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HealthFocused

Educational health information to improve your well-being.

Woman outside stretching as the sun rises over the mountains

Mission Matters: Valley Hope Counseling and Augusta Health

August 12, 2019

The sign on the door of Valley Hope Counseling has a bright sun rising over the mountains and says, "Hope in time of uncertainty… Healing in times of stress". "There are barriers to accessing mental health counseling when it's needed," says Ginny Harris, LPC and Executive Director of Valley Hope Counseling. "The two biggest are the stigma of mental health and the accessibility based on cost. Our mission is to provide access to mental health services for all. We work on reducing the stigma every day. And we charge a sliding scale fee, based on income and family size, to make the cost less and... Continue Reading

Soda isle at a grocery store

Healthy Alternatives to 4 Common Foods

August 9, 2019

There are a lot of diets out there—and a lot of people who fail them because they raise the bar too high. It's difficult to restrict one's diet for too long, it's why so many diets fail. But eating healthier doesn't have to mean dieting, it just means eating better. Here are four simple things you can eliminate from your diet, without having to completely overhaul how you shop. We've included some healthier alternatives to rely on as you make the switch. Soda We're sure you've heard this one before—they are bad for your health. How bad? Soda has been linked to increased weight gain by causing... Continue Reading

A girl jumping on a trampoline

Unconventional Activities That Keep You Fit

August 7, 2019

Sometimes it can be difficult to break out of our routines. Whether it's in the meals we eat, the hobbies we enjoy, or even the shows we binge on tv—we are creatures of habit. But if you're finding that getting into a good exercise regimen is difficult to do, maybe you just need to broaden your horizons on physical fitness! Here are a handful of exercises that may seem a little bit unusual, but they can help push you in the direction of a more physically fit life. If the morning jog hasn't been your go-to, maybe try some of these: Desk Workouts You've been hearing about it for years—sitting... Continue Reading

Youth boys soccer game

After School Activities to Keep Your Kids Fit!

August 5, 2019

School is starting back up and what better way to kick the back to school blues than with some fun after-school activities to keep your kids active! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, nearly 1 in 5 school-aged children and young people (ages 2-19) has obesity. Childhood obesity is a national epidemic, and Type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and cardiovascular risks are attacking children at a young age due to their poor diet and lack of exercise. Based on an interview that Care.com conducted, Dr. Christopher Ledingham, an assistant professor in the... Continue Reading

Kids drawing

Manage Your Back-to-School Stress

August 2, 2019

It feels as if the summer has barely even started by the time we have to start talking about going back to school. There's a good reason for that though—for all the excitement that comes with a new school year, there's also plenty of opportunities for students and their families to be confronted with new challenges, fears, and other stressors. But this year, you can get ahead of that stress for both you and your family. Here are some strategies that you can use to prepare you and your family for the coming school year. Make a Habit of Listening One of the most important things you can do to... Continue Reading

Blueberries and raspberries loose on a counter

Four Refreshing Summer Fruit Recipes

July 31, 2019

Getting all of your recommended fruits and vegetables is so much easier to do during the summer than at any other time of year. With strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, and more coming into season, there's no better time to make sure your grocery cart (or farmer's market basket) is stacked with in-season fruits. But it's sometimes easier to stock the house with fresh fruit than it is to make sure it all gets eaten by the time it goes bad. With that in mind, we wanted to offer up some ways to incorporate some healthy and refreshing fruit into snacks all summer. With these... Continue Reading

Hygienist looking in a boys mouth

Questions to Ask Your Dentist

July 29, 2019

It's easy for us to compartmentalize our dental health from our body's health. The truth is, however, these things may be more intertwined than you think. After all, our mouths are part of our bodies, why wouldn't one effect the other? In recognition of Dental Health Awareness month, here is a short list of questions that you can ask your dentist the next time you're in for a check-up. What dental health products do you recommend I use? There are a lot of health products on the market and the dental health industry is no exception. On Amazon, in fact, there are over 10,000 listings just for... Continue Reading

Farm produce on display

Growing Awareness: The AMI Farm at Augusta Health

July 26, 2019

Augusta Health is looking to change the way you think of a hospital campus… and cafeteria. We have partnered with the Allegheny Mountain Institute to create a farm on the Augusta Health campus. This project, which launched in 2018, has the goal of increasing access to nutrient-dense foods for not only our patients but the larger community as well. Who came up with this idea, and what kind of impact has it had on the hospital and larger community? We spoke with Krystal Moyers, Director of Community Outreach at Augusta Health and Pat Banks, Farm Manager, AMI Farm at Augusta Health , to find out... Continue Reading

bowl of fruit on a picnic table

Heart-Healthy Ideas for Your Summer Picnic

July 24, 2019

When it's nice outside, it's easy to want to ditch the dining room table and get outside. A picnic is a perfect way to go about it - with the grass between your toes and a nice spread of food in front of you, there's no better way to spend a day off. For many, however, picnic foods are an invitation to eating some of the least healthy food options available. Bags of potato chips with French onion dip? Pasta salads with heaps of mayonnaise? Fried chicken and cookies? These are not exactly the epitome of heart-healthy living. Never fear, we have scoured the web for some picnic ideas that are... Continue Reading

Runner stretching

Beat the Heat by Taking Your Exercise Routine Indoors

July 22, 2019

If you're a jogger, then the winter can be a tough time for you. Between plummeting temperatures, icy (and dangerous) roads, and fewer daylight hours - it can tough to take your exercise regimen outside. That means, when the spring gets here, you can open up wide, right? Well… not exactly. Because as spring folds into summer, the season can bring its own challenges to those of us who prefer to do our exercising outside. Thunderstorms, excessive heat, crowded parks and lack of childcare could all be reasons that you find yourself having to keep your exercise regime indoors this summer. And... Continue Reading

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