Category Archives: Healthy Living

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5 Ways to Improve Your Digestive Health

Digestive health is crucial to overall well-being. When the digestive system functions properly, it absorbs nutrients and helps the other systems in your body work smoothly. There are several signs the body sends out when a person needs to improve digestive health. It may come in the form of discomfort having to do with gas, bloating, irregularity, and other ailments many complain about.

Tips for improving digestive health

1 . Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water and other fluids to avoid the hardening of stool, which is more difficult to pass. It’s especially important to drink fluids after exercise for this reason. When urine is a clear yellow, a person is adequately hydrated.

2 . Regular exercise. Moving the body stimulates muscles in the gastrointestinal tract and has even proven to strengthen walls of the colon. Physical activity tremendously supports good functioning of the digestive system. It’s recommended to get 30 minutes of exercise a day, three to five days a week. Among some of the most suggested exercises are walking, cycling, swimming, climbing stairs, or working out on an elliptical machine.

3 . Eat fiber. Fiber helps move everything smoothly in the digestive system. It slows digestion and absorption so compounds in foods such as glucose enter the bloodstream at a good pace to keep blood sugar at even levels. Fiber also helps stool pass quickly through your system without strain. Fiber is found in a variety of fruits and vegetables, such a broccoli, beans, apples, and strawberries. Whole-grains are another great source of fiber, such as whole wheat bread, oats, and brown rice.

4 . Avoid fatty foods. A lot of reasons exist as to why people should avoid fatty foods, with just one of them being bad for the waistline. These types of foods also slow the digestive system and cause inefficiency in terms of functioning. Replace junk food and other fats with lean meat, pork, chicken, and fish. Consume dairy products with reduced or no fat. Also replace butter and margarine with olive oil. Adding more fresh fresh fruits and vegetables to a diet improves digestive health.

5 . Eat Yogurt. The gut has a large volume of bacteria and yogurt contains the healthy bacteria that help to maintain an improved digestive system. The best types of yogurt are comprised of “live” or “active cultures,” which are indicated on the label.

Maintaining a healthful digestive system is central to long-lasting health. Doctors at Pacific Women’s Center are eager to assist and educate people on how to sustain good habits that contribute to a healthy lifestyle. They’re interested in guiding patients on the path to overall wellness. Get in touch with them today.

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How to Start Exercising in the New Year and Stick to it

Figuring out how to start a workout regime in the new year and stick to it can be a challenge. A significant part of staying healthy and strong is keeping physically active. An exercise program should be a regular activity when it comes to maintaining your general health. Getting 30 minutes of exercise a day five days a week is the minimum that health care providers suggest.

Keys to starting a workout regime

Finding a physical activity that is enjoyable contributes to the success of starting a workout regime that can be sustained. These can be activities like walking, riding a bike, taking a dance class, or going to the gym with friends.

The best way to keep yourself excited about exercise comes down to what suits an individual best. Setting aside a certain time on specified days for works well for some, while others prefer to workout in multiple 10-minute intervals during the day.

Start the workout regime moderately. Some people inadvertently over-exert themselves by pushing their body too hard. This can lead to injury and frustration. Start at a slow pace for a set amount of time in the early stages of beginning a workout regime. As the body adjusts to the new physical demands, fitness levels and endurance levels advance. It’s ideal to start out at 20-minute sessions three days a week. Over time, add 10 more minutes for each session until five days a week of working out is reached.

How to stay motivated

Staying motivated to stick with a workout regime is key to remaining healthy. Make it enjoyable. Sign up for a distance race in the future so you have time to complete training for it when the time comes, and join a group that is working toward the same goal. Compete in a physical activity you enjoy, or engage in a friendly bet with someone you’d like to beat in a fitness contest–an example might be a fun bet to see who can walk or jog the fastest mile.

Other ways to stay motivated to work out is to change up the routine. Rotate physical activities by walking one week and exercising on the elliptical the next. Change out a week of pilates with yoga, and so on.

Doctors at Pacific Women’s Center have excellent recommendations for their patients regarding the right workout regime. They take each person’s individual needs into account when outlining an exercise program to be successful. Take the first step and call them to get even more fit and healthy in the new year.

Served restaurant table with glasses and napkins

5 Ideas for Non-Alcoholic Holiday Drinks

There are numerous delicious options for non-alcoholic drinks for the holiday season, but which ones are sure to be a hit? Below are five ideas for non-alcoholic holiday drinks for any gathering, including both hot or cold drink options. The non-alcoholic holiday drink recipes are easy to follow and take very little time to make!

