Monday, October 5, 2015

The Latest News in Diabetes Research

Pharmaceutical company Lilly recently announced it has a new drug they say is making significant headway in the treatment of adults with type 2 diabetes and their risk of cardiovascular disease. The drug, Jardiance, is a glucose-lowering agent, and according to Lilly, is the only drug that has demonstrated an ability to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In a report by NBC News, doctors admit they’re not sure how the drug is lowering this risk, but it is.

While this is good news for adults with type 2 diabetes, it does not help those with type 1 diabetes or children with either type. It’s also important to stress that the ideal situation is to prevent diabetes from even happening. Those who are considered high-risk for developing type 2 diabetes can delay or avoid the disease from developing altogether by losing weight through regular physical exercise and eating a diet low in fat and calories, according to the Diabetes Prevention Program.

Are You at Risk?

86 million American adults fall into the prediabetes category. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that’s 1 out of every 3 adults. To find out if you’re at risk for prediabetes, the Denver YMCA Diabetes Prevent Programs (DPP) offers an online assessment through their website. You can also visit one of our Family 9Health Fair’s this fall where we offer two blood tests that can help determine if you’re at risk.
Some general risk factors are:
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Age (particularly for those 45 or older)
  • Lack of exercise
  • Obesity

What’s the Difference between Type 1 and 2 Diabetes?

While their symptoms can be similar, type 1 diabetes can be developed at any age, but usually arises during childhood and adolescence. Type 2 diabetes is more common. It too can be developed at any age, but usually occurs in adults over 40.  However, last month a Texas toddler made headlines when a doctor presented her case at an international diabetes conference in Europe. At age 3, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The doctor examining the cause of the girl’s condition concluded it was due to poor family nutritional habits (Toddler Adult Onset Diabetes?).

The case highlights the importance of a well-balanced family diet, particularly for the prevention of diabetes and obesity. Take a moment to evaluate your family’s diet – is there room for improvement? If so, take action now!

If you need help adding better meals to your family’s menu, visit our Facebook page, where we commonly share healthy recipe ideas!

Evaluating the Sugar Situation

There’s regular sugar, then Sweet-n-Low, Splenda and Equal. Oh, and don’t forget cane sugar and brown sugar and powdered sugar. Maybe you should be substituting sugar with honey…or Stevia…or applesauce? It seems these days everyone has something to say about your choice of sweetener. Let’s break it all down and take a look.

Sugar: A Raw Deal

As the American Heart Association points out, there are really only two types of sugars in our diet – naturally occurring sugar and added sugar. Naturally occurring sugar is fairly self-explanatory. It’s what you find in fruit. Added sugar is also just how it sounds. It’s anything you add to your food – think sweet tea, lattes or soda (Sugar 101).

While white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar and honey are considered natural sugars, they are still added sugars when you add them into your food. According to the American Heart Association, “You can use sugars to help enhance your diet. Adding a limited amount of sugar to improve the taste of foods (especially for children) that provide important nutrients, such as whole-grain cereal, low-fat milk or yogurt, is better than eating nutrient-poor, highly sweetened foods.”

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners can actually be much sweeter than regular sugar. That, along with the fact that they often have no calories, are why many people prefer them. The Mayo Clinic says artificial sweeteners have a bad reputation due to a study that came out in the ‘70’s linking saccharin, a sweet-tasting synthetic compound used as a substitute for sugar in many artificial sweeteners, to bladder cancer. However, they say there’s no sound evidence that artificial sweeteners approved in the U.S. cause cancer or any other serious health problems (Artificial sweeteners and other sugar substitutes). So it’s okay to swap out real sugar for artificial sugar and save yourself some calories.

Limiting Sugar in Your Diet

No matter what type of sugar you prefer, the bottom line is that with the exception of fruit, most Americans need to limit the amount of sugar in their diets. The World Health Organization is calling on adults and children to decrease their free sugar intake by 10% (10 Easy Ways to Slash Sugar from Your Diet). Most of us should be eating 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of fruit per day. That should be primarily where our sugar comes from. If you’re not already eating fruit on a daily basis, try swapping out your morning or afternoon snack for some fresh, in-season fruit instead.

Another place to watch out for sugar is in processed foods. Make sure you’re checking the nutritional label to see how much sugar there is. You may be surprised, but processed foods can be high in sugar, even with products like catsup or pasta sauce.

What is your sweetener of choice? Tell us on Facebook!

How to Keep Halloween from Haunting Your Smile

It all starts off innocently enough. Whether you buy the candy to hand out to the trick-or-treaters and end up with some left-over, or you treat yourself to some of your kids stash, the next thing we know everyone in the house is filling up on candy.

4 Tips for a Healthier Halloween

Eat candy shortly after mealtime.
According to the American Dental Association, our saliva production increases during meals. This then helps to cancel out any acids produced by bacteria in our mouths, which will help rinse away food particles.

