Tuesday, October 14, 2014

To Fast or Not to Fast - That is the Question!

Have you ever wondered why you have to fast before you get your blood drawn for certain tests? There’s a reason – and that reason is not to put your will power to the test to see how long you can go without eating. There is a much better explanation than that.

What is Fasting and Why Do We Need To?
Fasting includes no consumption of food or drinks, with the exception of water. Drinking water before a blood draw is encouraged because the more hydrated you are, the easier it is to draw blood.
9Health Fair asks you to fast because non-fasting results can inflate the values of your blood glucose level and your triglyceride levels. To get an accurate baseline reading, fasting is required so that the normal increase seen with consuming calories in either food or drink (which causes rising and then falling levels) does not give us inaccurate information. Also, triglyceride levels are used to compute your low density lipoprotein (LDL), a part of your cholesterol reading.  If your triglycerides are elevated, your LDL will be inaccurate.

If you’re anxious about not eating for 12 hours, be sure to consume a balanced meal the night before and then immediately after your blood draw. Take advantage of the free nourishment station that each 9Health Fair provides. These snack areas, made possible by our friends at King Soopers, are there to replenish participants and give them energy before continuing on to the free screenings and other offerings.

It is important to note that people with diabetes should not fast, because keeping a small amount of food in your system to keep your blood sugar levels normal is essential.

Is Fasting Required for All Tests?
The only test that requires you to withhold consumption for 12 hours is the Blood Chemistry screening.

The Hemoglobin A1c (HgbA1c) shows if you could possibly have diabetes or, if you do have it, how well your diabetes is being controlled. It measures your glucose levels over the last two or three months and is used to check sugar build up in your blood. Whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes or not, you do not need to withhold consumption for this and other blood draws except the Blood Chemistry.

Time to Get Your Blood Drawn at a Family 9Health Fair
Now is the time to head to a Family 9Health Fair to receive the low-cost Blood Chemistry Screening. The fairs run every weekend until November 8th. Find a fair near you - the results will provide you with the information you need to live a healthy life. And don’t forget to fast for 12 hours before heading to a 9Health Fair if you are doing the Blood Chemistry Screening!

If you liked this post, here are a few others you might like as well!
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Dehydration Myths

Monday, October 13, 2014

Protein - Do we get it right?

(This guest post is authored by Julie Moore of Colorado Beef Council)

Are we consuming protein in the right way? Many Americans eat more than 60% of their daily protein in one single large dinner meal – that doesn’t leave much room for protein at other meals or snacks! A growing body of evidence indicates that eating a higher protein diet, about 25-30 grams per meal or snack, may help maximize optimal health, maintain muscle mass, provide energy to lead an active lifestyle and reduce mindless eating.

Research that was recently published in The Journal of Nutrition shows that including a moderate amount of protein at three meals and snacks throughout the day provides many health benefits, such as supporting healthy aging and weight management by minimizing muscle loss and aiding in satiety.

Here are a few tips to make small changes to your diet.

Easy 30 gram protein-rich breakfast ideas:
  • 2 eggs with peanut butter on a slice of whole grain toast, and a glass of 1% milk
  • Scrambled eggs with lean ground beef wrapped in a whole grain tortilla in this satisfying beef breakfast burrito
Lighten up your lunch:
  • Create a salad of greens, carrots, brown rice, garbanzo beans and top with hard-boiled eggs or 2 oz chicken. 
  • Enjoy an open-faced, lean roast beef or ham sandwich for a high-protein lunch such as the pictured Mediterranean Beef and Veggie Wrap
Sneak in a snack:
  • 1 oz. Beef jerky (80 kcals, 15g protein)
  • Pre-packed single servings of almonds or other nuts (1 serving = 169 kcals, 6 grams of protein)
  • 1 Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Cheese (70 kcals, 5g protein)
  • 1 (1.5-oz) to-go peanut butter pouch (250 kcal, 9g protein)
  • LUNA Protein Bar (170 kcals, 12g protein)
  • Balance Bar Gold (200 kcals, 14g protein)
  • 1-oz pumpkin seeds (163 kcals, 5g protein)
  • Kashi Trail Mix Granola bar (140 kcals, 6g protein)
  • Nature Valley Greek Yogurt Protein bar (180 kcals, 10g protein)
  • Sabra Hummus to Go with Pretzel Crisps (260 kcals, 6g protein) 

If you liked this post, here are a few others you might like as well!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Tis the Season of Fall Festivals

Fall is in the air and it’s a great time to get outside, breathe fresh air and enjoy the beauty of the autumn leaves. This is also the time of year when fall festivals abound! Pumpkin patches, corn mazes and tractor rides through fields of vegetation.

When it comes to outdoor activities this fall, there are many that top the charts. One favorite is the fall festival at Miller Farms. In its 19th season, this harvest event has become a tradition for so many families. Experience what it would be like to be a farmer. Take a tractor ride into the fields with stops along the way to pick your own vegetables. For kids, life doesn’t get much better than this. They get to dig in the dirt to pull vegetables out of the ground and then you can take home as much as you can carry to your car! It’s a great time to talk to your kids about the importance of vegetables are and what types of healthy meals you can make.  Check out some of these vegetable recipes that are good for the whole family.