1 . Double Hot Chocolate

For those cold days when a dose of chocolate will hit the spot, this drink is the perfect answer. What’s better than hot chocolate? A double dose of chocolate!

Ingredients:
4 cups half-and-half, light cream, or whole milk
3 to  4 ounces chopped semisweet chocolate
3 to 4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 tablespoon dark corn syrup
Sweetened whipped cream

Preparation:
Combine half-and-half, semisweet chocolate, chopped bittersweet chocolate, and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Serve in cups or bowls. Add sweetened whipped cream and garnish with delicious bittersweet chocolate, grated.

2 . Cherry Bombs

Anyone who enjoys a Shirley Temple will love this non-alcoholic drink. It’s simple, refreshing, and fitting for holiday parties for both children and adults.

Ingredients:
1 cup grenadine
1 liter clear citrus soda, or seltzer
18 maraschino cherries

Preparation:
Heat 2 cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in grenadine. Pour mixture into two ice-cube trays. Freeze for at least two hours. Place grenadine ice cubes in six glasses. Add soda. Top with cherries, and serve.

3 . Peppermint Eggnog Punch

For a thick, creamy drink with a peppermint twist, it’s hard to beat this eggnog treat.

Ingredients:
1 quart peppermint ice cream
1 quart eggnog
1-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups chilled ginger ale
Extra peppermint ice cream (optional)
Peppermint sticks (optional)

Preparation:
Stir ice cream in a large, chilled bowl until soft and smooth. Stir in eggnog gradually.
Pour mixture into a punch bowl. Add amount of ginger ale for desired consistency. Optional: If desired, add more peppermint ice cream and garnish with peppermint sticks. Makes 18 4-ounce servings.

4 . Rudolph’s Tipsy Spritzer

As the name implies, vodka is typically added to this holiday drink. For the same delicious drink, just keep the alcohol out of the mix!

Ingredients:
5 cups orange juice
2 cups lemon-lime soda, chilled
1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
Lemon slices
Fresh rosemary sprigs

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients, stir, and serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices and rosemary sprigs if desired.

What's Important About An Annual Exam

What’s Important About an Annual Exam

An annual exam when you’re not feeling unwell may seem like something you don’t need to do. What’s important about an annual exam and why should you get them? An annual exam is an essential part of your long-term health and overall well-being.

Annual exams go far in preventing health conditions that might otherwise go undetected. These appointments are an excellent time to discuss your medical history and concerns with your physician. Any questions you have will be addressed as well.

An annual exam is typically a full exam, including a pelvic and breast exam that also involves a pap smear. Your doctor gathers important information during this office visit.

A pap smear is performed during your annual gynecological visit, which allows your physician to screen for cancer of the cervix. The doctor is also on the lookout for other abnormalities of the reproductive organs.

Tests for HPV, or Human Papilloma Virus, may also need to be done during the annual exam. HPV is a very common sexually transmitted virus that can predispose a woman to cervical cancer. An opportune time to ask your physician about vaccinations to protect yourself from HPV is during this visit — in addition to getting tested for sexually transmitted infection.

The doctor will also perform a brief breast examination as part of the annual exam, which may help you to catch any signs of abnormalities early on. By examining the breasts, they’re able to feel for lumps or any other irregularities, which may be a serious medical condition.

Call Pacific Women’s Center to schedule your annual exam. We will do everything we can to make you as relaxed and comfortable as possible.

 

women's health in college

5 Women’s Health Risks You Must Know in College and How to Avoid Them

College can be a challenging time in many respects and women should know some valuable information to stay healthy.

Here are some important health issues and how you can best prevent falling victim to them.

1. Risks of STI increases in college
In college, many women become more sexually active. According to the Center for Disease Control, out of the 19 million cases of STDs each year, half of them are in people ages 15-24.

Solutions

  • Always practicing safe sex.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or using other drugs to the point that you engage in risky behavior.
  • Get tested if you think you might be at risk. Most tests can be done without a pelvic exam.

2. College can influence poor eating choices.
Body image is amplified in college as you near the end of your teens and enter your twenties. It’s common in college for some young women to focus on calories and their weight in an effort to avoid other problems.

Solutions
If you think that you’ve fallen into the trap of anorexia, bulimia, or any other eating disorder, get counseling. Most college and university campuses have a health center, which can get a student connected to the appropriate health professionals. Eating disorders sometimes require some form of counseling in most cases and should be taken seriously.