Choose chocolate.
When Delta Dental surveyed dentists to get their take on Halloween candies, they found that those dentists who do pass out treats mostly prefer to give chocolate. The reason being that chocolate dissolves much more quickly in the mouth which lessens the amount of time the sugars are in contact with the teeth, unlike with chewy and hard candies.

Or choose gum.
Colgate recommends gum. Even though it stays in the mouth longer, it stimulates extra saliva production. They recommend sugar-free, all-natural gums approved by the American Dental Association.

Brush and floss.
You should already be doing it every day. By brushing and flossing your teeth, you’re getting all that excess sugar out of your mouth. Sugar can cause tooth decay, which will kill your smile (What About Sugar).

Do you prefer to pass out healthier treats on Halloween? If so, share your candy of choice with us on our Facebook page.

Get Out in the Crisp Air

This time of year is perfect for spending time outside. It’s cooling down, but still not too cold. The warm sun feels good mixed with the cool air. Here are a few outdoor activities to get you moving and having fun.

Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are fun for the whole family and who knows, maybe even your neighbors will want to get in on the action. Plus, you’ll have fun creating riddles and clues for others to solve. (How to Create a Scavenger Hunt)

Pumpkin Patch Visit
It’s not hard to find a farm with a pumpkin patch this time of year. Take the family and see who can find the biggest pumpkin. (How to Choose a Pumpkin for Halloween)

Leaf Pile!                      
Whether you’re a kid or an adult, when you rake a pile of leaves together you know you have the urge to jump in. So why not? It’s one of the best ways to make a chore fun! Sure, when you’re done you might have to rake the pile back up again, but it is well worth it.

Fly a Kite
This time of year is great for flying kites. It also creates a great opportunity for visiting a park in or near your neighborhood. Bonus points if you make your own kite!

Grab a blanket and a mug of hot apple cider and check out the constellations in the night sky! This time of year you can see Andromeda, Aquarius, Capricornus, Pegasus and Pisces. (7 Places to Stargaze in Colorado)

Play Football
Well, fall is the beginning of football season after all. Get your friends and family together and head to a nearby park and play some football. If you go Sloan’s Lake, there’s even a designated football area on the northwest side of the park.

Share your outdoor fun with us on our Facebook page!

Fall Fun for the Whole Family

This time of year you know what it’s all about – Halloween! Here are 3 great Halloween events to bring out your inner child:

Open every weekend during the month of October, this festival is fun for the whole family. There’s so much to do including a corn maze, petting zoo, an obstacle course, a playhouse, face painting and food trucks. Plus, on Halloween they will have “Fright-Free Family Day” which will include a costume contest and (peanut-free) trick or treating.

How cool is this! An aerial Halloween dance performance. Performing in Broomfield on October 17th and 18th the Iluminar Aerial is sure to put on an amazing show fitting for this time of year. Nightmare in the Air is inspired by Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas. It’s sure to be and is considered family friendly. Plus, Halloween costumes are encouraged!

And before you head out to see Nightmare in the Air, you can make a whole day of it by attending Bug-A-BOO at the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster. And of course, Halloween costumes are encouraged, especially because there will be a costume parade along with trick-or-treating, face painting and crafts!

And if you’re looking for something not related to Halloween…

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin will be at the Douglas County Library in Castle Rock to talk about his new book, Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet. He will also be signing the books, so if you’re a fan of space exploration, this event is for you.

Let us know what you end up doing. Share your photos with us on Facebook.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

First Ever Broncos Health and Wellness Expo

Cheers to everyone who attended the first ever Broncos Health and Wellness Expo over Labor Day Weekend!

Over 20,000 people gathered at the home of the Broncos to take part in the inaugural event over two days at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. 9Health Fair joined forces with the Broncos and 9News to promote healthy living and taking charge of your own health. From demonstrations about brain health and concussions to free screenings for diabetes and kidney health, 9Health Fair offered a plethora of information and health screenings for everyone who attended.

Broncos Cheerleader Ashley Harhigh joined the fun, demonstrating how movement can increase your heart rate by teaching the audience two of the dances the cheerleaders perform on the sidelines during Broncos games. Who knew getting in better shape could be so much fun?

9News anchors such as Belen  DeLeon, Gary Shapiro, Mark Kobrich, and more were on hand as well to support the healthy event and meet the folks on both days. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet some of the players, sample health food and talk with experts on a variety of health topics.
On Sunday, 5,700 runners donned their orange and blue and participated in the Broncos 7K run which finished with a run through the inflatable bronco and on the field – a rare and treat for the true Broncos fan.  Players and cheerleaders were on hand to welcome the runners on the perfect sunny Colorado day.

Broncos faithful and the community joined togethe
r to celebrate a healthy lifestyle and kickoff the 2015 football season. That truly is “Owning Your Health!”

Tone it Up with the Broncos Cheerleaders

If there’s a shining example of how cheering on your favorite sports team can actually help you tone up, it’s the Denver Broncos Cheerleaders. Now, to be in this good of shape they obviously do more than just cheer on the home team. They eat healthy and work out off the field as well. But it’s worth noting that the simple act of cheering your team on from the stands, or your home, can be good for your health.
The average football game lasts about 3 hours. If you stand during that time rather than sit, you can burn roughly 400 calories (Shape Magazine). That’s an extra 100 calories than you would sitting.

