Win the Winter
Joint Pain Battle

The arrival of colder air and
damper days can bring an increase
in aches and pains for many of us...

read more

Prevent ER Visits this Winter

With the arrival of cold and flu
season comes a rush of people
into area Emergency Rooms...

read more

Resolve to Take Care of You!

One of the best New Year's
resolutions you can make is to
resolve to take better care of...

read more

Fight the Couch this Winter!

If you're like most people, then
winter time is the time of year when
your couch really calls to you...

read more

What's Hot in Winter Fashion

The unseasonably warm fall in our
area meant that many of us kept our
winter clothes tucked away...

read more

Infuse With Care

If you were one of the nearly 1,000
women who attended this year's
Care Begins With Me event...

read more


Win the Winter Joint Pain Battle


The arrival of colder air and damper days can bring an increase in aches and pains for many of us. While doctors don't completely understand why cold weather can bring an increase in joint pain they do recognize that winter air often causes a flare up for people suffering from osteoarthritis or on joints that have suffered previous injuries or are overused. Fortunately there are some things you can do to alleviate this unpleasant side effect of winter.

First, even though it may seem counterintuitive, you want to keep moving. Low impact exercise can keep your joints warm and loose, preventing stiffness. Even if it is just a walk through the neighborhood or a ride on a stationary bike, staying active can make a big difference in joint pain. Other good winter time choices include swimming indoors, taking a low impact aerobics or yoga class or practicing some light weight training.

Another good strategy is to use Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen to reduce the inflammation that can cause pain and soreness. Consult with your doctor about establishing a regular regimen of NSAID usage to prevent the inflammation from occurring in the first place. NSAIDs can cause side effects so be sure to talk with your doctor about what drug and what dosage would be best for you.

Paying special attention to your diet, as well, can help reduce some common joint pain symptoms. Foods that are low in saturated fats, carbs and sugar are the best options. Reducing your consumption of these foods will help to improve your overall health and well-being. Lean protein, healthy fats and ample fiber intake can increase your energy levels and reduce your achiness. In addition, every few pounds of extra weight you carry around causes exponentially more stress on your joints so reduce your weight just a bit and you can significantly reduce your joint soreness.

Increased water consumption can also aid in joint health. Strive to drink at least eight glasses of water daily and even more when you are exercising.

Pay attention to your own internal thermostat. If you feel cold and chilled, then chances are your joints are cold too and cold joints tend to be achy joints. Stay warm with layers of clothing. Keep your home at a comfortable temperature.

Finally, do not add to your joint problems by becoming one of the many people who slip and injure themselves during the winter! Take extra precaution when walking on wet or icy surfaces. Wear appropriate footwear and take your time.

For more information on upcoming orthopedic events, visit Dignity Health's Orthopedic Events page.

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Fight the Couch this Winter!


If you're like most people, then winter time is the time of year when your couch really calls to you... When it is cold and dreary outside, it is just so much more difficult to get motivated to work out. The dark mornings, the cold evenings, the fireplace calling your name - it can all be too much to resist for even the most diehard summertime exerciser!

Make this the winter that you fight your couch - and win! By exercising through the winter, you will be more likely to keep off those two or three added pounds that we all seem to find on our frame every year. Our friends at Kaia FIT - an all women's fitness program focused on Functional Intense Training - offer some wonderful advice to help you keep your winter resolutions.

The current session at Kaia FIT is titled "Winter Warrior." We chose this name because it truly takes a warrior to get through the winter months maintaining focus on health and fitness. However tough it is though, it's so important to remember that being a healthy and active person is a LIFESTYLE; it's not just Monday through Friday, January through October, or on sunny, 75 degree days. Instead, it should be a constant part of our lives and it shouldn't feel like a chore.

So, how do we shift our perspective about fitness from being something we have to do to something we WANT to do, especially when it's cold and dark out?

Kaia FIT's Top 5 Tips to Avoid the Winter Blues:

  • Gear up! Treat yourself to a new running jacket, pair of pants, or ear warmers. Our favorite saying is, "There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!"

  • Make a schedule... And stick to it! Decide exactly what days and times you're working out and put it on the calendar. Treat it just like a work appointment or deadline and don't let anything get in the way.

  • Set goals. Goal setting is such an important and rewarding part of health and fitness. Once you've decided on your goals, SAY THEM OUT LOUD. Accountability is everything so shout your plans and ambitions from the rooftops and you'll be more likely to follow through!

  • Find fitness friends! Group workouts or simply meeting up with a buddy for a run is a great way to stay committed. When someone (or many someones!) is counting on you, you're much more likely to show up.