In addition to being a farmer for a day, Miller Farms is packed full of fun fall festivities. Play in the petting zoo, find your way through a corn maze, bounce around on the jumping balloon, climb on the fire truck, run up a hay pyramid, and more. This autumn event goes through mid-November and is open daily from 9am to 6pm. You can get more information by calling 970-785-6133.

The Denver Post has a list of Colorado Halloween, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and fall events that will provide more activities than you will be able to fit on your calendar. But this large guide has events you won’t want to miss out on!

If you haven’t taken your kids to a pumpkin patch, corn maze or a fall festival, you can learn all about the various activities and then decide which one or more you will check out.

Fall festivals are not only fun, but what a great way to get exercise, fresh air and your daily intake of Vitamin D. What do you do for fun in the fall? Tell us how you make this time of year a festive one.

If you liked this post, here are a few others you might like as well!
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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Five Tricks to Keep the Halloween Treats off Your Teeth

Halloween is around the corner and that brings a lot of excitement for children. Their biggest hope is for a ton of candy; the more the better! But, that bag of goodies can be a parent’s worst nightmare.

According to a KidsHealth survey, most kids said they get at least 50 pieces of candy from trick-or-treating, with over 44 percent saying they arrive home with over 100 candy items. Thankfully, only about 20 percent said they indulge in every single last bit of their goodies.

Spook Away Those Cavities
This is a great time of year to teach your children good oral health habits for life, without depriving them of Halloween treats. Check out these five tricks that can help your children’s mouths stay healthy during Halloween and every other time of year.
  1. Eat Halloween candy and other sweets with meals. Saliva production increases during meals and helps get rid of acids produced by bacteria in your mouth. Spit also helps rinse away food particles in and around your teeth.
  2. Avoid hard candy that stays in your mouth for a long period of time. The length of time sugary food is in your mouth plays a large role in tooth decay. Unless it is a sugar-free product, candies that you suck on for a long period of time put teeth at an increased risk for tooth decay. 
  3. Stay away from candies that stick to your teeth. Stickier candies, like taffy and gummy bears, take longer to get washed out of the crevasses of your teeth by saliva, which increases the risk for tooth decay.
  4. Drink a fair amount of water. Drinking optimally fluoridated water can help prevent tooth decay. If you choose bottled water, look for kinds that have fluoride.
  5. Steer clear of sugary drinks such as soda, sports drinks and flavored water. Tooth decay risk increases when your teeth come in frequent contact with beverages containing sugar.

 What Dentists Think About This Haunted Holiday
Many dentists say it is actually better for kids to gorge themselves on candy as opposed to rationing it out. Snacking on Halloween candy for a few hours each day keeps your teeth coated in sugar and enamel-corroding acid which then leads to cavities. If kids eat a lot of candy all in one night, and don’t eat it consistently day after day, that sugar build up won’t haunt them as much.

Also, make sure to brush immediately after eating those Halloween treats. The American Dental Association recommends brushing teeth at least twice a day.

Protect those Pearly Whites
New this year at 9Health Fair, you will find fluoride varnishes for kids, and there’s no better time than now to take advantage of this free screening. No bones about it, this is a great way to keep those beastly bacteria off your little ones teeth. Our Family 9Health Fairs continue each weekend through November 8th; make sure to bring the whole family! Share your healthy mouth tricks with us on Facebook.

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Hit the Trails with the Whole Family

(This guest post is authored by Melissa Daruna of Get Outdoors Colorado)

Fall is a great time to get out and explore the trails. There is often a lot of wildlife to be seen, amazing fall colors on the leaves, and comfortable, cooler temperatures. Before you blaze ahead, check out these 5 tips for fun, safe family hiking:
  1. Know Your Goals & Give In A Little – As the American Hiking Society puts it – hiking with kids is more about the experience and journey than getting from point A to point B.  Let your kids explore and have fun. While you may have a timeframe in mind, be flexible on how far you get and even when you start and end. The point is for your kids to have fun and enjoy their time outdoors. Allowing your kids some control goes a long way to develop their interest in the trails. Let them pick the location, or even just exploring the map together will give them some input in the adventure!
  2. Play Can Also Be Learning – Teach your kids trail etiquette, create scavenger hunts or other simple games to keep them engaged while moving. Bringing field guides to help identify plants and animals is also a great way to make sure they leave with something without taking anything out of nature.
  3. Layer It On!Dress in layers and be aware of your child’s body temperature. Really active kids may not realize how cold their skin actually is.  If you are carrying your child, you may be warm while he or she is not. Layers are a great way to stay comfortable and safe. Dressing kids in bright colors helps you keep track of them if they are likely to run ahead. Always bring a rain layer and warm layer you can remove or add if needed. Hats and gloves are small and easy to pack and can make a world of difference between a happy comfortable kid and one who just wants to go home.
  4. Fuel Their Fire – Pack water and small, healthy snacks to have along the way. For older kids, having their own pack with these essentials can add to the excitement of the experience. Teach your kids about proper fuel for their body, packing out their trash, and only drinking properly filtered water.
  5. Safety and Stewardship –Sunscreen and a safety whistle are important to include in each kids pack, if they are carrying one. Have a plan of what to do if your kids get separated from you and go over that plan before every hike. 