On top of that, every time your team scores you’re probably jumping up and down a little bit with excitement, giving your friends a high five or clapping. This all burns calories. Maybe not a ton, but over the course of the game you’re still burning some calories.
It’s also a great way to de-stress, even if your team is losing, which is good for your overall mental health. You’re usually surrounded by close friends and family while you’re watching. Plus, you’re keeping your mind active (6 Reasons Being a Sports Fan is Good for Your Health). 

Of course you have to keep in mind that if you truly want to use one of your favorite pastimes as a way to burn a few extra calories, you’re may have to lay off the nachos and soda.

In the meantime, you have a new cheer to learn before the next Broncos game, courtesy of the Broncos Cheerleader Ashley Harhigh. Learn the victory dance and the endzone dance here!

4 Outdoor Activities for Our Perfect Weather

The end of September is the best time of year for outdoor activities. First off, the weather is usually just perfect. Not too hot. Not too cold. Then there’s the beautiful scenery everywhere you look with the changing of the leaves. It truly is a great time to get outdoors. Here are four outdoor activities we recommend:

1. Go for a Run. You may have noticed that our mornings and evenings are starting to get a little cooler, which makes them a great time for an outdoor run.
Cheeseman Park – Since there are no lakes at this park there are very few geese, which makes it one of the cleaner parks to run in.
Mesa Trail – For those who are into trail running.
High Line Canal Trail – This trail is 71 miles long running from Aurora to Roxborough State Park.

2. Fit in one last camping trip. Hurry, before the snow starts and get in one final camping trip. You’ll be glad you did when winter gets here.
Rocky Mountain National Park – Not only is it a great place for camping, it’s a great place for sightseeing!
Arapahoe Bay Campground – This one is located near Lake Granby, which you should definitely check out as well while you’re out that way.
Rampart Range Road – Free! Need we say more?

3. Go for a bike ride. Whether it’s a mountain bike or a road bike, this is a great time of year to pedal around anywhere.
Cherry Creek Bike Path – Yes, by now we all know the bike path is there. So why is it we never think about it when we’re heading downtown? Maybe instead of driving the next time you head out, hop on your bike instead.
Lair O’ the Bear - If pavement and concrete aren’t really your thing, you don’t have to go too far to get out on your mountain bike.

4. Bird Watching. According to the folks at eBird, this is the peak time for bird migration.
Audubon Society of Greater Denver – Grab your binoculars and head out with the experts to learn about the birds along the Front Range. They offer a variety of tours in several different locations.
Denver Field Ornithologists – Each month the DFO schedules trips around the Denver Metro area.

Share your favorite outdoor activities with us on Facebook and help motivate others in the community to get out and about in our beautiful state!

Family Fun in September

Summer is winding down and fall is just starting. We’re all just starting to think about pumpkin patches, piles of leaves and shorter days.

Whether it’s the usual fall activities with hot apple cider that strike your fancy or one of the many cultural events that take place this time of year, get out into the community and check out many activities taking place this month.
  1. Celebrate the beginning of fall with a trip to the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms’ 8 acre Corn Maze!  Tickets include a hayride and unlimited jumping on a giant pillow. If you’re brave enough, you can also try the Blackout Maze with a glow stick as your only light source.
  2. Photograph the fall foliage along the Peak to Peak Highway. You’ll see why a day trip along this section of the Front Range is still so appealing to most Coloradoans in the fall. Who knows? You might even see one of the state’s elusive moose while you’re out there. (Just remember to keep your distance if you do.)
  3.  Support your local artists and craftspeople at one of the three Handmade in Colorado Expos. The event is free and includes live local music.
  4. Take in a show. Celebrate Dance and Music at the Broomfield Auditorium. The show will feature a variety of music and dance including Russian folk dances and opera.
  5. There are not a lot of toys that have stood the test of time, but Legos definitely have. Check out the Nature Connects, Art with Legos Exhibit at the Denver Zoo. No matter how old you are, the zoo and Legos exhibit is sure to take you back to your childhood and create a bonding opportunity for you and your friends and family.
  6. Explore fashions of the past at the Glitterati exhibit at the Denver Art Museum. On display, you will see portraits and jewelry from Colonial Latin America. Plus, admission is free for kids every day.

Whatever activities you decide to do, make sure you share your adventures with us on Facebook.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Back to School Health Checklist for the Kids in Your Life

As you and your kids get back into the school routine things can feel a little hectic, especially if you have children in different age groups. To help the kids in your life be successful, you want to make sure they’re getting plenty of the following:
·         Sleep
·         Nutrition
·         Exercise
·         Support


Numerous studies indicate sleep is a vital factor when it comes to your health and well-being. According to the Division of Sleep Research at Harvard Medical School, sleep plays an important role in memory both before and after learning a new task. When children get the required amount of sleep they can focus better in the classroom and feel better.
Too little sleep causes the release of stress hormones and may cause an unhealthy weight gain.
·         Deep Slow Wave Sleep (SWS), which happens early in the sleep cycle, is necessary for laying down memories (like test facts or how to do math problems.)
·         Too little sleep will increase ADD or ADHD symptoms.
·         Too little sleep may increase depression or irritability.

Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure your children are getting enough quality sleep:
ð       Get the recommended amount of sleep (Kids and teens need 9 to 10 hours)
ð       Turn off and keep out electronics - Computers, TVs and phones should not be kept in bedrooms. They can prevent or disrupt good sleep.
ð       Establish a routine at bedtime and stick to it (including going to bed at the same time every night)


You know the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” According to the medical journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, “Breakfast has been suggested to positively affect learning in children in terms of behavior, cognitive, and school performance.” Other studies show this is especially true when it comes to math skills (Facts about Child Nutrition). 
Here’s what you want to keep in mind as you plan your kids’ meals during the school week:
ð       Eat breakfast every morning.
ð       Serve 5-9 fruits and vegetables every day.
ð       Cook with whole foods instead of processed food
ð       Consume foods rich in fiber every day.
Note: Children don’t need to diet (unless their doctor guides them) – They just need to eat balanced, nutritious meals and be active.


Speaking of being active, did you know that exercise can lead to better sleep? It will also help you burn calories, think better and fight off cold germs.
Most schools offer P.E. and the younger kids get recess, but if your child’s school doesn’t you need to make sure you take the time to fit some physical activity into their day every day.
Kids and teens need 60-90 minutes a day of active play, exercise or moderate to vigorous movement. Here are some ways to fit in more physical activity during the school week:
ð       Afterschool sports clubs
ð       Walk or ride bikes together to and from school
ð       Go to the park after school and let your kids play on the playground
ð       Sports and games are not the only way to be active; you can do housework such as weed the garden, walk the dog, or wash the car


Another key element to ensuring your kids have a successful school year is to show them just how much you support them. This will help reinforce positive self-esteem and confidence. You can show them you care in several ways, such as:
ð       Ask them about their day and make sure you are taking the time to really listen (30 Questions to Ask Your Kids Instead of How Your Day Was)
ð       Help them with their homework
ð       Read to them
ð       Have them read to you
ð       Have dinner together as a family
ð       Limit the amount of time in front of the TV and playing video games
ð       Parents can also show love and care by having rules and expectations

Sleep, nutritious food, exercise and loving support all go towards ensuring a successful and healthy school year for your child. And remember, these aren’t just important for your kids, it’s important for you too. You need to take care of yourself so you can take care of your children. Visit one of our 19 Family 9Health Fair’s this fall for affordable and convenient health screenings to ensure your family is on the right track to a healthy school year.

Why You Should Vaccinate Your Children

The decision to vaccinate or not vaccinate your child can be a very personal issue. These days, it seems almost everyone has a strong opinion on the subject. Here at 9Health Fair, we strongly encourage vaccinations because the evidence shows they do work.

Not only can you protect your child against preventable diseases, but you will also be protecting others who can’t get vaccinated – infants, the elderly and people who are too sick to get vaccinated such as those with certain types of cancer (2Reasons to Vaccinate). In the long run, you also save time and money since a vaccination is much less costly than the bill that comes with hospital stays and doctor visits when someone in your family contracts a potentially life-threatening disease. (5 Important Reasons to Vaccinate Your Child)

One key factor to understanding why vaccinations are so vital is understanding how they work. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Vaccines help develop immunity by imitating an infection, but this ‘imitation’ infection does not cause illness. It does, however, cause the immune system to develop the same response as it does to a real infection so the body can recognize and fight the vaccine-preventable disease in the future. Sometimes, after getting a vaccine, the imitation infection can cause minor symptoms, such as fever. Such minor symptoms are normal and should be expected as the body builds immunity.”

Keep in mind, there are some children who should not be vaccinated with certain vaccines, but those cases are rare. Always talk with your child’s doctor, and remember, they too want what’s best for your child.

Thanks to the many vaccines available, our children are living longer, healthier and happier lives. Most of our kids will never know what it’s like to have painful and life-threatening illnesses such as Tuberculosis or Small Pox. To learn more about infectious diseases and the vaccines available to prevent them, visit the Mayo Clinic’s website.

Remember, flu season is around the corner. You can get flu shots for the whole family this fall at one of our Family 9Health Fairs.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Right Place at the Right Time

"I feel full of energy, happy and I’m never sick. Cancer is for old people,” Chuck remembers thinking as he spent his days working with Campus Crusade for Christ. Today, as he holds his grandson Ethan on his shoulders after enjoying lunch on a beautiful afternoon, he is stopped in his tracks when he remembers finding out he had stage IV colon cancer 15 years ago at the age of 44.