  • Decide on "cheat meals" and leave it at that. Pick a few special meals over the holiday season that you allow yourself to splurge but don't step out of those boundaries and don't go overboard. Keep in mind, it's a cheat meal not a cheat DAY so enjoy a yummy treat and leave it at that. Christmas is one day not a whole month... Stay focused!

Kaia FIT is a great way to find a community of women focused on health and fitness (year around!). Check out a free class at your local Kaia location today.

For more information about Kaia FIT, visit their website.

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Prevent ER Visits this Winter


With the arrival of cold and flu season comes a rush of people into area Emergency Rooms. Most ERs are busy, hectic places during the winter months - not a place that you want to be if you don't have to be. Here are some things you need to know that could help you and your family stay out of the ER this winter.

Prevention:

First, understand that most people in the ER are there because of preventable mistakes. Many children get injured when they don't follow simple safety rules - bouncing on a trampoline with too many people; riding a bike without a helmet; playing sports with unsafe equipment or no safety equipment at all. Many illnesses that land people in the ER are preventable as well. Flu shots work - they prevent many illnesses every year and many people who end up hospitalized with the flu would have benefitted from one. Also - lung cancer and other respiratory diseases can often be traced back to smoking or being around second hand smoke. Quit smoking and you can prevent many illnesses!

Self Care:

Often, the person who ends up in the ER is the one who is usually caring for everyone else. Caregivers often ignore their own needs and are slow to recognize the signs of illness and even slower to seek treatment. If you are a caregiver, take care of yourself first! It's like the flight attendants say on the plane - take care of yourself first, so that you can then take care of those around you who are depending on you. Schedule regular check ups with your doctor and when you are sick, seek treatment before you are in such bad shape that you need emergency care. And when you are healthy - stay healthy! Eat a well balanced diet, try to exercise (at least take a walk) every day, and manage your stress.

Visit Your Doctor:

One of the most important things you can do for your health is schedule regular check ups with your physicians. Get the appropriate screenings for your age and family history. Make sure your children have their well child check up regularly. Visit the dentist twice yearly. When something doesn't feel right, have it checked out. Be your own healthcare advocate. Taking action now can help to prevent healthcare emergencies that will land you in the ER.

If you or a loved one do find yourself in need of emergency care, know that Dignity Health wants to make the process a little easier for you. Now, Dignity Health is offering residents throughout the Sacramento region InQuicker™ and it's reinventing the way patients access emergency and urgent care services. With the newly implemented service, a patient can check-in for a projected treatment time at one of Dignity Health's five Sacramento area hospitals - Mercy General Hospital; Mercy San Juan Medical Center; Methodist Hospital of Sacramento; Mercy Hospital of Folsom; and Woodland Memorial Hospital. The patient simply logs onto to their hospital's website and selects a treatment time and then waits at home rather than sitting in the waiting room. When the patient arrives at their designated time, it is the hospital's commitment to make sure that the patient is seen within 15 minutes of their scheduled time.

It is important to note that InQuicker™ is intended only for individuals with non-life-threatening or debilitating medical conditions. It's a simple and convenient way for people with busy lives and families to conveniently access care.

If you're in doubt about the severity of your condition, you should always seek immediate care by calling 9-1-1 or by going to the nearest emergency room.

Learn more about how you can avoid long lines in the waiting room when your family needs emergency care. Click here.

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What's Hot in Winter Fashion


The unseasonably warm fall in our area meant that many of us kept our winter clothes tucked away a little longer than usual this year. But, once the calendar says December, it's time to embrace winter whether the thermometer says so or not!

If you are still transitioning your wardrobe from fall to winter, or if you are looking to do a little winter wardrobe shopping, there are a few staples that our friends at Macy's say every woman needs this year. Here are their suggestions:

  1. A winter must-have is a warm coat, like the Calvin Klein packable coat. Its perfect to bring on a winter ski trip, but also a great coat for wearing around town on a cold rainy day!

  2. Sunglasses aren't just for the summer months! Perfect for a day on the slopes, or a mid-winter vacation, a great pair of shades is a necessity at any time of year!

  3. During the winter months, boots are a must-have for staying warm while looking your best. We have a variety of boots, from casual to dressy, so customers can pick the perfect pair to suit their style!

  4. Handbags are a great accessory to turn transform an outfit for the holidays. Adding a red bag is a perfect way to add a pop of color to your wardrobe!

  5. Vintage inspired jewelry is hot this season. At Macy's, we love necklaces, earrings, and other accessories in the Downton Abbey Collection that are both timeless and trendy!

If shopping isn't your idea of a relaxing activity, why not ask for a little help? Annette O'Donnell, Macy's By Appointment personal shopper at Macy's in Westfield Galleria at Roseville, is happy to help you find these winter fashion staples or solve any fashion conundrum you may have. While having a personal shopper may sound like a luxury enjoyed only by the rich and famous, Annette's services are available to anyone at no cost! "Macy's By Appointment and our personal shopping services are simply a service provided by Macy's - free of charge and we don't earn a commission so you won't feel pressured to buy," Annette explains.