If you liked this post, here are a few others you might like as well!
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Monday, October 6, 2014

Strengthen Your Life with 9Health Fair

After a full day at work fixing hot water heaters and steam boilers as a mechanical engineer, Bill was not surprised that he sometimes experienced stiffness in his joints. However, he hadn’t given it much thought over the last year. He just figured that’s the price you pay as you get older.

At 57 years of age and feeling healthy, Bill and his wife, June, attend 9Health Fair because it is so convenient and it is an easy way to get their blood work done. Relocating to Denver from Chicago, they were thrilled to find out about 9Health Fair – they didn’t have anything like it in Illinois!  Their first time attending a fair was in the spring of 2013, and they both had a clean bill of health.

Impressed by the comprehensive information from the Blood Chemistry Screening in their first 9Health Fair experience, Bill and June decided they should go again in the spring of 2014. This time, just two days after attending the fair, Bill received a call from a 9Health Fair nurse.  Bill’s results showed abnormalities and a low white blood cell count.

Bill followed the 9Health Fair nurse’s recommendation to see his primary care physician. His doctor wasn’t sure how serious this was, and told Bill he wasn’t too worried - but if it would make Bill feel more comfortable, they could do a series of tests to see if anything severe showed up.

Bill opted to undergo a liver biopsy and a bone marrow test, which led to a leukemia diagnosis. He was shocked, but now this joint stiffness was starting to make sense.

Because the leukemia was caught relatively early, Bill’s treatment plan was mild. His doctor even suggested that he and his wife take a nice vacation before starting treatment. Instead, Bill started treatment right away. He scheduled it in such a way that he didn’t need to take much time off work at all; he only missed four Fridays. He also noticed that after his first chemotherapy session, the stiffness in his arms began to dissipate.

Bill is now cancer-free, and  will continue to have regular check-ups to monitor his health. He thanks 9Health Fair for offering this all-inclusive Blood Chemistry Screening that was able to easily uncover a serious health issue. The Blood Chemistry Screening gave his doctors all the information they needed to order the appropriate follow-up tests, which saved Bill from having to undergo more unnecessary diagnostic testing.

Bill is grateful to have the energy and flexibility to play with his two young grandchildren again. He now tells all of his friends to go get their blood checked at a 9Health Fair. He says you never know how you’re really doing. “Go every year to a 9Health Fair and keep track of your blood work – it’s so easy!” Bill says to everyone he knows.

Now is the perfect time to visit a Family 9Health Fair to receive the low-cost Blood Chemistry Screening. Family 9Health Fairs run every weekend until November 8. Find a fair near you - the results will provide you with the information you need to live a healthy life!

Has 9Health Fair changed your life?  Share your story with us!

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Monday, September 29, 2014

Digital Detoxing - for the Health of It!

Have you ever thought about taking a break from your electronic devices? Technology has become such a large part of our daily lives that it can be hard to “unplug” or “turn it off”.

Many of us have become used to the convenience of being socially connected to friends at a moment’s notice. It’s so easy to post a five second video of your dog catching a ball or share your deepest thoughts in 140 characters. But, we might not realize the effects that technology can have on us.

A digital detox is a great way to re-balance and focus on life in front of you instead of what lives behind the screen. This means turning off smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers for a certain length of time, ideally for 24-hours or longer.

Taking a Break for Your Health
The constant demands for attention from the digital world can affect your mental well-being, among other things.  A Swedish study shows that young people who heavily used technology were found to struggle with mental health issues.

On the flipside, limiting your exposure to technology can prevent or reverse those effects on your mental health.  A new study from Bren School of Information & Computer Science shows that eliminating the constant distractions of work email significantly reduces stress and allows you to focus better.  

Check out these six ways over usage can affect your mental health.

1)     Sleep. All electronic devices can mess with your sleep patterns and habits, potentially leaving you with a sleep disorder. It has also been found that late night use of your device is associated with stress and depression. Turn it off well before bed and keep all devices in a different room from where you sleep.
2)     Depression.  A study done by the Journal of Pediatric Psychology found that mobile phone use after bedtime may be associated with poor mental health, suicidal feelings and self-injury in both early and late youngsters. However, no matter what the age, constant cell phone usage is more likely to report depressive symptoms. Take an hour or more each day (at least!) to put your devices down.
3)     Addiction.  The brains of technology abusers develop a certain pattern of change over time. Studies suggest that the amount of time users check their gadgets is just enough to trigger that part of our brain that is linked to addiction. The Journal of Behavioral Addictions found that cell phone use appeared to have impulsive tendencies, at least for college-age students. It is important to pay attention to how often you feel the need to be connected to a device.
4)     Stress.  If you come home at the end of the day and immediately turn on technology, your brain doesn't get a chance to de-stress and unwind from your daily activities. This will keep you in stress mode around the clock if you don’t take a break.
5)     The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). Because of social media and the sharing of everything, our society has moved into feelings of “is everybody having fun without me?” Take the pressure off of yourself by realizing they are not all having fun without you!
6)     Anxiety. Social media can lead to anxiety about everything from FOMO to the fear that life is not exciting enough since everyone else’s life looks more interesting. Surveys have found that women often have anxiety that they are not creative enough after using Pinterest. Social media also can cause anxiety of not being successful enough or smart enough because of sites like Facebook and Twitter.

