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National Heart Awareness Month!

February is not only the month for Valentine’s Day hearts, but also the month for caring for and bringing awareness to our incredible organ: our hearts! Happy National Heart Awareness Month from RVC!

 

This month, we hope you took time to celebrate the impressive and hard working organ that keeps you moving every day. Your veins have the job of carrying oxygen-poor blood from the body back to the heart to become oxygenated and pumped back through the body. Your veins and heart are an important team, so making sure they are a strong unit is crucial. Here are five tips from Multi Care to protect your heart, your veins and make sure you are living life to the fullest!

 

Tip one: Eat Well!

An easy way to see if you are taking the right steps to healthy eating is to check the menu or grocery store labels for the American Heart Association stamp of approval! Additionally, simply by cutting back on packaged and processed foods, you are taking a small, simple step to taking better care of your heart and organs! Up your intake of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and your body will reward you.

 

Tip Two: Get a Checkup!

By regularly getting your blood pressure and cholesterol levels checked, you are doing your body a HUGE favor. Think preventative and be proactive about your health and vital levels! Regularly visiting your physician is the best way to ensure your health levels and prevent health risks.

 

Tip Three: Stop Smoking!

Did you know that each cigarette reduces your life by 11 minutes? Smokers have more than twice the risk of heart attacks than non-smokers, so taking the step to eliminate cigarettes is literally saving your life. Take the steps to quit to prevent losing your life to the highest cause of death in America, heart disease.

 

Tip four: Maintain a healthy weight!

Game changer! By maintaining a healthy weight, you are changing your life (and extending it!), and promoting strong overall health…especially for your heart! If you carry excess weight in your waist, you can be at higher risk for heart attack than if you work to maintain a healthy weight.

 

Tip Five: Stay active!

Making exercise part of your daily routine is one of the best ways to take care of your heart. If you aren’t a regular exerciser, simply adding 5 to 10 of walking to your day, your heart will thank you for years to come!

 

Follow these five easy steps to a healthy heart from MultiCare and live a happy long life!

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Top 5 Places to Snowshoe in Reno-Tahoe

Snowshoeing is not only a great way to exercise in these cold winter months, it’s also a great activity to get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful nature our backyard region has to offer. From Reno alone, Tahoe and surrounding areas, we are spoiled with some of the best backcountry in the west. From breath-taking views to incredible trails, snow and the winter elements are no reason to give up experiencing what our Reno-Tahoe area has to offer.

Did you know, you can burn up to 1,000 calories in only one hour of snowshoeing? Researchers have found that snowshoers can guarantee a calorie burn of anywhere from 420-1,000 calories per hour and the benefits do not stop there. Whether you’re cross-training for a summer sport, or looking for a weekend activity with your family and friends, snowshoeing can offer terrain and training benefits for both. If you’re looking for a muscle-building, heart-racing snowshoe, head up hill! This will engage muscle groups you didn’t know you have and leave you feeling sore (and satisfied!) from your weekend walk. On the other hand, looking for an easier climb? Golf courses are another great place to master the sport of snowshoeing and introduce beginners to the sport.

Looking for a place to start? We have you covered. Here are our top 5 local trails for a blood-pumping, family-friendly winter outdoor adventure we know you’ll love!

  1. Chickadee Ridge: one of Tahoe’s most popular snowshoe adventures! Chickadee ridge not only comes with a beautiful scenic view, but you may be visited by the adorable chickadee birds that land in people’s hands. This trail is beginner to moderate and is great for the whole family including the dogs!
  2. Tahoe Meadows: this also popular trail off of mount rose highway is a great place to introduce the kids to snowshoeing. Most of the time the roads to get there are very crowded but once you’re up in the trees it’s a nice flat trail with peace and serenity.
  3. Peter Grubb Hut and Round Valley: a great trail near Donner Pass that you can either stay on the valley floor and enjoy the views or do some mountain climbing and watch the back-country skiers.
  4. Galena Creek:  a trail that’s closest to the reno area. Its located right off of bitterbrush trail in Galena Creek Regional Park and is also a moderate to easy trail for all ages and skills. This is also a pet friendly trail!
  5. Spooner and Marlette Lakes: a backcountry trail that is accessible from the Spooner backcountry parking area of Lake. Tahoe Nevada state park. Spooner is a short walk from the parking area and for the more advance adventure seekers you can snowshoe. Up North Canyon Road for a view of beautiful Marlette Lake.

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How Do the Holiday Treats Affect Your Veins?

Elevated glucose levels and damaged blood vessels…do they go hand-in-hand? New evidence might say so. So, as the holidays have quickly come and gone, watching your sugar intake and working to detox your system, might help down the road to maintaining healthy and thriving blood vessels.

 

According to SELF, trying to pump blood full of sugar through blood vessels is basically like pumping sludge through a teeny tiny pipe. “The pipes will finally get tired. That’s what happens with your vessels,” Gradney explains. So any area relying on small blood vessels can become affected—kidneys, brain, eyes, heart. “It can lead to chronic kidney disease or kidney failure, high blood pressure, and you have an increased risk of stroke if you have high blood pressure.”