While appointments are encouraged (the office is typically open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.), shoppers can also drop by the Macy's By Appointment office, located on Macy's first floor, to ask for some shopping assistance, use the private dressing rooms, or just get some fashion advice. Macy's By Appointment also has a men's personal shopper. Annette hopes more shoppers will seek out her assistance. "I'm here to help, so stop by and make use of this wonderful service!"

So if you'd like a little help getting your winter wardrobe up to speed, go see Annette! Or, grab a few girlfriends and hit the racks together. Either way, make fashion fun this winter and always.

To learn more about the shopping services available at Macy's By Appointment, visit their website.

Get into the holiday spirit by visiting Santa at one of our local shopping centers!

Westfield Galleria at Roseville: This year Santa loses the "wait"! Why wait in line when you can pay online with Santa's FastPass? Visit santasfastpass.com to select a date to visit Santa, pick from many great photo package options, receive a free Shutterfly Card with your package, and of course visit Westfield Galleria at Roseville to see Santa sooner with your FastPass.

Sunrise Mall: Take a holiday photo or picture with Santa in 10 minutes or less? Absolutely! Never wait in a long line again with Sunrise Mall's Virtual Santa Line! Visit sunrisemall.com and click on the "Santa Link" then stop by the Santa Set at Sunrise Mall and give the host your cell phone number or text toll-free 516-537-XMAS (9627).

Arden Fair Mall: Everyone say "Cheese!" and save on family portraits! Grab the family and save 35% on the Rudolph Package, which includes (2) 5x7 portraits with Santa; (1) 5x7 family portrait; (3) 4x6 portraits, (4) 3 1/2 x5 portraits and (12) wallet-size portraits along with a digital download and a $20 online credit to MyAlbumPics.com.

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Resolve to Take Care of You!


One of the best New Year's resolutions you can make is to resolve to take better care of yourself. For many women this means a healthier diet and more exercise; for others it can mean reducing stress; and for others it can mean making important changes like a new job or a change in relationship. But for all of us, taking care of ourselves should include scheduling the appropriate health screenings every year. By taking advantage of preventative healthcare, we are more likely to identify problems early while they are more treatable.

So what screenings do you need and when? Here is what the National Institutes of Health advises. (Note that women with underlying conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems or other conditions may need to have certain screenings more frequently. Talk to you doctor to determine what is appropriate for you.)

Blood Pressure

Have your blood pressure checked every 2 years unless it is 120-139/80-89 Hg or higher, in which you should have it checked every year.

Breast Exam

Women may do a monthly breast self-exam. Women should contact their health care provider immediately if they notice a change in their breasts, whether or not they do breast self-exams. A complete breast exam should be done by a health care provider every 3 years for women ages 20-40 and every year after that.

Cholesterol Screening

Between age 20 and 45, you should be screened if you have a higher risk for heart disease. After age 45, have it checked every five years.

Colon Cancer Screening

People between the ages of 50 and 75 should be screened for colorectal cancer.

Dental Exam

Go to the dentist every year for an exam and cleaning.

Diabetes Screening

If your blood pressure is above 135/80, your health care provider will test your blood sugar levels for diabetes.

Eye Exam

If you have vision problems, have an eye exam every 2 years.

Immunizations

You should receive a flu vaccine every year. After age 19, you should have one tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (TdAP) vaccine as one of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines. You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.

Physical Exam

You should have two physical exams in your 20s every 1-5 years after that.

Pelvic Exam and Pap Smear

Screenings should be done every two-three years, depending on results and family history.

Do yourself and those who care about you a favor this New Year and schedule your screenings. Your health will be the best gift you can get!

To find a doctor who can help you reach your health goals, visit Dignity Health's website.

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Infuse With Care


If you were one of the nearly 1,000 women who attended this year's Care Begins With Me event on Oct. 9, then you received a custom Care Begins With Me water infuser. These handy - and pretty! - little bottles are a great way to make your daily water intake more exciting. Simply add fresh herbs, fruit, or whatever you like to the infuser and you have fresh, flavored water!

We all know that drinking plenty of water is one of the keys to good health. So we want to see where you are taking your infuser and how you are using it in your healthy lifestyle as you care for yourself. Take a picture and share it with us! Using your infuser at yoga? Share it! Taking your infuser on a hike? We want to see! Traveling with your infuser? Show us where!

A selection of photos will be shared here on the Care Begins With Me website each month.

If you missed this year's event and weren't able to receive an infuser, or if you know a friend who could use one, simply send us an email and share how you would use your infuser. Two lucky members will be selected each month to receive infusers!

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