Turn Your Devices off and Live in the Now
You will be happy to see how a digital detox will save you unneeded stress and anxiety, and end up giving you more time for the things that really matter.

Technology is useful for so many things, but it is important to remember, life is right in front of you, not hidden behind a device. Are you ready to cut the cord?

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Stay in Good Health with 9Health Fair

With friends starting to see ailments more commonly, Brian and his wife, Penny, realized they could no longer take their health for granted.  Retirement was getting closer, and they knew they would need to stay in good health to start tackling their growing bucket list. They vowed to make their 9Health Fair visit an annual tradition – it was an easy step in the right direction! 

It had only been 2 days since their visit to the 9Health Fair at Temple Sinai, when Brian got the call from a volunteer nurse.  She was quick to tell him that his Blood Chemistry Screening results were showing reduced kidney function.

A few years ago, his primary care physician had informed him of his above-normal creatinine levels, but Brian was in the dark about the effects that could have on the rest of his body.  The 9Health Fair nurse urged him to schedule an appointment with his primary care physician for further evaluation, and Brian took her advice.

Following his visit with his primary care physician, Brian learned that a medication he had been on for years was affecting his kidney function.  His creatinine levels had been rising for a long time, but it took a visit to 9Health Fair to bring attention to the matter.  Brian immediately stopped taking that medication and began seeing a nephrologist to make sure he was managing his kidney issues fully.

“Had I not received the call from 9Health Fair nurses, the problem would have worsened,” Brian says.  “Thanks to 9Health Fair, I was able to avert a more serious kidney problem than what already existed – a problem that was completely unknown to me!”

Might you have an underlying issue that is going undetected?  Visit a 9Health Fair this fall to receive the simple, low-cost Blood Chemistry Screening.  The results could provide the information you need to live a healthier life! 

Need a Nice Fix? Head to the Fall Colors!

Colorado is one of the best places to see the change in color that occurs in trees during the fall, but did you know that taking in the scenery could actually make you nicer?

In a set of recent experiments, researchers at the University of Rochester in New York monitored the effects of natural versus artificial environments — and found that nature actually makes us nicer. 

“Previous studies have shown the health benefits of nature range from more rapid healing to stress reduction to improved mental performance and vitality,” says Richard Ryan, a professor of psychology, psychiatry and education at the University of Rochester and co-author of the study, published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

“Now we’ve found nature brings out more social feelings, more value for community and close relationships. People are more caring when they’re around nature,” he says.

Researchers found that even artificial and pictures of nature will do the trick, but why not take advantage of the gorgeous scenery this time of year?  The colors generally peak the final two weeks of September and the first week in October – be sure to catch a glimpse before they’re gone!

9NEWS Meteorologist Marty Coniglio has compiled a list of the nine best drives to take in Colorado.
And if you don’t find one you like or need more information, the U.S. Forest Service operates a Fall Color Hotline at 1-800-354-4595.

If you or someone in your life could use a little “nice fix”, get in the car and head to the fall colors to get healthier and nicer!

No Excuses - Get the Health Screenings You Need!

We've all heard the common childhood excuse of, “The dog ate my homework!” But as adults, we come up with new excuses to explain why we don’t exercise, eat healthy or get the health screenings we need.

According to a recent AARP survey, the most common excuses to avoid getting health screenings are:
  • "I’m confused about which health screenings I should get."
  • "Screenings cost too much."
  • "I don’t have health insurance."
  • "Health screenings just aren't that important."  

Do any of these sound familiar to you?  9Health Fair can help you eliminate excuses and overcome obstacles to get the preventative screenings you need. Let’s look at each excuse one by one.

I’m confused about which health screenings I should get.
9Health Fair has medical professionals at every health fair to help you understand which screenings you need based on your medical history, family history, age, gender and other factors. You can also check out this online resource “Which screenings are right for me?” before you arrive at your fair!

Screenings cost too much.
9Health Fair offers screenings at a fraction of the price that you would pay at a lab or medical office. (And, we use the same lab – Quest Diagnostics – that most hospitals and medical offices use.) For example, the Blood chemistry Screening, which measures 28 different levels, costs just $35. See a full list of medical screenings and prices here. There is also a plethora of free screenings such as hearing, vision, blood pressure and more. Find a fair that offers the screenings you choose.