An upbeat guy with a wife and three school-aged children at the time, Chuck had no concerns about his health. And, like many men, he had not been to a doctor in several years. At the Campus Crusade for Christ Conference in the summer of 2000, he wanted to chat and hang out with all the other ministers and participants at the 9Health Fair hosted as part of the conference.

He completed the 9Health Blood Chemistry Screening and said he was surprised by how simple, quick and painless the whole process was. His lab work was sent to Quest Diagnostics, like all 9Health Fair samples, and when Chuck received his results, he could see clearly that three items on the liver panel were out of range. As directed in the results, he made an appointment with his primary care physician who was able to do further testing.

“I remember bounding into the house and seeing my wife looking like something really bad had happened,” Chuck recalls. “But I never suspected she would tell me I had colon cancer and it was at stage IV.” Chuck had been officially diagnosed and was entered into treatment right away.

Treatment included a total colectomy and six months of intense chemotherapy during which he remembers many sobering moments when he felt he might not live to tell this story. But as of May of 2002, his cancer was gone - and it has not come back!

Participating in a blood screening at 9Health Fair turned out to be one of the most important decisions Chuck has ever made – but it wasn’t a decision that took a lot of thought. In fact, you could say it was more of a matter of convenience and availability. But the payoff for attending is a life full of happy events including spending time with Ethan and the rest of his family.

“I would have never taken the test if not for just being in the right place, but 9Health Fair saved my life,” Chuck says. “I would not like to think about what could have happened to my family had I not found the colon cancer when I did.”

“Get screened. That’s what I would tell people, especially men. Going to 9Health Fair was easier than going to the doctor, but either way, you should get screened.” 

To find a Family 9Health Fair location near you, click here.

Is Medical Marijuana Right for You?

When you see a green cross in Colorado, what do you think of? Many Colorado residents have now come to associate this symbol with medical marijuana, the drug that has been used to treat skin disorders, sleep disorders, eye disease, multiple sclerosis, schizophrenia, Huntington’s disease, glaucoma, and cancer-related issues…to name a few. So while some Coloradans are enjoying the right to consider medical marijuana as a treatment for their ailments, the drug is still illegal to possess in over half of the country. How can something that seems so good, also be considered so bad?

The jury is still out on medical marijuana because long term effects have yet to be determined. While numerous studies are currently taking place, we still do not have results of any long-term studies.

For one person, medical marijuana may offer immediate relief from their ailment, while causing anxiety and rapid heartbeat in another person. So while tales of both positive and negative experiences are easy to find, it is important to look beyond the hype. Consider a variety of treatment options. Most importantly, if you think medical marijuana may be right for your particular health issue, don’t forget to include a medical professional in the conversation.

So how do you know if medical marijuana right for you? As with any other drug, exercise caution. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. And lastly, do your research – using reputable sources like National Institutes of Health and Mayo Clinic.

Remember that human bodies are resilient and often will recover without medical interventions. If you are seeking treatment for relief from common ailments that will likely clear up on their own, it’s possible that any form of medication is unnecessary.

Lastly, marijuana use for anyone under the age of 21 is not only illegal but potentially very harmful, as young peoples’ brains are still developing up to around the age of 25.  The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) has provided this great resource that can be used to educate yourself and others about the effects of marijuana on our kids and adolescents.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

End of Summer Bucket List

Summer is like a visit from an old friend. You look forward to it for months, then once they finally arrive, you pack in as much fun as possible. Then, they’re gone before you know it. If you’re looking to get the most out of the remaining days of summer, we’ve got you covered.  Here are 5 must-do activities before the clock strikes midnight on summer.
  • Play an old school neighborhood game. Go back in time by organizing a few friendly games out in the street with your neighbors.  With all the running around involved, you’ll sleep just like you did as a kid!
  • Hike something. Chances are, all your free weekends filled up before you knew it and you never got the chance to take that summer hike. It’s not too late!
    • Seven Falls – newly reopened after a 2 year closure, this hike shows you some of Colorado’s prettiest waterfalls
    • Mt Sanitas – right outside of Boulder, with options for all levels of hikers
    • Horsetooth Rock – see Fort Collins from a whole new view on this dog-friendly hike
  • Pick your own produce. While many Colorado farms took a hit from the wild spring weather, they still have plenty to offer us. Bring the kids for a true hands-on experience!
    • Berry Patch Farms – Pick your own pickling cucumbers, flowers, basil and berries
    • Whimsy Farm – Come to pick your own berries, but stay for the fruit mazes, toy trains, and whimsical art!
    • Nelms Farm – Local honey and a variety of potatoes available at this family farm in Golden
What’s on your end-of-summer bucket list? Share with us on Facebook!

Hot August Activities in Denver

August can be one of the most beautiful months in Colorado! The weather is warm enough to still hit the pool, yet the mountains air brings cooler days. We start awaiting the changing of the leaves, but aren't faced with fall quite yet.

