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    • Fitness
    • Prevention and Wellness

    5 Tips to Protect Your Knees from Pain and Injury

    Knee pain and injury can restrict movement and make it difficult to be active, but studies show that the right type of exercise can help prevent these issues. It’s no wonder our knees are highly prone to injury. They house a complex network of muscles, ligaments and joints, and are crucial to our agility and daily movements. If you are experiencing knee pain, it’s important to not ignore this message from your body. While it’s fairly common to have occasional aches, if the pain limits your ability to perform normal daily activities like climbing stairs or walking with ease, have a medical professional check it out. “The take-home message here is to listen to your body,” says Amanda Henriques, PT, DPT at Renown Physical Therapy. “We are all built differently and respond to exercise in different and unique ways. Running may feel great for one person, but always lead to injury for another.” At any age, it's important to protect and strengthen your knees to help prevent pain and injury. Here are five tips from our experts: 1. Strengthen your muscles Choose exercises that focuses on the muscles around your kneecaps, hips and pelvis and places extra emphasis on your core. These muscles will absorb some of the stress places on your knees, helping them stay balanced and stable. 2. Maintain a healthy weight Each pound of body weight produces five pounds of force on the knee. If you need to shed weight, start with low-impact activities to avoid increased stress to your joints. 3. Pick the right exercise Opt for exercise that put less stress on your knees, such as cycling, walking or swimming. Choose flat surfaces when walking for exercise and avoid activities that put extra stress on your knees, such as deep knee bends or downhill running. 4. Warm up before working out Don’t overdo the workouts in length or intensity, and stretch after exercise to help prevent injury. 5. Avoid high heels Wear shoes with good arch support specific to your choice of exercise that provide a stable base for your feet and legs. Replace running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. Other athletic shoes should be replaced after 500 miles of wear. These tips can help keep your knees strong and prevent injury. But if you experience an accident or trauma, seek medical attention and follow up with any rehabilitation recommendations you receive. Depending on the injury, your doctor may recommend physical therapy, where you will be guided through individualized exercises to strengthen and heal. “If you listen to your body and take the appropriate preventative measures, you can find the right type of exercise to keep you happy, healthy and fit for life,”

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    • Prevention and Wellness