I don’t have health insurance.
Paying out of pocket for medical costs can be expensive if you don’t have health insurance. Think of how much money you can save by staying healthy, or by finding a potential health issue before it becomes a major medical emergency. Additionally, our partners at Connect for Health Colorado are available at several of the health fairs to help answer questions about how to get affordable insurance.

Health screenings just aren’t that important.
This excuse is the most difficult and dangerous. Most people don’t think about their health until something happens that calls it to their attention. We take for granted the ability to care for ourselves and our families, the ability to do breathe, eat, walk and so many other things we enjoy. We are able to do all of those activities because our health allows it.  When your health is compromised, health comes into focus. But why wait until there is a issue before you make health a priority? 9Health Fair makes it simple and affordable to get your health screenings, in a welcoming environment.

Here are some reasons to put your excuses to rest for good!
  • When you feel good, you look good.
  • Getting the health screenings you need will set an important example for your loved ones.
  • Maintaining your health can help you continue to enjoy the things you love for many years to come.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oral Health Screenings for Kids Offered at Family 9Health Fairs

If you could prevent one of the most common threats to your kids’ health, would you do it? Most people would answer yes, but surprisingly only 9.3 percent of children have visited a dentist by the age of one, as recommended by the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Dental caries (cavities) are the leading chronic disease among Colorado’s children, and they are five times more prevalent than asthma. 

9Health Fair has stepped up its efforts to help children gain access to oral health. Several of the Family 9Health Fairs this fall will offer fluoride varnishes for kids and oral health screenings for adults and kids - at no cost! You can find a fair each weekend from September 13 through November 8.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found in the 2011-2012 school year that 39.7 percent of kindergarten children in Colorado had experienced dental caries.  In low-income and minority populations, early childhood caries is an epidemic and public health emergency; we are discovering that large health disparities do exist.

The good news is most oral diseases are preventable when habits like fluoride, teeth brushing, flossing and regular check-ups become a part of a child’s routine. 9Health Fair offers this important oral health screening, so find a fair  for you and your kids to attend this fall.

Fine-Tune Your Health with Blood Chemistry Screening

(This guest post is authored by Dr. John Torres of 9News)

Part of staying healthy is making sure problems are found before they start affecting you.  That means getting regular checkups that look at your overall health.  It also means getting blood tests to detect things early on before they start causing bigger issues.  9Health Fair offers a blood test known as the Blood Chemistry Screening that will give you a good picture of your overall health.  This simple blood test looks at a variety of substances in your blood and can tell your doctor information ranging from your cholesterol levels to how well you are managing your sugars and how well some of your organs are functioning. 

Even though you might not notice it, a high glucose level can be an early indicator of diabetes or a condition known as metabolic syndrome.  The Blood Chemistry Screening will look for that.  It also looks at your electrolytes, the basic minerals in your body, like your potassium and sodium, which essentially keep every cell in your body functioning normally.  The Blood Chemistry Screening also looks at how well your kidneys and liver are working.  Both of these organs might have issues that you wouldn't notice until they've caused other health problems.  The test also looks at your thyroid level, which can affect every part of your body.  One of the bigger issues with the thyroid is that it might be causing overall issues, like fatigue or weight gain, that can sneak up on you and you might not even realize it.  Once detected, this can be managed to bring the thyroid under better control.  Additionally, this test also checks your cholesterol level.  This is another thing you won’t simply notice because it doesn’t have any symptoms you can feel until you start having issues with heart disease or stroke.   

The Blood Chemistry Screening is easy to get, low-cost ($35) and can provide you and your doctor with a large amount of information that can help you both fine tune your health.  Get this screening at any Family 9Health Fair this fall!

Friday, September 12, 2014

King Soopers/City Market is Your Destination for Health and Wellness

(This guest post is authored by Mara McGuin of King Soopers)

People are always looking for easy solutions for balanced living, and King Soopers/City Market is the perfect place to find those answers. King Soopers offers a wide range of products and services that empower our customers to live and eat healthier, because Colorado’s health matters to us!
King Soopers is currently rolling out in-store Wellness Festivals developed by our team of registered dietitians that are free for the public! The festivals feature fun, interactive, and innovative educational booths throughout the store that highlight our outstanding, good-for-you products and services. There are also many delicious samples, giveaways, and valuable information on nutrition and healthy living. Click here for a list of Wellness Festival locations – we would love to see you there!
At the Wellness Festivals you will learn about the diversity of products and services available that make King Soopers your optimal destination for all health and wellness needs, including:
  • Produce: An affordable fresh selection of produce is available in every store, including a wide array of Colorado Proud and organic produce.
  • Natural & Organics: We offer a robust selection of Natural & Organics, including 30 Optimum Wellness Natural Vitamin Centers with Nutrition Specialists who help customers choose the best supplement for their needs.
  • Registered Dietitians: Six registered dietitians are on staff to develop wellness programs, and provide support to customers and associates in achieving nutrition-related goals.
  • Pharmacy: We have over 500 pharmacists, including specially trained patient care managers who provide health coaching & wellness services.
  • The Little Clinic: Located in 15 King Soopers stores, these clinics are staffed by Nurse Practitioners to provide convenient, affordable, quality options for Urgent care & basic health care needs.
  • NuVal: The NuVal scoring system available in every store, guides customers to healthier products by “trading up” – the higher the NuVal score, the better the nutritional value. Look for the tags!
  • HealthCENTERS: Automated HealthCENTERS are located near the pharmacy to provide an easy, user-friendly way for customers to track their key health indicators.
  • CU Health Partners: Our extensive community connections include a strong affiliation with the University of Colorado to offer the best health services. 

