As summer vacation winds down, you and your kids may be getting ready for the upcoming academic year and school sports season.
This preparation may include revisiting equipment needs, as well as scheduling an annual or sports physical.
Depending on the sport and school, many students who plan to play on their school’s sports team are required to get a sports physical before he or she is allowed to practice or play. Even if your child isn’t playing a sport, physicals are recommended for students
starting in kindergarten through high school.
Cherise Russo, DO with NorthShore, gives her recommendations for prepping for the school sports season:
How many sports are your kids involved with at school?
Just as athletes need to properly stretch and hydrate before and after a workout or event, they also need to be making smart
meal choices. What you eat—regardless if you are an athlete or not—will greatly impact your health.
It can often be hard to determine which foods are best, especially with the myriad of options available at most grocery stores. A good place to start is learning how to make smart nutritional choices when it comes to fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
Michael Rakotz, MD, Family Medicine physician at Northshore, gives advice on the best meal choices for both athletes and non-athletes alike:
What smart meal choices do you make to maintain your health?
It’s hard enough sometimes to get into a regular workout schedule, but then to add an extra 5-10 minutes to each session for stretching can make it even more difficult. Fortunately, the benefits of stretching both before and after a workout can make this
extra time worth it.
April Williams, MS, RCEP Exercise Physiologist at NorthShore, discusses the benefits of stretching pre and post workout:
Be sure that you are gently stretching all major muscle groups, especially after working out. It will be easier for you to get a better stretch once your muscles are already warm from your activity. The following stretches are good starting points for any
workout, and can be customized depending on your needs and activity:
Do you stretch before and after you exercise? How long to you usually stretch for?
Whether you’re training for a big race or involved in minimal daily physical activity, drinking water is essential
to keeping your body hydrated and healthy. For most people the recommendation is to drink eight glasses of water. However, if you are an endurance athlete training for a marathon or triathlon, this amount of water may not be sufficient to refuel your body.
Brian Shortal, MD,
Cardiologist at NorthShore, marathoner and triathlete, gives his advice on what endurance athletes can do to stay properly hydrated:
To view tips on how to train for a race in the summer heat—including avoiding certain times, monitoring your weight and urine—view our previous post.
What do you drink to stay hydrated after a strenuous workout?
Has watching the London games made you eager to start a new exercise routine? While your training schedule probably
won’t be as grueling, diving right into a new routine can be difficult. Beginning slow and identifying your workout goals is a great starting point.
Carrie Jaworski, MD, Sports Medicine physician at NorthShore, gives the following tips for starting a new exercise routine:
What weekly workout activities do you enjoy most? How do you stick with your routine?
A day of fun in the sun can lead serious ailments if
you’re not careful. Sometimes it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated and seek shade when you’re enjoying outdoor activities. Learn how to beat the heat this summer by learning the signs and symptoms of heat stroke.
Rick Gimbel, MD, an emergency medicine physician, shares some of the facts and warning signs for identifying heat stroke:
Have you ever experienced heat cramps, exhaustion or stroke? When do you usually know you’ve had too much sun?
Talking to your physician about sexual health issues may not always be an easy, comfortable conversation – even if conditions
are common in men and women of all ages.
Sexual disorders can be a result of cancer treatments and other health concerns, menopause, medication and environmental/lifestyle factors. With the right treatment, these disorders can often be minimized and resolved.
Jeffrey Albaugh, PhD, Urology Clinical Nurse Specialist at the John and Carol Walter Center for Urological Health, identifies sexual disorders found in
both men and women:
What other sexual health topics would you like to learn more about?
Dim lighting, soothing music and invigorating scents can all be recipes for relaxation. And, in our busy lives, it’s
often nice to have some downtime to focus on relaxation and rejuvenation of both the mind and body.
Massage therapy has been around for centuries and can be used for various wellness purposes. Massage therapy comes in many forms – including shiatsu, contemporary western massage, Swedish massage and tissue release.
Charlotte Walker, a massage therapist in NorthShore’s Integrative Medicine program, identifies some of the potential health benefits of massage therapy:
As is the case with any alternative treatment option you may be undergoing, it is important to inform your physician about this treatment, especially if you are being treated for any specific health conditions.
Have you ever gotten a massage? How often do you go?
Digestive problems—such as cramps, bloating, diarrhea and gas—are common ailments to many Americans. These symptoms
can be influenced by the food we eat, the lifestyle we live and our family history of gastrointestinal issues.
Inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are both related to symptoms of the bowel. That is why they are commonly confused with one another.
Eugene Yen, MD, Gastroenterologist at NorthShore and director of the Crohn’s and colitis program, offers his advice on the differences associated with inflammatory bowel disease
(IBD) and IBS:
Have you ever experienced any of the symptoms of IBS? What other information do you want to know about the topic?
With warm weather comes bugs that bother – whether they bite, sting or carry disease and illness. Although the cases of people
with West Nile virus and Lyme disease have been relatively small, it is better to exercise proper prevention than to suffer the consequences these conditions may bring.
Ernest Wang, MD, Emergency Medicine physician, provides the following tips for avoiding insects and treating bites:
What do you do to avoid bug bites in the summer? Have you ever found a tick on your body?