 

Aside from just pumping blood through your system, a diet high in sugar can contribute to obesity, leading to a multitude of health problems like: insulin resistance, liver functions, diabetes and other health challenges.

 

Need a few quick tips to a gentle detox from the holidays, we love this article from Well + Good for some tips and tricks to getting that sugar out! Click here to read more!

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Tips to Health-ify Thanksgiving

‘TIS THE SEASON.

It’s the time of year that indulging, feasting and FOOD are the center of every gathering; however, we want to help ease the guilt, while still being to enjoy the duration of the holiday season.  To kick off the month, we want to give you some tips and tricks to making Thanksgiving a healthier, guilt-free holiday from Glamour.

  1. Health-ify your fave recipes:“Instead of loading up your mashed potatoes with cream and butter, use roasted garlic instead! Simmer peeled garlic cloves in a layer of olive oil on the stove top. Once they’re soft enough to mash up with a fork, just add them to your taters and mash away! They provide a rich creaminess and flavor with far less fat and calories than the traditionally prepared dish.” –Gretchen Powell, blogger at Honey I Shrunk Gretchen
  2. Focus on the people, not the food:“Focus on your family and the social aspect of Thanksgiving, rather than just the food. But, also realize that one day won’t derail your whole diet, so if you overdo it, start back up with your healthy habits the next day!”–Beth Klein, blogger at Beth’s Journey
  3. Go on a morning jog! Yes, the turkey trot is great and all but who really wants to go out and run or walk after a heavy meal? Honestly? Not me (although I admire those who do this every year!). That’s why running (or walking, or biking–whatever you like!) before is so great. Do something active in the morning, and you can feel better about treating yourself a little in the afternoon. And, bonus, by starting your day active, you will burn more calories throughout the day!

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The Fad: Essential Oils

Although it has not been scientifically proven, many Essential Oils have been said to help with the pain and discomfort of Spider and Varicose Veins. Essential Oils usually aid in reducing inflammation and improving circulation which is important in vein health. Some of the most recommended oils for vein health include lavender, cypress, lemongrass, geranium and sage oil. These oils work similarly in that they help soothe and increase blood flow.

 

Lavender oil is one of the most popular oils and has calming effects as well as works to relieve pain. According to Health Watch List, “Cypress helps relieve muscular spasms and cramps, which can be associated with varicose veins.” Lemongrass oil works well as a pain reliever to the skin when applied to the specific area. Geranium tightens skin and can lower blood pressure. Sage oil has many uses, but works well to minimize skin issues and heal wounds.

 

Many people apply a few drops of the right essential oil to a damp cloth and place it on the veins they want to treat for around 15 minutes. Oils can also be added to carrier oil and massaged into the affected areas or added to bath. While the Essential Oils do not make the appearance of the Varicose and Spider Veins go away, many people have felt pain and swelling relief.  For everyday use of Essential Oils, diffusers can also be used to spray a mist of a combination of oils into the room.

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ACV- Can it Help with Veins?

ACV- what’s the deal? On top of Vitamin C, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is all the craze in the media, in the news . But what are the benefits? And can it help with varicose veins? Let’s see!

While ACV is known to improve circulation and blood flow, it can also assist with reducing the swelling and heavy feeling that comes with varicose veins, according to a recent article. ACV has a variety of uses, and can even be directly applied to the legs or as a refreshing drink or tea twice a day. Additionally, ACV can also reduce body fat, help the immune system, and boost energy.

Here’s how to use it inside and out:

  • Every night before going to bed and every morning (for a few months) apply apple cider vinegar on the affected area and gently massage it (using upward strokes).
  • Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink this twice a day for at least one month – and get the added bonus of an improved digestion in the process!

 

If ACV is too strong, we love this recipe for a Berry Lemon Refresher recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fresh or frozen berries (I love using raspberries the best!)
  • 1 tablespoon ACV
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Water
  • Optional: 1 teaspoon raw honey or sweetener of choice

Instructions

  1. Place the berries in the bottom of a cup. If you are using a sweetener, add that in now. Muddle the berries and sweetener with the back of a spoon.
  2. Add in your ACV and lemon juice. Fill the cup with ice and add in enough water to fill the rest of the cup. Stir and enjoy!

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Simple Summer Salad Recipe!

It is important to keep up your fruit and vegetable intake when taking care of your veins! Many delicious summer salads allow you to get both your fruits and vegetables in, in the same meal. Try this Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, it only takes 15 minutes to make, and invite family and friends to try it too!

INGREDIENTS:

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced (or you can double this to 2 avocados!)
  • 4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • half a small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 batch poppyseed dressing (recipe below)

POPPYSEED DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/3 cup avocado oil (or any oil, such as olive oil)
  • 3 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • pinch of ground dry mustard (optional)
  • salt and pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

TO MAKE THE SALAD:

  1. Toss all ingredients together with your desired amount of dressing until combined. Serve immediately.

TO MAKE THE POPPYSEED DRESSING:

  1. Whisk all ingredients together until combined.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper, or more to taste.

For more details and other healthy, summer recipes go to: https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/avocado-strawberry-spinach-salad-with-poppyseed-dressing/

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