    Use This, Not That: 8 Healthy Cooking Swaps

    If you’re looking for an easy way to add a nutritious kick to your favorite brownie, pizza or cream sauce recipe, check out these healthy ingredient substitutions. There’s no doubt about it: People love decadent, creamy and starchy dishes. If you’re prone to avoiding your favorite guilty pleasure because it’s not a healthy choice, there are a few easy, healthy and delicious substitutions you can add to your cooking or baking routine to satisfy your cravings. Here are eight of our favorite healthy substitutions you might have in your kitchen right now: Baking Swaps Avocados for Butter While this might not sound like an appetizing addition, avocado's creamy texture is similar to butter and can easily be added to brownie and cookie recipes. Avocados are high in healthy fats that help to lower cholesterol and are lower in saturated fats. They also can add vitamin E, fiber and potassium to your baked goods. Swap Amount: Substitute 1 cup blended avocado per 1 cup butter. Bananas for Oil Bananas are a tasty option to replace the use of oil in baking recipes. While oil is higher in fat and calories, bananas can provide potassium, fiber, vitamin B6 and all-natural sweetness to your recipe. Do take into account that bananas are higher in sugar and carbohydrates. Swap Amount: Substitute 1 cup of mashed bananas per 1 cup of oil. Beans for Flour You might not typically think of beans as a substitution, but they can add a lot of nutritional benefits to your treats. High in protein, fiber, folate, magnesium and phosphorous, beans are a great substitution for traditional flour in recipes and create a moist and dense texture to your baked goods. Swap Amount: Substitute 1 cup of blended beans (about a 15 ounce can) per 1 cup of traditional flour. Or, Wheat Flour for White Flour If the bean substitution doesn’t appeal to you, try substituting at least half or all of your unbleached white flour for whole wheat flour. Keep in mind for every cup of whole wheat flour you use, add another 1/4 cup of water to your recipe. This will add more fiber, protein, B vitamins, and several minerals for your baking recipe and scrumptious treats. Chia Seeds or Flax Seeds for Eggs This is a great substitution if you're allergic to eggs or have a vegan diet, but still want to enjoy desserts and breads. Chia and flax seeds are high in omega-3 fatty acids and calcium along with fiber, vitamins and minerals to help promote healthy digestion. This substitution will not provide as much protein as an egg would; however, there is less cholesterol and saturated fat. Swap Amount: Combine 1 tablespoon of ground chia or flax seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons of water, stir and let sit for 15 minutes. Equals one whole egg equivalent. Cooking Swaps Nonfat Greek Yogurt for Mayonnaise Making this switch is an easy replacement for sauces and dressings. Nonfat Greek yogurt is significantly lower in fat and calories and higher in protein. With the added protein, you will feel fuller longer throughout the day. Swap Amount: Substitute equal parts nonfat Greek yogurt for mayonnaise. Try mixing it into a cheese sauce or add lemon juice and spices for a creamy salad dressing. Lemon Juice or Vinegar for Salt If you are worried that your food will be bland, try this swap to lower added salt and still enjoy flavor while creating a fresh, tangy twist to the meal. There are a lot of varieties -- red wine, apple cider and balsamic -- each enhancing your dish with a different flavor. Swap Amount: Experiment by using half the amount of vinegar or lemon juice per the amount of salt your recipe calls for. Cauliflower for Pizza Crust Try a new twist on pizza by switching out its carbohydrate dense crust with fresh cauliflower. This substitution is lower in calories, fat, and simple carbohydrates while increasing your vitamin C and vegetable intake for the day. Swap Amount: Add one egg per every head of cauliflower and season with spices to taste, for a medium sized pizza. Or, Mashed Potatoes Preparing a homemade cauliflower pizza crust can be time consuming, so an easier exchange might be to substitute mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes, which are higher in starches, calories and carbohydrates. Swap Amount:  Boil and puree a medium size head of cauliflower. Add a splash of low fat milk and season to taste. Zucchini or Squash for Spaghetti Another great way to add vegetables to your meals is to exchange ribbons of zucchini or spaghetti squash for spaghetti noodles. This substitution helps to reduce calories and carbohydrates and zucchini is rich in vitamin A. Experiment with different sauces and spices to create a variety of dishes. Swap Amount:  For zucchini ribbons, try using a mandolin or a peeler. When preparing spaghetti squash, cut it in half and lay face down in an oven safe pan. Add 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan for more tender spaghetti strings (optional). Cook for 30 to 45 minutes until tender. Lie the squash face up, letting it slightly cool, and then use a fork to gently pull the squash from the peel, separating into strands. Remember: Some of these substitutions will affect the taste and texture of your recipes, so it is essential to play with the ratios to find the perfect fit for you. Consume a variety of foods, eat treats in moderation, and incorporate frequent physical activity to keep a well balanced, healthy lifestyle.

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    • Prevention and Wellness

    Do You Have Prediabetes? Three Things to Know

    Most people don’t even realize their blood sugar is higher than normal on a daily basis. This condition means they are on the borderline of having Type 2 diabetes. Learn more about what it means to have prediabetes. Also learn risk factors for Type 2 diabetes and how it can be prevented. ‘Prediabetic’ is a term you may have heard before, but few understand what it means. Fewer still understand how to prevent the subsequent diagnosis of “diabetic.” Here are three things you need to know. 3 Facts About Prediabetes One out of three U.S. adults has prediabetes, yet don’t know it. Prediabetes means your blood sugar (glucose) level is higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed with diabetes. When you have prediabetes, your body still produces insulin, but the insulin is not as efficient at removing the sugar in your blood. So your overall blood sugar remains high — causing insulin resistance. People with prediabetes are at high risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. If you become diabetic, there are further complications to your kidneys, feet, eyes and skin. Risk for diabetes increases with age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), among adults ages 18-44, only 4 percent have diabetes. For ages 45-64, 17 percent have diabetes, and among those ages 65 years and older, 25 percent have diabetes. If prediabetes goes untreated, it often leads to Type 2 diabetes within five years. Current estimates indicate 1 in 3 Americans has prediabetes. Being overweight is risk factor for diabetes. Other risk factors include having high blood pressure, having high cholesterol, being inactive and giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds. You can prevent Type 2 diabetes with healthy changes to your daily nutrition and activity levels. Have Prediabetes? Here’s Help To reduce the impact of prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes, the CDC established the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP), which provides the framework for Type 2 diabetes prevention efforts in the U.S. “The Diabetes Prevention Program is a program for people with prediabetes and is based upon a large study done by the CDC that showed that lifestyle changes are more effective in preventing the development of prediabetes to diabetes than medication alone,” says Stephen Compston, RD, LD, CDE, Renown Health Outpatient Dietary Educator. “This is a program where participants will learn lifestyle changes to improve their health and decrease their risk of developing diabetes in the future. The goal is for participants to lose 5-7 percent of their weight in the first six months, which was shown to decrease the risk of developing diabetes by 58 percent in the future.” Renown Health is offering this CDC-approved, 12-month program. Our lifestyle coaches will help you develop healthy eating habits, increase your physical activity and keep you motivated to make healthy lifestyle changes. Participating in the program will help you: Learn the skills needed to lose weight, be more active and manage stress Connect with a lifestyle coach for guidance and encouragement Gain support from other members sharing your goals