To learn more about how your health matters to us, go to https://www.kingsoopers.com/healthmatters  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Protect Your Indoor Space from Mold

(This guest post is authored by Joan Brown of Pinnacol Assurance)

This year, Colorado has seen increased moisture and some long-range forecasts say this year could be wetter than usual.  Mold flourishes in damp weather, so it’s important to make sure your indoor space is protected.  Mold growth may occur when excessive moisture accumulates indoors.  Molds have been associated with adverse health effects and can cause damage to building materials, finishes, and furnishings. Are your indoor spaces protected?

Molds are found almost everywhere in our environment, both outdoors and indoors.  Their spores float continually in the air we breathe.  When mold spores land on a moist surface indoors, they may begin to grow. Molds can grow on just about any substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are available. Mold growth may occur on building materials including carpet, ceiling tile, insulation, paper, wallboard, and wood.

Most people experience no health effects from exposure to mold present in the indoor and outdoor air. However, some individuals with underlying health conditions, such as allergies, asthma, sinusitis, and people with weakened immune systems may be more sensitive to mold. The most common health effects associated with mold exposure include allergic reactions.  Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, eye irritation, coughing, congestion, aggravation of asthma, and skin rash.

Moisture control is the key to mold prevention. Common sources of moisture indoors include plumbing, roof, and window leaks; flooding; surface condensation; and unvented humid spaces, such as crawlspaces, bathrooms, kitchens and laundry areas. To prevent mold growth, eliminate or control all sources of potential mold growth by prompt cleanup and repair of all areas where water collection and leakage has occurred; clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24 to 48 hours; remove and discard absorbent materials that are contaminated, such as damp insulation, moldy ceiling tiles, and mildewed carpets; and clean and disinfect hard surfaces where mold growth has occurred, maintain indoor air relative humidity below 60 percent.

If you suspect that there is mold in your indoor space, consult www.epa.gov for more information.

Reduce indoor humidity (to 30-60 percent) to decrease mold growth, as follows:
  • Vent bathrooms, dryers and other moisture-generating sources to the outside. 
    • Use air conditioners and de-humidifiers.
    • Increase ventilation
    • Use exhaust fans whenever cooking, dishwashing and cleaning
  • Clean and dry any damp or wet building materials and furnishings within 24-48 hours to prevent mold growth. 
  • Clean mold off hard surfaces with water and detergent, and dry completely. Absorbent materials such as ceiling tiles, which may become moldy, may need to be replaced.
  • In areas with a perpetual moisture problem, do not install carpeting – such as near drinking fountains or classroom sinks, or on concrete floors with leaks or frequent condensation. 


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Keep Your Kids Focused - Get Outside!

(This guest post is authored by Melissa Daruna of Get Outdoors Colorado)

As our kids head back inside for the fall and back to school, it is important to remember the benefits of outside play, specifically on their ability to focus in the classroom. Kids are spending less and less time outside and America is seeing a growing increase in childhood obesity and attention deficit disorders. Kids spend an average of 7 ½ hours “connected” to electronic media and only 4-7 minutes per day in unstructured play outside.

With more and more children being diagnosed with ADD and ADHD, parents are often seeking solutions to curb symptoms so kids can be successful in school. Many parents resort to the usual medications and classroom plans but research is showing that there are simpler, healthier ways to help kids keep their focus – nature. A recent study showed that short, 20-minute walks outside in nature helped alleviate symptoms of ADD/ADHD, in kids who were both medicated and not medicated. Kids were able to return to tasks and focus for longer. Other studies and resources show that time spent in nature helped address the hyperactivity/impulsivity axis of ADHD. This, in turn, supported performance on objective tests for impulse control.

There are forums where parents are sharing similar stories of success using time outside to help their children have calm minds and focused attention. Many parents are using this technique in lieu of medication or on days when their child does not take medication.

While this is exciting news for parents of children with ADD/ADHD, it can also be key for parents whose children do not suffer from these disorders. The study done by the University of Illinois demonstrated that the increased focus benefit was apparent in children without a disorder as well. The calming nature of nature is helpful for kids across the board. So, get them outside and set them up for a successful year in the classroom! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Your Health is Everything

The wait is over!  The first fall Family 9Health Fair is September 13 at Saint Pius X Catholic Parish in Aurora from 7:00am to noon.  Find a fair close to you and register online to save time the day of the fair.  This fall, there are fourteen family-friendly opportunities to own your health around our area including Aurora, Castle Rock, Colorado Springs, Commerce City, Denver, Fort Collins, Fountain, Fraser, Golden, Highlands Ranch,  Longmont, and Parker. 