3. Increasing stress in college can cause health problems. 
Being a college student comes with lots of responsibility. Stress invariably takes hold and you feel out of control.

Solutions
Try sorting through your schedule and organize a plan that will help reduce stress. Sometimes just categorizing everything and allotting a certain amount of time to accomplish your goals will help. If you’re feeling especially anxious and uncertain about anything, reach out to a campus counseling center.

4. Restful sleep can sometimes be tough to find.

Sleep deprivation can increase irritability, anxiety, and even weight gain.

Solutions

  • Devise an exercise program in which you get some physical activity at least three hours before bedtime a good three-to-five times a week.
  • Eat healthy and don’t turn to junk food.
  • Make an effort to have “make up” sleep time a few times a week to rejuvenate your system if you’re unable to get a regular schedule of sleep.

5. Why you should watch out for Low Self-Esteem/Depression
Depression among college-aged women can be a health risk factor. College women can be at high risk for depression.

Solutions
Seek help through your campus counseling office or confide in someone you trust so that you don’t feel so alone. Remember, a lot of other students are probably battling the very same emotions you are. These feelings can be overwhelming and sometimes require a little help.

Pacific Women’s Center is here to help you with your health concerns during your college years. Call one of their doctors who can help you decrease these health risks.

women's health questions

5 Questions Women are Too Embarrassed to Ask a Doctor, but Really Should

In spite of the awkwardness you’ll feel about some health concerns, you need to consult with your gynecologist or other health care provider. They understand your anxieties and have experience answering all types of questions.

1. Why are my periods irregular?
Experiencing an early or delayed menstrual cycle is actually quite normal. Irregular periods can be related to a condition called “anovulation.” This simply means that ovulation hasn’t occurred yet due to severe hormonal imbalances.

Sometimes an irregular period may be due to subtler hormone imbalances. You may be ovulating, but the timing of your ovulation can switch around greatly month-to-month. Lifestyle and medical conditions contribute to these variables, such as extreme exercising or dieting, the pill, age, stress, or symptoms of other physical problems.

2. What is douching and should I do it?
The term “douche” refers to a cleansing solution used to freshen the vagina. Douches are known to come in a prepackaged bottle that allows women to squirt the solution through a nozzle.

The practice of douching has long been debated. Douching potentially causes yeast infections or bacterial vaginosis. Perceiving douching as a sanitary practice is a misnomer when it comes to hygiene. It’s far better to keep the area clean through showering and keeping adequate “airflow” to your nether region.

3. I have tiny bumps “down there” that can be painful. What are they and how do I know if it’s something more serious?
Anything spotted in the way of bumps or red spots might have you alarmed, but it might not be what you’re thinking. In many instances, these bumps could just be pimples or an ingrown hair on your pubic region. Also,if you shave your pubic hair, bumps might appear out of skin irritation.

If the bumps are painful, seem to be growing or spreading or secrete a colored liquid discharge, this could be more serious and you should see your gynecologist. Sometimes these bumps can result from the herpes virus or other infections.

4. I have a foul-smelling discharge coming from my vagina and I’m itching terribly. What is it?
Yeast infections are one type of irritation women may get from time to time. It’s a fungal infection that causes irritation, discharge and intense itchiness of the vagina and the vulva. Put another way, it’s a type of vaginitis, or inflammation of the vagina.

Vaginal yeast infections isn’t considered a sexually transmitted infection, you can spread the fungus through mouth to genital contact. There are several over-the-counter medications in the way of anti-fungal vaginal creams or suppositories that can effectively treat these infections.

5.  Can I get pregnant one week after my period ends?
Fertility levels change as your body moves through the monthly cycle. There are times you’re more fertile than others during the month, but there’s never a true “safe” time that your fertility levels drop low enough to completely eliminate the chance of becoming pregnant. The time after your period can be a very fertile time, so be consistent with birth control if you use it.

The doctors at Pacific Women’s Center deal with these sensitive issues and many others every day. They welcome your concerns and want to answer your most embarrassing questions. Call the center today for help and reassurance that you have the same concerns as everyone else!

A Simple Strategy for Staying Fit and Healthy Through the Holidays

Sticking with your fitness and diet goals through the holidays can be tricky. The delicious treats and fun times at social gatherings make them almost too much to resist.

Everyone needs a little support through these times, so here’s one simple strategy to keep you motivated.

Continue reading A Simple Strategy for Staying Fit and Healthy Through the Holidays