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    • Weight Management
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Do You Resolve to Lose Weight and Live Healthier? Here's How.

    Weight loss and healthier living tend to top most people’s lists of New Year’s Resolutions. So if you’re like the vast majority, here’s help — a comprehensive look at all of Renown Health’s programs that will help you lose weight and tackle metabolic challenges. Quick quiz: How many of the following apply to you? You have a need to lose weight, but you haven’t been guided on how to make sustainable change; You’re experienced a recent rapid weight gain, but lab tests didn’t reflect a change in your health; You’ve experienced a life-changing event that caused weight gain; You have problems with where you are carrying your weight, such as your mid-section; You’ve tried other weight loss programs, but they didn’t work. If you found yourself nodding in agreement to any one of the above statements, Renown’s programs can help. They cover the spectrum of helping with weight or metabolism challenges. But the million dollar question is: Where do you start? How to Lose Weight and Live Healthier Ideally, it’s best to start by talking with your primary care provider. Your provider knows your medical history and concerns related to your health. Talk to your provider about your past history with weight loss and gain. Your primary care provider will assist with the referral process and provide you with options you might not considered on your own. Most importantly, by starting with your primary care provider, you can take full advantage of all your health benefits. Renown offers four weight loss/management programs: Medical Nutrition Therapy Meet one-on-one with a Registered Dietitian at Renown’s Health Improvement Program to discuss your health goals. You may qualify for this program if you have: Heart or kidney disease Gastrointestinal issues Weight gain or weight loss Food allergies or sensitivities High blood pressure or high cholesterol A thyroid condition Diabetes – classes available, including: Type 2 Diabetes, insulin and gestational diabetes management during pregnancy (Offered in English & also in Spanish). For more information, call 775-982-5073. Medical Weight Management This program includes a one-on-one appointment with a board-certified bariatric doctor. You will receive a comprehensive evaluation and customized treatment plan to meet your needs and medically manage your overweight or metabolic challenges. Treatment options in this program may include nutrition changes, meal replacements, medication, exercises and also behavioral therapy. Here are a few qualifications for the program: A BMI of 25 or higher and health risk such as Type 2 diabetes, obstructive sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease, stroke, gout, osteoarthritis, infertility or polycystic ovarian syndrome A BMI of 30 and higher A metabolic problem such as diabetes, fatty liver and is not responding to regular medical care. Those with a metabolic problem may be considered normal weight, however may need to lose fat mass or reduce their waist size to get healthier. An increased risk of heart disease, stroke or Type 2 diabetes, regardless of weight that is not responding to regular medical care. For more information, call 775-982-5073. Bariatric Weight Loss Surgery We understand that the desire to have bariatric surgery is a choice you are making for your long-term health. Our team provides education on the necessary steps before, during and after surgery to ensure you are successful in controlling your obesity. You may qualify for this program if you have: A BMI of 40 or more, or: A BMI of 35 to 39.9 with significant health problems such as hypertension, high cholesterol, sleep apnea, diabetes or diagnosed arthritis To learn more, visit our Bariatric Surgery. You may also attend one of our monthly Weight Loss Surgery Seminars to learn if you are a candidate. Dietary Consultation at Renown Medical Group Many people aren’t aware that you can schedule short, frequent visits with a registered dietitian at Renown Medical Group locations in Reno or Sparks. Telehealth is also available at the Renown Medical Group – Fernley. Qualifications include: A BMI of 30 or greater You have a primary care provider with Renown Medical Group Medicare or Senior Care Plus member Since this program is only offered through Renown Medical Group, you must be an established patient. To establish with a primary care provider, call 775-982-5000. Talk to your primary care provider to see if you qualify for one of Renown’s weight management programs. Going through the referral process is the best way to ensure you are taking full advantage of your health benefits.