So get out and about to enjoy the wonderful things to do in Denver while the weather is still beautiful and warm. Check out the many free attractions and tours that Denver has to offer:

  1. There are Denver Free Walking Tours offered daily! They start in Civic Center Park, cruise through downtown past many of Denver’s most unique landmarks, and end up right in front of Coors Field. You will get to enjoy much of Denver’s history, architecture and outdoor landscapes. This is a great way to be outside, get exercise and enjoy some wonderful scenery along the way.
  2. Learn how money is made by taking the U.S. Mint Tour! They produce 50 million coins each day, each one stamped with the letter “D” so people know that particular coin was made in Denver. These free tours will take you through the process of turning a dull, blank metal piece into shiny change.
  3. The Colorado State Capitol Tour is amazing! Stand on the steps outside the building and you will be exactly a mile above sea level. Once you are inside, you will enjoy beautiful murals, listen to the Colorado General Assembly, and view the magnificent gold-dome at the top of the structure. Free tours are available Mondays through Fridays from 10am to 3pm.
  4. Looking for a perfect after-school activity? Check out the Children’s Museum of Denver every first Tuesday of the month from 4pm to 8pm.  Enjoy the one-of-a-kind, interactive exhibits; they are hands on and perfect for newborns through age 8.
  5. Did you know that Colorado is home to dinosaurs? Well come check out famous Jurassic dinosaur bones, such as Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus, which were discovered in 1877. You will also see Cretaceous dinosaur footprints. A guidebook is available for use on the Dinosaur Ridge self-guided tours.
  6. Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) free days offer Colorado residents a plethora of cultural attractions for free on select days throughout the summer. Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street: August 31 and September 9. Denver Museum of Nature & Science: August 12 and September 27. Clyfford Still Museum: August 28 and September 25.
  7. If you’re a sports fan, and even if you aren’t, the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame Museum honors the legacies of The Mile High City’s greatest sports heroes. Housed in Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, it also features the Gallery of Legends, a “Great Moments in Colorado Sports” exhibit and a section celebrating the achievements of girls and women in Colorado sports.

 Make this August a month you will always remember! See how many of these free attractions you can visit this month, then tell us about them on Facebook!

3 Ways Family 9Health Fair Can Help You During Back to School Season

As kids go back to school this fall, parents all over Colorado are running around trying to get through the crazy back-to-school checklist we are all familiar with. Among other things, kids need new clothes, new shoes, school supplies, etc.  They also typically need to see a healthcare provider for health screenings, sports physicals, and immunizations.  The checklist can get overwhelming, not to mention expensive.

Family 9Health Fairs allow you to mark off three important items from your checklist for your children AND yourselves at a price you can afford.  Don’t have kids?  No problem.  Everyone is welcome at a Family 9Health Fair.  The back-to-school season gives all of us an annual reminder to get our health checked out in the following ways...    

1) Health Screenings:

Family 9Health Fairs offer the following free screenings for children: blood pressure/pulse, height/weight/BMI, asthma control, autism, vision, hearing, cardiovascular, oral health, and scoliosis.  Family 9Health Fairs also offer a Children’s Ask a Medical Question/Get a Referral station where you can discuss your health concerns with a medical professional.      

9Health Fair also offers numerous and affordable screenings for adults – (please see the list on our Find a Fair page). 

2) Sports Physicals:

The Overland High School Family 9Health Fair on October 3, will offer Sports Physicals from 8am until 1pm.  If your young athlete still needs a sports physical, please come by and check this important item off your list!

3) Immunizations:

Flu season is just around the corner – protect your family with a flu shot! The majority of Family 9Health Fairs offer flu shots for children, and several fairs offer flu, pneumonia, and Tdap immunizations for adults. (Fees may apply for immunizations.)

Fair Locations:

This fall, there are nineteen Family 9Health Fairs across the Front Range.  The season kicks off on September 19th at the Potter’s House Church of Denver and fairs will then run most weekends through November 21st.  Click here for fair locations and dates.   

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Elements of a Basic First Aid Kit

Oh no! You’re out hiking with a coworker when she slips and twists her ankle. What item do you need to help her?

Quick! Your picnic in the park is going great until your friend is stung by a bee. What would help to alleviate the pain?

Help! You burn your finger on the hot frying pan that’s cooking up your freshly-caught trout. What can soothe your burned skin?

It’s likely you knew what items you would need to help in the above scenarios (compression wrap, acetaminophen, and antibiotic cream), but here’s the tricky part: are you carrying any of those items with you on a regular basis?

Summer adventures take us outside and away from of our trusty medicine cabinets full of band-aids, ointments and Advil. That is why it’s so important to have a basic first aid kit that can go where you go – and help when you need help.

Before your next outdoor excursion, put together a basic first aid kit that includes the following items:

Compression wrap – stabilize twisted limbs
Antibiotic ointment – prevents infection in minor burns, cuts and scrapes
Tweezers – remove ticks, splinters, glass or stingers
Antihistamine tablets – calm allergies
Hand sanitizer – use clean hands when helping in any first aid situation!
Antiseptic wipes – cleans cuts and scrapes easily
Bandaids (various sizes) –protect fresh wounds
Eye wash – flush out sand and dust

Being prepared minimizes the impact that small emergencies can have on your outdoor escapades. With the right tools, you can keep your family safe – and keep exploring!