Your Health is Everything - 9Health Fair Can Help You:

  • Enjoy more of the things you like to do:  Get the most out of each day.  Enjoy quality time with family, friends, and your favorite hobbies.  High quality screenings can help you avoid health issues that could slow you down and take time away from your family.  The body is very talkative with the right listening equipment.
  • Save money:  The CDC reminds us that eighty percent of chronic disease is preventable.  Tobacco use, limited physical activity, poor eating habits, and excessive alcohol consumption are  all culprits but can be addressed by each of us.  Change your statistics now with behavior modification and affordable preventive screenings that won’t break the bank.  Whether you have insurance or not, all are welcome.
  • Feel good:  Reducing your risk brings peace of mind that you are in control of your health.  Increasing your overall physical and emotional wellness will help you look your best and live energy-filed, pain free days.
  • Learn new healthy family traditions:  The Family 9Health Fair encourages the entire family to learn more about their health.  Whether you are modeling healthy behaviors for children, challenging them to a jump roping competition in the Wellness Activities Area, or helping those in your family manage current conditions, this is a time to own your health and be more active together.  Start the new school year off right.  Look for children’s height, weight, body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, vision, hearing, and oral screenings at most fairs. 

Do you have time this fall?  It is not too late to volunteer and lend a helping hand in your community.  Sign up on the 9Health Fair website for both medical and non-medical openings and help spread the health!

Monday, August 18, 2014

The Modern Day Treasure Hunt

Are you looking for a more creative, engaging way to get the recommended 150 minutes of physical activity into your week?  Grab your family, smartphone or GPS device, and start up a modern day treasure hunt.  A recent study from Texas A&M suggested those that participate in geocaching (an outdoor seek and find game) not only reported an average of 130 minutes of activity per week, but an increase in physical and mental health as well.  It’s all about the chase.  Keeping your mind creatively active and having fun while gathering the health benefits of the great outdoors keeps you interested and moving more. 

Geocaching, once thought of for only the most dedicated outdoor enthusiasts who invested in a GPS device, is now mostly limited by interest.  Now with more than 2.4 million active geocaches hidden, chances are there are a few right where you live.  After dinner, spice up your family walk by looking for a treasure!

How to start your geocache adventure:

  1. Download the free smartphone app:  iPhone, Android, or Windows Phone 7
  2. Create a free account at www.geocaching.com for more interaction with fellow hunters
  3. Read all about game play, hints and tricks, and what to bring  HERE
  4. Search for geocaches in your area
  5. Have fun!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sit Less at the Office with 3 Easy Steps

You may not be aware that Americans sit approximately 14 hours per day while we are awake, much of which happens at work.  Sitting does not help insulin get glucose out of the blood and into cells.  Instead, cells will begin to resist insulin allowing glucose to collect in our blood, leading to diabetes.  This fall, 9Health Fair can show you where your glucose levels are as a baseline for change.   Even those that reach the recommended 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease and cancer if they spend the rest of the day in a chair. 

The idea that “sitting is the new smoking” was a conclusion primarily drawn by Dr. James Levine, an endocrinologist for the Mayo Clinic, but has since grown in popularity with numerous corroborating studies.  Dr. Levine’s message is simple: get up more.  Exercise combined with less daily sitting seems to give the most complete health benefits.

How do we learn to stand and move more at the office?
Step 1:  Get up.  Your brain is in the habit of sitting in the office setting.  Set an alarm every hour to remind yourself to stand and stretch your muscles.  Incorporate resistance bands for extra office friendly movements.

Step 2:  Get up more.  Stand up while talking on the phone or eating your lunch.  Use part of a meeting to stand up in the back.  This simple act will also give you a boost of energy to remain alert and remember more of what you heard. 

Step 3: Once you’re up, move.  Master the art of meeting while walking.  Convert your office computer set up to a stand-up workstation.  Place raised shelves on your existing desk for a higher computer workspace.  Fifty more calories per hour are burned by standers than their sitting office colleagues.  In the beginning, only stand at your desk for a couple hours per day so your body has a chance to adapt and develop supportive muscles to prevent back, knee, and foot problems.  Consider comfortable shoes and a supportive mat to stand on as well.

Want to read more?  Check out these sites!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Come On, Get Happy: How getting outside improves your mental health

(This guest post is authored by Melissa Daruna of Get Outdoors Colorado)

It has been a popular fact for years – getting outside improves your health! While there are a variety of reasons that the outdoors can improve your physical health, another critical benefit is the positive impact the outdoors can have on your mental health. The brain is the only organ that continues to substantially mature after birth. Nature can have a profound positive impact on that development.