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    • Vaccinations
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Cold and Flu 101: What You Need to Know

    Due to the stubborn nature of this year’s flu season, Hometown Health and Renown Health are adding additional flu shot events. Learn more about being protected and how to weather this year’s cold and flu season. Typical for this time of year, Renown is currently seeing a rise in patients with flu-like symptoms and other winter illnesses. To help protect the community, flu shots will be offered at the dates and times listed below: Friday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Feb. 28, 5-7 p.m. Both flu shot events will be held at in the Hometown Health building located at 10315 Professional Circle, Reno NV 89521. These are walk-in flu shot events — no appointment required. No out-of-pocket costs for Medicare beneficiaries (Part B), Senior Care Plus members and Hometown Health fully insured HMO and PPO plans. Please bring your insurance card and current ID. Without a qualifying plan, the individual cost is $35. If you have questions regarding these flu shot events, please contact Hometown Health Wellness Services at 775-982-5433. And to help you weather the intense cold and flu season this year, we asked Kathleen Burns, an advance practice registered nurse at Renown Health, about flu prevention and how to know the difference between the flu virus and the common cold. How do you prevent the seasonal flu? The annual flu vaccine is truly the best form of protection to help prevent the spread of the flu. Even if you do get the flu after being vaccinated, your symptoms will be lessened. Flu vaccines are still available in the community, including health providers at Renown Medical Group. Call 775-982-5000 to make an appointment. Although they are not substitutes for the flu vaccine, simple preventative actions can do a lot to help slow the spread of the virus, including: Covering your mouth when coughing and staying away from people who are coughing. Washing your hands often. If you have the flu, stay home. If you have the flu and need to go out, including a visit to the doctor’s office, wear a protective mask. Other precautionary measures include cleaning shared spaces and avoiding shared utensils and drinks. Who should get the flu shot? Almost everyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza. Different flu shots are approved for people of different ages, but there are flu shots that are approved for use in people as young as 6 months of age and up. Flu shots are approved for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions. Bottom line: Your best chance of avoiding the flu this season is to get your flu vaccine. How do you know if it’s the flu or a cold? The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms and it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two. Your healthcare provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu. In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, fatigue and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms include: A 100 degree or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever) A cough and/or sore throat A runny or stuffy nose Headaches and/or body aches Chills Fatigue Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children) Does washing your hands really help prevent sickness like cold and flu? Yes. Again, the single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent illnesses like the cold and flu. The proper way to wash your hands is to wet them with clean, running water (warm or cold) and apply soap. Lather your hands by rubbing them together. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. If you need a timer, hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice. Rinse your hands well and dry them using a clean towel or air dry them. If soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol to clean hands. Other good health habits include covering your cough; avoiding close contact with people who are sick; staying home when you are sick; and practicing a healthy lifestyle by getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, drinking plenty of fluids and eating nutritious food.

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    • Prevention and Wellness
    • Heart Care