What’s in your family’s first aid kid? Tell us on Facebook!

Make Your Health Game Plan!

As an old Spanish Proverb goes, “A man too busy to take care of his health is like a mechanic too busy to take care of his tools.” If your health fails, it is difficult to do much of anything else. Poor health can impact happiness, stress levels and overall life performance. Making a commitment to take on healthier habits is the key to feeling good and enjoying life!

People who are more involved in their health care are less likely to end up on medications, have surgeries or need other treatments. Create a healthy lifestyle, navigate the healthcare system, and explore healing practices.

Make a game plan to own your health:
  1. Keep track of important health information. Write down all health problems you have now and have had in the past, along with the things you do to keep them under control.
  2. Know your family health history. This will help you understand what to look for and manage with yourself.
  3. Attend a 9Health Fair. Every spring and fall, take advantage of low and no-cost health screenings to help you know your numbers. Check out our website for information on dates and locations of our fairs.
  4. Seeing a doctor regularly for check-ups. Take your 9Health Fair results to your doctor to review the findings. He/she will help you put together a health plan based upon your results.
Also, check out this assessment to measure how you’re doing when it comes to your wellbeing. These are important pieces to living a healthy life.

Take charge; your ability to make healthy decisions is limitless, and it starts with making a few healthy changes in order to see a difference. Tell us what your game plan is when it comes to owning your health. Share with us on Facebook.  

Friday, July 17, 2015

In the Face of Adversity

As the saying goes, if life gives you lemons, make lemonade… and that is exactly what Steve did.  
He and his wife have been attending 9Health Fair since 2000. Even though they have health insurance, they thought it was a great way to get an overview of their health. They feel it has provided a better overall picture of what’s going on with their health and has given them a health profile to taketo their doctor each year.

Steve’s numbers have always looked good and he was always pleased to have a clean bill of health. But then, in May of 2011, he received an alert call from a 9Health Fair nurse. This was a surprising call because he always thought he was in such good health. The nurse told him he needed to call his doctor right away.

He quickly got an appointment and after numerous tests, the results showed that Steve had chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). This is a type of cancer that starts from cells which become certain white blood cells (called lymphocytes) in the bone marrow. Therefore, the leukemia cells start in the bone marrow but then go into the blood.

After much research, Steve found out that 15,000 people get this type of cancer a year and 5,000 people die each year from the disease. He did not want to be one of the statistics; he has a beautiful wife, wonderful children and grandkids that bring so much joy to his life.

So he immediately started chemotherapy. After the first treatment, his blood count dropped and by June of 2012, he was in remission. Each treatment made him feel better and better. As a matter of fact, he was doing so well, he remembers eating a cheeseburger during one session of chemo, and then heading out for square dancing right after.

Each day is a blessing for Steve, and he is very thankful for 9Health Fair. If he hadn’t attended the fair that year, he may not have known about the CLL until it was too late since he hadn’t been experiencing any symptoms. Because of 9Health Fair, this was caught early and he was able to start treatment right away. 

Do you have a 9Health Fair success story to share with us? Tell us about it on Facebook.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Is Caffeine Good or Bad? That is the Question


Some love it, some hate it. There are many people who smell the strong aroma throughout the day and are in heaven, but for others, the idea of drinking a cup of joe makes them sick. While popular opinion may never agree on good vs. bad, scientific studies do have their fair share to say on the matter.

Some studies say caffeine decreases the risk of skin and prostate cancers. Some say it lowers depression risks in women. Also, findings show that it may protect you from Type 2 diabetes, and fight off Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. According to an article by AARP, the National Institutes of Health suggests coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s and dementia, and boosts concentration and memory, partially because coffee beans are seeds, which are loaded with protective compounds.

However, other reports suggest that caffeine should be avoided or limited during pregnancy. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (USNews article), coffee consumption has been linked to lower birth weight and increased risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, although there is no proof at this point that caffeine can be a cause of miscarriages. Another reported downfall to drinking coffee that is being studied is that it may act as a trigger for heart attacks with some people who don’t drink coffee often, though the report says more research is needed to determine if this is a serious issue.

Wow, that is a lot of information! So how do you know which reports hold more value? Which one do you pay the most attention to? Well, to start, the information above provides support about how caffeine can be both good and bad for you depending on who you are. And they all may be worth paying attention to in order to determine the significance.

That's why it is important to look for a “conclusion” at the end of every article. In every reputable study where the author(s) give their summary of results, there is a statement about the strength of the findings. This is worth paying attention to, as it shows how strong the study is (or isn’t). And if you aren’t sure you are viewing a credible medical source, talk it over with a health professional.