Here are three amazing benefits the great outdoors gives your noggin:

1.     Easiest Vitamin D Intake - You know that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when the sun hits your face on a cool morning? Studies show it is much more than a good feeling. Sunlight on the skin triggers the creation of Vitamin D in the body. Responsible exposure for 10-15 minutes can help the body get all of the good stuff it needs.  Physical benefits of Vitamin D range from protection against osteoporosis, heart attack, stroke and even cancer.  Vitamin D also helps protect against depression and activates the genes that release dopamine and serotonin.

2.     Lower Stress and Increased Focus - Have you ever seen a stressed out tree? Of course not; nature is the antithesis of stress - and you can be too! The great news is that research from the journal Environmental Science & Technology shows it only takes five minutes to lower stress and improve self-esteem and overall mood.  This is especially effective when coupled with vigorous activity or being near water. Nature can help children increase focus and even reduce symptoms of ADD. Time spent outside also helps adults focus and increases work productivity.

3.     Nature Makes You Nicer!  With a boosted mood, people who are exposed to the outdoors and nature are actually nicer. Nature increases social feelings and a sense of value for community.  People who spend time outside build close relationships and even care more about others.

 So come on, get outside and get happy!

Monday, August 4, 2014

An Integral Role Played by the Colorado National Guard

Most everyone living in Colorado today can remember a time when the Colorado National Guard has stepped in to keep us safe and lend a helping hand in the darkest moments of natural or man-caused emergencies.  Floods, forest fires, and events such as the Aurora Theater or Columbine shootings bring out the best in these service men and women who have trained and taken an oath for the people of Colorado and the United States.

We are all acutely aware of our service men and women in times of crisis, but they are also at our service in many other ways, including helping communities all over the state own their health. Starting thirty-five years ago, 9Health Fair had a need to get hundreds of boxes full of medical supplies and materials to fair sites all over Colorado.  Colorado National Guard saw this need and realized it could lend a helping hand.  A perfect union was born!

Every year since, the Colorado National Guard has used delivering 9Health Fair supplies as a training exercise – this continues to be an opportunity to remain in peak performance with procedures for delivering materials and supplies during any number of emergencies Coloradoans might face today. 

“This affords us the opportunity to have a direct daily impact across our state and our local communities,” said Master Sergeant Roger Carstensen.  9Health Fair could not have asked for a more admirable partner with whom to pursue a mission of advancing health awareness. 

This year, 888 boxes of medical supplies and materials traveled with 34 Service Members on a combined journey of 9,200 miles to over 130 sites all across Colorado, Nebraska, and Wyoming.  Colorado pulled out all the stops this spring for weather, heightening the training experience for the service members.  The spring brought snow storms requiring chains on the semi rear drive axles to make it over mountain passes, followed by frequent rainstorms leading to near flooding conditions.  The National Guard still made it to their destinations right on time.

MSgt Carstensen mused that Air National Guard members always encounter great attitudes and personalities while delivering boxes.  Even having just met, some 9Health Fair site volunteers whisked the service members away to relax Colorado style after a long day’s work.  As a means to say thank you, the volunteers entertained the men and women of the 233rd Space Group at their homes and took them out to enjoy mini fishing expeditions.  

After supplies have been delivered and the 18-wheelers start rolling once again, the same sentiments seem to be had by all.  Full of gratitude and waving, volunteers and service members alike say they can’t wait to see each other next year! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

All Thanks to One Small Choice

Julia, a CPA by trade, had no idea where her gallbladder was in her body (like most of us), nor what the small pear-shaped organ’s function was. But, every spring, Julia makes a point to attend a 9Health Fair because she says it is an inexpensive way to check up on her health. 

Monday morning after a Saturday blood draw at Garden County Elementary, she was surprised to receive a phone call from a 9Health Fair medical professional.  Julia listened to unsettling news that she should immediately book an appointment with her doctor to investigate high liver toxins.  These numbers could indicate many different forms of liver disease, blocked bile ducts, or even liver damage by strenuous exercise.  She was symptom-free, so what was the next logical step?  After the knowledgeable and kind 9Health Fair volunteer explained it all, Julia knew she needed to act quickly - and she was right.

Gallbladders typically range in size between a small pear (before meals when the organ is full of bile) to a deflated balloon (after bile has been released into the small intestine to help with digestion.)  Julia was walking around with an overextended avocado-sized gallbladder without being the wiser.  After reading over the faxed lab results, Julia’s doctor initiated further testing and an ultrasound.  All of the new information pointed to one conclusion: the enlarged gallbladder’s time was up.  Julia was prepared for surgery.  Due to its size, Julia would part with the organ through a five inch incision in her abdomen instead of the less invasive laparoscopic approach.

Living without a gallbladder requires very little alteration to your lifestyle, but not catching an enlarged gallbladder in time can lead to infection, tissue death, or rupture.  Even though Julia did not experience nausea, vomiting, pain, or other ways the body signals a gallbladder problem, one simple blood draw at the 9Health Fair caught the stress signal in her blood.  Julia is now fully recovered and has not needed to cut back on spicy or high fat foods, dairy, caffeine, or alcohol, as some do.  She is back to enjoying all the summer activities Nebraska has to offer, thanks to the one small choice she made in the spring to own her health.