    Want to Eat for Heart Health? Consider a Plant-Based Diet

    Maintaining a healthy weight has many benefits: among those is improved heart health. If you’re trying to eat right as well as become healthier, nutrition experts say you might want to consider a plant-based diet. Plants provide air to breathe, beauty in our surroundings — and just may be a viable solution to your weight-loss goals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more Americans than ever are overweight: Today, 7 in 10 Americans are classified as “obese” or “overweight,” and childhood obesity rates are growing rapidly. So experts encourage would-be dieters to look to plants as a source of daily inspiration. “When you slowly and consistently expand your daily food choices to include more plant-based options, you will feel fuller, have more energy and lose weight,” says Lynice Anderson, director of Renown’s Healthy Heart Program. But according to a recent study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just 1 in 10 adults eats enough vegetables and only 12 percent get the recommended amount of fruit daily. The same study notes that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables daily can help reduce the risk of many leading causes of illness and death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers and obesity. Plant Foods = Foods with Fiber One of the overwhelming health benefits of plant-based foods: fiber. A study published in a recent issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that something as simple as aiming to eat 30 grams of fiber each day can help you lose weight, lower your blood pressure and improve your body’s response to insulin just as effectively as a more complicated diet. Fiber contains no calories and comes in two forms: soluble, which dissolves in water, and insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve. Both are important for different reasons. The soluble fiber found in oats, fruits and beans forms a gel-like substance and helps to lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber found in fruit skins, green beans and cauliflower goes through your intestines relatively intact providing “bulk” and improving bowel-related health problems. “My fiber champion is chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans,” says Renown Chef Chris Wyatt. “They are high in fiber, low in fat, low sodium and have zero cholesterol. Not only do they not contain any cholesterol, chickpeas work to remove cholesterol from your body. It’s a win-win.” Snacks That Are Part of a Plant-Based Diet Looking for the best sources of fiber from the plants and trees in your life? Here are the best options, according to this CDC fact sheet: Fruits Raspberries, 1 cup: 8.0 grams of fiber Pear, with skin, 1 medium: 5.5 grams of fiber Apple, with skin, 1 medium: 4.4 grams of fiber Strawberries (halved), 1 1⁄4 cup: 3.8 grams of fiber Banana, 1 medium: 3.1 grams of fiber Orange, 1 medium: 3.1 grams of fiber Veggies Artichoke, cooked, 1 medium: 10.3 grams of fiber Peas, cooked, 1 cup: 8.8 grams of fiber Broccoli, boiled, 1 cup: 5.1 grams of fiber Turnip greens, boiled, 1 cup: 5.0 grams of fiber Sweet corn, cooked, 1 cup: 4.2 grams of fiber Brussels sprouts, cooked, 1 cup: 4.1 grams of fiber Potato; with skin, baked, 1 medium: 2.9 grams of fiber Carrot, raw, 1 medium: 1.7 grams of fiber Renown Health Improvement Programs | Appointments: 775-982-5073  Renown Health offers a number of educational and support programs to help people overcome the challenges presented through various health conditions and to aid in creating and adopting a healthy lifestyle. To get an assessment of your dietary needs, schedule a consultation with one of Renown’s registered dietitians, who can help with: Diabetes Programs Medical Weight Management Nutrition Programs Make an Appointment

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    • Cancer Care
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Head, Neck and Oral Cancers: How You Can Spot and Treat Them

    Head, neck and oral cancers account for just 3 percent of all cancer in the U.S. and can be hard to diagnose. Dr. Abhinand Peddada, radiation oncologist with the Renown Institute for Cancer, explains. While you likely don’t frequently hear about head, neck and oral cancers — they are significantly less common than many kinds of cancer — they can be extremely dangerous. One of the primary reasons: some symptoms mimic the common cold, making them difficult to detect without a medical professional. We asked Abhinand Peddada, M.D., radiation oncologist with the Renown Institute for Cancer, to break down the symptoms and lifestyle risks of these rare cancers. First off, what are some of the signs and symptoms of head, neck and oral cancers? Symptoms can vary based on where the cancer is. For example, throat cancer may show up as a persistent sore throat, while sinus cancer may present as soreness or pressure in the sinuses that doesn’t get better. Some other symptoms to watch may include: Swelling in the throat Painless swelling in the neck Red or white patches in the throat Hoarseness Bloody noses or blood in the mucus or saliva A new and unexplained lump or bump anywhere on the face, neck, mouth or throat Difficulty breathing Difficulty swallowing, chewing or moving the muscles in your face, neck, mouth or throat Bad breath, even with good oral hygiene Loose teeth Dentures or retainers that no longer fit Double vision Who is most at risk for head, neck and oral cancers? Both men and women can develop head, neck and oral cancers, but men are at almost twice the risk of women. People over the age of 40 are also at a higher risk, and these cancers tend to be more common in African Americans. Tobacco use — including cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chewing tobacco — is another risk factor. Tobacco is linked to 85 percent of head and neck cancers. Exposure to fumes and chemicals can increase your risk as well. We’re also seeing more HPV-related head and neck cancers in the U.S., so patients with HPV may want to watch more closely for symptoms. What about screening and prevention? Your dentist already looks for signs and symptoms at your regular dental checkups. Additionally, if you have one of these risk factors and are experiencing signs and symptoms, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor about possible screenings. To help prevent these types of cancers, try to minimize your controllable risk factors. This means quitting tobacco, watching your alcohol consumption and taking care of your oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly. We also recommend the HPV vaccination for both boys and girls starting at age 11. By vaccinating at an earlier age, one is less likely to develop oral HPV. What do diagnosis and treatment look like for these cancers? At Renown Institute for Cancer we offer the most advanced diagnostic testing available including fiberoptic photos, CT and PET scans, as well as MRIs. Together, you and your care team will decide which treatment best fits your needs. For these types of cancers, treatment options include radiation, chemotherapy and surgery. Renown Institute for Cancer | 775-982-4000 At the Renown Health Institute for Cancer, our experienced team provides the support and care to maintain the highest quality of life and then achieve the best possible outcome, all in one location that’s close to home. Our dedicated team, clinical expertise and advanced treatment options allow us to tailor care to each patient. Learn about: Our Team Cancers We Treat Screening and Prevention Treatment Options Find a Cancer Doctor

