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Is A Dog On Your Healthy Holiday Wish List?

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There’s no denying that a dog can be a great addition to your household. And once the holiday season settles in, it gets even harder to resist those sweet, furry faces (just look at that cute little guy). But it isn’t just puppy kisses and warm cuddles that you’ll enjoy with your new canine friend; you’ll also get a big health boost. And what's better than the gift of good health? Some benefits include:
·Lower blood pressure ·Lower heart rate ·Lower cholesterol ·Lower stress ·Increased physical activity
In addition to these health benefits for all age groups, recent studies have highlighted the significant benefit that dogs offer for children and older adults. For instance, man’s furry best friend might provide some protection against allergic diseases, like eczema.
So, if a new furry companion is at the top of your wish list this holiday season, here are a few things to consider:
   1. Start by thinking about your living space, the American Kennel Club suggests. Do you live in a house…

5 Things You Can Do Now (To Prevent Heart Disease Later)

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Heart disease has developed quite the reputation, but not for anything good of course. When you think of heart disease, what comes to mind? That it’s the number one killer of both men and women or maybe that it’s something that you only have to worry about when you’re older.
Despite all of its negative qualities, there is one good thing about heart disease—you actually have the power prevent it. “Before you assume that it’s too late, or that you’re doomed to have heart disease, evidence has shown that healthy lifestyle changes at any stage of life can help to reverse and prevent damage,” says Jim John, MD, an affiliated cardiologist with Gwinnett Consultants in Cardiology.
   1. Don’t Overlook the Small Stuff
When it comes to the biggest risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, extra weight and lack of exercise, most of these are the result of small, everyday choices that add up.
The good news is making life style changes to be more heart healthy does…

6 Healthy Ways To Sleigh Holiday Stress

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With the holidays just around the corner, you know the drill—holiday songs on every radio station, festive parties to attend and special gifts to find. Heck, just reading this article, you can probably feel the stress starting to grow, right along with your to-do list. And if miraculously getting everything done wasn’t enough, you’re expected to be merry and jolly all season long or risk being called a Scrooge.
So, is there anything you can do to put a ho-ho-hold on these seasonal stressors? According to Barbara Joy Jones, DO, a primary care physician at GMG’s Gwinnett Family Medical Care in Snellville, here are 6 easy things you can do to stay feeling holiday-obsessed instead of seasonally-stressed.
1. Get organized. Oftentimes, trying to keep track of everything you need to do by memory alone can be anxiety-inducing on its own, let alone during the holidays. We tend to overthink things, going over them again and again, which only amplifies things and makes them feel more stressful.

Can You Stop A Cold In Its Tracks?

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4 Cold-Weather Exercising Problems—Solved

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When the winter months arrive, bringing with them colder temperatures and fewer hours of daylight, it’s enough to make even the toughest exerciser head indoors. But for those of you that are tough enough to endure the chilly weather—you know who you are—you’ll likely encounter at least a few of the season’s unique difficulties. Between tight muscles, stiff joints, sniffles and toes that are numb, staying active in the cold is anything but easy.
So, despite your dedication to staying active, if you think exercising in the cold bites, listen up. Kristie Willhoit, MS, Fitness Specialist with GMC’s Sports Medicine Program, provides easy ways to overcome some of the most common cold-weather annoyances.
   1. You’re either too hot or too cold. When it’s chilly outside, layers are your best friend—you can take things off or add on as needed. However, even when you dress in layers, it’s still hard to find that perfect temperature.
Solution: It may sound obvious, but before heading out for your…

7 Surprising Things That Make Your Hands & Feet Fall Asleep

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There’s nothing more annoying than when your hand, foot or (insert other appendage) starts tingling and eventually goes numb—you know the feeling. And what’s even worse—the pins and needles you feel as you try desperately to revive circulation and blood flow. This familiar feeling, often referred to as a body part falling asleep, is actually just a result of pressure or compression. In medical terms, you’re experiencing paresthesia. Thankfully, though, this condition usually only lasts for a matter of seconds or minutes. But what happens when no amount of shaking or wiggling can get the pins and needles to stop? Tingling sensations in the hands and feet for extended periods of time may be a symptom of an underlying condition. Here are some of the most common culprits: You have a pinched nerve in your neck or back. Often times, a painful, tingling sensation that extends from your neck or back into your feet may be a sign of a pinched nerve. While this is typically the result of an injury…

Your Hormones On Winter Weather

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By: Sheila Warren, RN, GMC's Health Navigator

If winter leaves you feeling lethargic, irritable or just blah, there may be good reason. You may be surprised to learn that winter can affect your thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones, which is enough to make anyone feel like they have a case of the winter blues. In fact, everything from your mood and weight to digestion and sex drive are all impacted by your hormone levels.
So why does winter have such a big impact on our hormones?
Well the truth is there can be a number of factors that can cause a change hormone levels. Overall, though, winter weather may be to blame when it comes to seasonal hormone changes. For instance, it is believed that the cold temperatures may cause the pituitary gland to produce more thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH). Similarly, the lack of daylight during the winter months is largely responsible for a decrease in sex drive and adrenal hormones.
Thyroid Trouble
With winter comes cooler temperatures, and in an ef…