Both high blood pressure and high total cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Improving those numbers are good for your brain as well as your heart.
  • Drink only in moderation.While there appear to be brain benefits in consuming red wine in moderation, heavy alcohol consumption can dramatically raise the risk of Alzheimer’s and accelerate brain aging.

There is no proven way to prevent Alzheimer’s. But there’s a lot you can do to lower your chance of getting it. By doing these things in your daily life, you increase your chance of having good brain health and preserving your cognitive abilities.

Backpack Safety Awareness Day

Backpack Safety Tips

By | General Information

A group of children holding hands while wearing backpacksWith school back in session the importance of backpack safety comes into consideration. Adults and children need to be aware of the consequences of carrying a backpack incorrectly. There are some basic guidelines to follow when wearing a backpack. Carrying a backpack incorrectly can cause back pain and damage to the spine. The guidelines below will help in preventing damage and pain from occurring.

Find a Backpack with Wide Padded Straps

Using a backpack with thin straps can cause the weight to dig into the shoulders. Chiropractors recommend selecting a bag with wide straps. Wide straps that are padded can help the weight distribute evenly and prevent future issues.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use More Than One Bag

By using more than one bag you can lighten and distribute the load more evenly. By using smaller bags it can help keep each bag light and prevent students from carrying too much in one bag.

Always Wear the Waist Belt

Wearing the waist belt can help distribute some of the load from the back to the pelvis. The bottom of the pack should rest right in the curve of the lower back; it should not be more than two to three inches below your waistline.

Watch the Weight

The weight of the backpack should be 10 to 15 percent of your body weight, but many people carry a lot more than that. When a heavy backpack is incorrectly placed on the shoulders it can lead to many problems such as, back pain, bad posture and spine problems.

If you or anyone you know is experiencing back pain caused by backpacks these four tips can help reduce or alleviate the pain.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits & Veggies: Make Healthy Bodies

By | General Information

Pile of fruits and vegetables with a caption that reads "Fruits & Veggies: Make Healthy Bodies."A diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables can help improve your health in more ways than one. By getting the suggested amount of fruits and vegetables each day, you protect yourself from a wide range of health complications. Every fruit or vegetable provides some type of nutrients that our body needs to stay healthy. Below are some of the benefits that could come to you when you make room for fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Keeps you full longer

By eating fruits and vegetables, we provide ourselves with more nutrition. When you eat foods that have no nutritional value you get hungry faster. By putting fruits and vegetables in your diet it helps sustain your appetite.

Protects your health

Fruits and vegetables help reduce the risk of developing diseases. Eating your fruits and veggies helps prevent heart disease, cancer, stroke, digestive problems as well as many other health issues.

Boosts immune system

By eating fruits and vegetables, we provide ourselves with the nutrients we need to keep our immune system strong and healthy. When your immune system is strong it can fight any battle, but when it is weak it does not fight the battles you need it to. Help keep your immune system strong by feeding your body healthy greens and colorful fruits.

More energy

Nothing gives you lasting energy more than a healthy diet. Fruits and veggies can help improve your diet and give you more energy than you ever imagined possible.

Grace Medical Center® Now Accepts FirstCare

By | General Information

As of March 24, 2017, Grace Medical Center® is officially in network with FirstCare Insurance. This offer excludes FirstCare Select Covenant Employee and Individual Exchange Plan members. There are numerous positives with this announcement, such as the continuity of care for patients at Grace Medical Center®. If you have questions regarding the addition of FirstCare insurance, please contact us.

Sugar Shock

Americans’ Sugar Shock

By | General Information

UntitledCut the sugar – that’s the message from the new federal dietary guidelines. The average American gets 47 percent of their daily added sugar from sugary drinks. The new recommendation is that added sugar should just be 10 percent, or 200 calories, of your daily caloric intake.

Added sugar is much different than naturally occurring sugars, like the ones found in milk or fruit. Nutritionists say added sugar fills your diet with empty calories. Eating too much added sugar can lead to diabetes, heart disease and weight gain.

In addition to added sugar, the new rules say Americans should cut our sodium intake. The Centers for Disease Control reports 90 percent of children and 89 percent of adults eat too much sodium, with an average of 3,400 milligrams per day. The guidelines say we should get only 2,300 milligrams or less.

In previous years, the guidelines recommended people limit their daily cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams. This year’s guidelines don’t set a limit, instead saying people should watch their cholesterol consumption as part of eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Along with recommending eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fish, the new rules also say that “moderate coffee consumption” can be part of a healthy diet.

The Agriculture Department and Health and Human Services Department issue the guidelines every five years. They are used to set the standards for federal food programs, like school lunches and food stamps.

You can talk with your doctor if you need help or have questions about eating healthy and your daily diet.

Hold The Salt

By | General Information

The new federal dietary guidelines are out, and they don’t just target added sugar in our diets. The guidelines also set sight on how much sodium Americans consume.

The recommendation is 2,300 milligrams, or a teaspoon of salt, but according to the Centers for Disease Control, adults and children alike get an average of over 3,400 milligrams every day. That’s putting us at risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke.

It’s not the salt that we sprinkle on our food that’s putting us at risk, but what food companies are using to boost the flavor or help lengthen shelf life. There are 10 types of food that you should eat in moderation. The CDC reports more than 40 percent of the sodium in our diets comes from the following items:

  • Breads and rolls
  • Cold cuts and cured meats (pre-packaged or deli meat)
  • Pizza
  • Fresh and processed poultry
  • Soups
  • Sandwiches such as cheeseburgers
  • Cheese
  • Pasta dishes (not including macaroni and cheese)
  • Meat-mixed dishes (including meatloaf etc.)
  • Snacks such as chips, pretzels, and popcorn

In addition, the CDC warns restaurant dishes may also be loaded with sodium. Before you go out, check the nutritional information on the restaurant’s website. You can also ask your server about a dish’s sodium. In addition, you can ask that the kitchen staff not to salt your order; as well as asking for your salad dressing on the side.

You can also cut the sodium while at the grocery store. The first step is simple: read the product’s label. Here are a few other suggestions from the CDC:

  • Look for “low sodium,” “lower sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added” on canned and frozen products
  • Opt for fresh vegetables and poultry, fish, pork or lean meat
  • Avoid sauces, mixes, and “instant” products, including flavored rice and ready-made pasta

Researchers estimate if we all cut 1,200 milligrams out of our daily diets, as many as 99,000 heart attacks and 66,000 strokes could be prevented in the United States every year.