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    • Prevention and Wellness

    Dietitans' Top Advice to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain

    The weight gain struggle is real with tempting holiday celebrations and treats. It’s hard to focus on nutrition with social events, shopping and a hectic schedule. And no one wants to diet during the holidays. Renown Health Registered Dietitians Kim Colegrove and Bristy Zimmerman, share their tips below for enjoying the holiday season without packing on extra pounds. Your holiday nutrition strategy doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Instead, Colegrove and Zimmerman emphasize realistic approaches to keep weight gain in check during the holidays. Plan Ahead to Avoid Weight Gain “Thinking ahead is key for staying on track with your weight and health goals,” says Colegrove. “Arranging to have a healthy snack ahead of time is a good idea to avoid overeating at parties. You could also bring a healthy dish to the party, then you know there’s at least one option that will fit into your meal plan. Or you might also think about eating some of your favorite party foods, but then consider the rest of your week and balance it out accordingly. All foods can fit! It’s all about balance and portion control.” Keep Moving Your Body Colegrove also urges us to stay active. “There are so many benefits of exercise! Besides aiding in weight management, physical activity can boost our mood and help us to cope with stress. For many, the holidays can be a very busy and stressful time, which may contribute to overeating and weight gain. So keep up the routine! Exercise is a vital tool in maintaining weight and managing stress, especially during the holiday season.” Slow Down and Be Satisfied “Slowing down at any meal, including the holidays, can help us pay attention to our satiety or fullness cues,” encourages Zimmerman. “Try putting your fork down between each bite of food, focus on chewing eat bite thoroughly and stop eating when you feel satisfied rather than eating to the point of discomfort.” Divide Your Plate to Conquer Weight Gain Traditional holiday foods tend to be high in calories from added fat and sugar, so it’s extra important to be mindful of our portions. Zimmerman suggests an easy visual cue. “First, try filling half of a 9-inch plate with lower-calorie foods like non-starchy veggies or salad. Secondly, fill a quarter of your plate with a meat or protein-rich food. Then save the remaining quarter of your plate (about the size of your fist) for the higher-calorie carbohydrate foods like mashed potatoes, stuffing, or cornbread. If you want to enjoy several of these foods, just make the portions small enough to still fit in that quarter of your plate.” Liquid Calories Count “Still or sparkling water will always be the best beverage choice when avoiding weight gain,” advises Zimmerman. “If you really enjoy holiday beverages, try modifying your favorite recipes by using low-fat milk or alternative sweeteners. Be mindful that calories from sweetened beverages and alcohol can add up fast. For example, if you usually enjoy several drinks at a holiday party, even reducing from three drinks to one drink can save significant calories.” You can set yourself up for success in the new year by having an eating game plan. “It’s important to be realistic about the holidays. They only come once a year, and they should be enjoyed! But plan ahead and find a good balance,” urges Colegrove. “Going into the holidays, it’s important to anticipate temptations and be prepared at social events. Don’t let the holiday season derail your efforts and enjoy in moderation!”