If that information overload leaves you feeling overwhelmed, just let your body do the talking. If caffeine makes you feel sick, then it may not be good for you. However, if it gives you a boost without making you feel bad, then caffeine may be your friend. There is real value in paying attention to how your own body responds to what you put in it.

For more information about conflicting health recommendations, check out our 9Health Fair Topic of the Month page on How Do You Balance Conflicting Health Recommendations

We want to know! Tell us - do you love coffee, or hate it??  Share with us on Facebook.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Hot Happenings Around Denver

July is here which means fireworks, friends and family fun and more barbecues! Denver has plenty of fun activities in store for this month which you can enjoy with family and friends of all ages! And July is one full of festivities for all to enjoy.

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival, sailing into the Denver area July 18 and 19, has become the areas fastest growing and most popular family-friendly summer festival. It was named the “Top Annual Festival” by the Rocky Mountain News and a “Best of Denver” event by Westword. You will experience Asian Pacific American culture through the performances, arts, crafts, shopping, dining and the athletic competition of dragon boat racing.

An all-time favorite event in the summertime is Film On The Rocks, which shows blockbuster movies on the big screen in the beautiful setting of Red Rocks Amphitheater. The film isn’t the only excitement; each picture event features an opening band or comedian, as well audience participation contests. The next one in the super cinema line-up is Pretty Woman on July 31, featuring SHEL and Moses. Check out what’s ahead on the list for the rest of the summer with Film On The Rocks.

Denver is not only famous for the culture and arts, but we are also a city well-known for some of the best farmers’ markets around. Spread throughout the Mile High area, you will find locally grown farm-fresh produce, outstanding baked goods and delicious prepared foods to take home with you. Each market runs weekly and provides a festive, fun experience where you will find live entertainment and family friendly activities, including shopping and fun events for the kids.  Take a look at the list of farmers’ markets around the city to find one near you.

Get out and about this July! The weather has finally warmed up and now is the time to enjoy the outdoor activities with family and friends! Check out for more details, information and location of fantastic all-American Denver events.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

9 Signs of Alzheimer’s Disease

Imagine an entire city full of people unsuccessfully battling an incurable and unforgiving disease. That is the reality of Alzheimer’s in our country. According to data from the Alzheimer’s Association, an estimated 700,000 people age 65 or older will die with Alzheimer’s this year in the United States alone - this is close to the population of Detroit!

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness month. It’s a time to shine a purple light for the millions of people affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

Debilitating and devastating for all involved, Alzheimer’s affects the brain, causing memory loss and motor control loss in the body. A person with this disease will experience brain cells dying, resulting in a decline of memory and ability to function on a daily basis.

Scientists believe that the cause is a combination of genetics, a person’s lifestyle and their environment. Although uncommon (less than 5 percent of the time), some people can develop it through a genetic mutation that will almost always guarantee the disease.

Watch for Warning Signs

If you have just an ounce of suspicion that a loved one’s memory may be slipping, it is important to pay attention to warning signs. Below are the nine most important signs to look for.

1. Memory loss that disrupts daily life. This may include forgetting names or appointments, but then remembering them later when it’s too late.

2. Challenges in planning or solving problems. An example of this could be handling a problem in a much different way than what is normal to them.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. When this sign is evident, your loved one may need help using the settings on a microwave or need help remembering which button to push on the remote control.

4. Confusion with time or place. This is a common sign, especially as the disease progresses. They may become confused about the day of the week, but then they figure it out later.

5. New problems with words, speaking or writing. Many have trouble finding the right word or may even mix up thoughts and topics within a sentence.

6. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. They look all around over and over for something they cannot find. When they don’t remember where they have looked, the search begins again in the same places.

7. Decreased or poor judgement. Making a bad decision with something they typically would always make good choices with.

8. Withdrawal from work or social activities. This is very common in that once they feel there is something wrong, they close up and avoid social settings.

9. Changes in mood and personality. Irritability is a very common and noticeable sign. They become more set in their ways and begin to have very set ways of doing things.


The greatest risk factors -- age, genes and family history -- are beyond our control. But that doesn't mean there's nothing you can do to improve your odds.

A new report published in Alzheimers & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association outlines the latest evidence that certain modifiable risk factors play a role in who's most likely to develop memory and thinking problems as they age.

While the report concludes that more research is needed on risk reduction, prevention, and brain health, it concludes scientists now know enough to make these two key recommendations:

1. Regular physical activity and management of cardiovascular risk factors (diabetes, obesity, smoking, and hypertension) have been shown to reduce the risk of cognitive decline and may reduce the risk of dementia

2. A healthy diet and lifelong learning/cognitive training may also reduce the risk of cognitive decline.

How to Spread Awareness

Alzheimer’s disease is not quite understood, but the effect it has on the brain is clear. Visit and learn more about the disease, its symptoms and the impact it has on caregivers and society in general. It is also important to be proactive. Call the Alzheimer’s Association’s 24/7 helpline at 1-800-272-3900 if you have questions, need help or just need someone to talk to for support. Share how Alzheimer’s has affected your family with us on Facebook.
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