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    • Primary Care
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Dry Weather and Your Health – What to Know

    Dry weather – as northern Nevadans we know it well. Of course this doesn’t mean we’re not affected by its health impact whether you’re new to the area or are a native. Stephanie Stutz, DO, a Renown Medical Group doctor specializing in family medicine, explains how to live comfortably in the high desert. Have you noticed dry skin, itchy eyes or more bloody noses? If you call northern Nevada home, you’re probably no stranger to these problems. “We get a lot of questions from people wanting to know, ‘what can I do to prevent things from happening from the dry weather?’” says Dr. Stutz. “We do have a dry climate, and obviously in the summertime you notice it more than in the winter, so we look at things like dry skin, dry eyes and dry nose.” It generally takes about two weeks to become used to the change in climate. Dry Weather Health Tips Fortunately, there are some easy things you can do to reduce your discomfort in dry weather. Dry skin. “If you have dry skin, use a lotion without perfumes so it won’t increase the potential for drying your skin out,” recommends Dr. Stutz. For example, one home remedy for extremely dry skin (or for those with thinner skin) is cocoa butter. “It’s thicker so it goes under the skin and takes more time to absorb. As a result, you get a much more long-lasting effect.” Dr. Stutz adds. “You can also add lavender essential oil to your cocoa butter to help you sleep at night.” Dry and itchy eyes. “Use eye drops on a regular basis and keep them with you. I recommend people have a couple of bottles – one at home and one in their bag,” Dr. Stutz suggests. Dry nose. “Overall one of the best things to use is a simple nasal wash,” she says. “You can get it over the counter; it’s a saline nasal wash. Use it a couple of times each day and it can be extremely helpful. In particular, gets up into the sinuses and clears them of any pollen or residue in there.” Dry Weather Nosebleed Advice In our dry climate, you may also notice more allergies and nosebleeds. Dr. Stutz cautions, “Surely the dry air can make your allergies much worse. It can create much more irritation, pain and pressure, particularly in the nose and sinuses.” Again, Dr. Stutz recommends using a nasal wash to remove discomfort. Using a nasal wash two to three times a day can also help prevent nosebleeds. “And if you’re someone who has severe or chronic nosebleeds, you can put a little bit of Vaseline along the inside of your nose to create a moisture barrier”. Dry Weather Medication Advice In addition to allergy and nosebleed sufferers, people on certain medications may be at greater risk for symptoms in our dry climate. “The medications you are on can make you much more susceptible to drying out and becoming slightly dehydrated,” Dr. Stutz warns. For this reason discuss all of your medications with your doctor. Specifically, see if you can time them throughout the day or look at changing the dosage. Should I Get a Humidifier? Given our year-round dry weather, you may want to purchase a humidifier to help ease your symptoms. But there are some things you should know first. “You have to be careful with humidifiers as there are pros and cons,” states Dr. Stutz. “The small tabletop humidifiers are not beneficial. You need to get one covering a huge amount of square footage and holding approximately 10 to 30 gallons of water to help your home. On the negative side, if you’re not maintaining it on a regular basis, it will hold on to mold and other allergens. So the next time you turn it on, you’re actually putting that back into the air.” Do I Need to Go to the Doctor? To be sure, it’s important to know yourself and your family. If this is something you experience each year, you can try over-the-counter medications. “But remember, there’s always the caution if you’re on prescription medications,” Dr. Stutz explains. “If you are on chronic prescriptions, come in to get evaluated just to make sure you’re not using anything which interferes with your medications.” Not Just a Summer Problem As the temperatures drop, remember this isn’t just a seasonal issue here in the Reno-Tahoe area. During the winter months, our dry climate combined with cold temperatures and heaters can still cause dry skin, aggravated sinuses and even itchy eyes. So use these helpful dry weather tips all year. Comprehensive Primary Care Renown Medical Group primary care physicians provide comprehensive primary care by appointment. Doctors coordinate each patient’s medical care including checkups, immunizations, referrals to specialists, lab work, X-ray & imaging and hospital admissions. Find a Doctor

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    • Physical Therapy
    • Back Pain
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Low Back Pain – How to Stop the Ache

    Low back pain is not only a problem most people have at some point in life, but also the leading cause of disability in the U.S. Whether it is a sharp spasm from lifting something heavy or a daily constant ache, there are various treatments available to relieve your pain. Jessica Ryder PT, DPT, cert VRS, with Renown Health Outpatient Therapy, explains some common causes of this pain, how to treat it and ways to prevent pain flare-ups. It’s important to realize most cases of low back pain are short term. Frequently lasting only a few days or weeks. In general these cases leave no long-term damage to the spine, muscles, discs or nerves. “However, it can become episodic or chronic (lasting longer than 12 weeks) if it is not properly understood or managed by the individual, ” cautions Ryder. Causes of Pain Specifically back discomfort can be related to: Wear and tear on the spine due to age or poor movement patterns Injury to spinal discs Sprains (overstretching or tearing of ligaments) and strains (tears in tendons or muscles) Trauma Irregularities of the spine present at birth (example: scoliosis)Notably the above issues may result in a “pinched nerve” or sciatica, causing pain to extend down the leg. Risk Factors for Pain In particular, your chance of developing low back pain increases with the risk factors below: Age Being overweight Low fitness level or occasional physical activity (“weekend warrior”) Family history Pregnancy Poor posture Jobs requiring heavy physical work (landscaping, plumbers, construction, etc.)

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    • Physical Rehabilitation
    • Prevention and Wellness

    Preventing Spinal Cord Injuries: What to Know

    If you're not taking safety precautions during mountain sports, you could be at risk for a spinal cord injury. Dr. Benjamin Pence of Renown Rehabilitation Hospital explains the best way to prevent this serious injury. Mountain sports are a big part of the winter season here in our area, but if you’re not practicing all the proper safety techniques, you could end up with a serious spinal cord injury. Benjamin Pence, MD, Renown Rehabilitation Hospital, is here to offer tips to prevent this serious injury while you’re out enjoying what the Truckee Meadows has to offer. What is the spinal cord? The spine stretches from the base of your skull to the coccyx (commonly referred to as the tailbone). Your spine is made up of 24 vertebrae—seven cervical, which are in your neck, 12 thoracic, which are in your chest, and five lumbar, which are in your lower back. There are ligaments and muscles attached to each vertebra. These facilitate back movement and protect the bones from damage. There is cartilage between each vertebra which acts as a shock absorber for your spine. Finally, the spinal cord is a long, thin, tubular bundle of the nervous tissue and support cells that is enclosed in the spinal canal and send signals from the brain to everything from your arm and leg muscles to bowel and bladder function. The brain and spinal cord together make up the central nervous system.

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    • Community Partnerships
    • Prevention and Wellness
    • CEO

    Renown Health Vision for Value Based Care

    In recent years, healthcare has undergone many important transitions. One of the greatest changes has been the transition from a fee-for-service model to a value-based care model. Historically, healthcare organizations were paid for the amount of services they performed. This payment model resulted in more tests and procedures ordered, which, in turn, increased our country’s health care costs. However, now our government incentivizes health systems to provide the highest quality of care at the lowest cost possible. This new payment model is called value-based purchasing or value-based care. In this model, providers focus on delivering more coordinated and effective care. Additionally, healthcare organizations track important metrics like patient engagement, population health, and hospital readmissions. At Renown Health, we know that progress on these metrics represents real improvements in our patients’ lives. Shifting Focus from Illness to Wellness Healthcare organizations have traditionally viewed a hospital stay as the center of a patient’s wellness journey. At Renown Health, we believe a key part of our job is to help people live well every day. This means we focus not only on treating illness and injury but also on prevention efforts to keep people out of the hospital. For example, our employees help patients hazard-proof their homes to prevent falls, as falls are the leading cause of injuries in older adults. We also provide affordable health screenings to catch disease in its early stages, when it is more treatable. Renown Health also recognizes that many of the diseases our patients face – from diabetes to cancer – have social and environmental origins. We know that creating a healthier community will have a positive impact on their physical and mental health. Renown Health partners with local organizations to address community-based issues like addiction, pedestrian safety, air and water quality, climate change, and nutrition. Working together, we can lower the number of people who need care and improve the health and wellbeing of our community. Creating healthier environments and communities will help us prevent disease, which in turn will help us decrease spending and improve health. Most importantly, it will help people live up to their full potential. Dr. Slonim on Twitter | @RenownCEOTonyMD Interested in hearing more of Dr. Slomin’s thoughts on health and healthcare? Engage with him on Twitter. Follow Tony

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