What is Lifetstyle Medicine? Lifestyle Medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a whole food, plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky substances and positive social connection as a primary therapeutic modality for treatment and reversal of chronic disease.
Without a daily commute, extracurricular activities or
playdates, you’re going to find yourself with a lot of extra time spent with
your family. This presents a perfect opportunity to teach your kids some of the
basic life lessons we squeeze in on the weekends and evenings. We’ve got some
ideas to make learning these (and teaching) some basic life skills.
Ride a two-wheeler
Be sure your child’s helmet fits their head properly before the pedaling starts. Download this helpful step-by-step guide.
A long weekend is a perfect time to remove those training wheels.
Be sure to protect your child from inevitable falls by having them wear jeans
and knee and elbow pads. To make your job a little easier you may want to pick-up
a grab bar to attach to the bike.
If you prefer to get started with a balance bike rather then
jump right into a two-wheeler, give it a try on a grassy area with a slight
incline. Learning to balance while rolling down a small hill will give your
child a good start when they are ready to try riding a bike.
True, it’s much easier to continue to purchase slip-on or velcro
shoes, but eventually your child will have a need to tie their shoes. That
said, the things we do without really thinking about it can be the hardest to
teach. Here are some tips and tricks to help teach the art of tying a shoe:
Choose soft, easy-to-hold laces. Many children
do better with the wide, flat laces at first.
Use light-colored or better yet, two-tone laces
for more contrast. Shoe tying will be easier for your child if they can easily
see which is which.
Use a marker or pen to mark where your child
should hold their laces.
Be prepared to teach more than one technique in
case the first method you show your child doesn’t “stick.”
Watch a YouTube video with your child and learn
a new knot together. Have your child “teach” you what they learned from the
There are many shoe tying books and toys available
that may be helpful to your child as they learn to tie.
Learn the ABCs and Count
Download a version of the ABCs and a counting song and mix
it in with your kid’s favorite playlist. Your child will learn to sing the ABC’s
and count to 100 as quickly as they learned Baby Shark (doo doo doo doo doo doo).
Dressing and Undressing
Zippers can be a challenge for a 5-year-old suddenly on
their own in Kindergarten (especially if they really have to go to the bathroom).
Spend some time practicing zipping and unzipping pants and jackets.
Address an Envelope
Receiving mail during a quarantine is a major highlight of
anyone’s day. So, why not brighten someone’s day and teach your children the
art of addressing an envelope! You can purchase stamps online to avoid going to
the post office in person.
Don’t put-off important checkups and vaccines!
Skipping vaccines and checkups can be dangerous. IHA Pediatricians’ offices are open, and safety measures are in place. Call to schedule your child’s next appointment!
Fifteen minutes. According to the Center for Disease Control, that’s all it takes for the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays to damage your skin. When you’re on having fun outside, 15 minutes goes by quickly. It feels great to soak up those rays, but they are harming your skin and are putting you at risk for long-term skin damage and worse, skin cancer. Before you head out into the sun for the day, take some time and precautions to keep yourself and your family safe all season long, and you’ll be golden for some fun in the sun!
USE SUNSCREEN It’s one of the easiest ways to prevent skin cancer. Look for a sunscreen with broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB, an SPF of at least 30, and water resistant. When applying sunscreen, more is more. You want to be sure to get a thick layer of sunscreen on your skin in order for the SPF to do its job. For an average size person, remember the teaspoon rule, and adjust for all ages and body types: 1 teaspoon to the face/neck/scalp1 teaspoon for each arm1 teaspoon to the chest and abdomen, 1 teaspoon to the back, 2 teaspoons for each leg.
Sunblock lotions are the preferred choice, but if you are using a spray sunscreen, apply outside by holding the bottle close to the skin and spray on each area for approximately 6 seconds, or until the sunscreen is visible on the skin (typically, when it looks white). Then, rub it in. Don’t apply spray sunscreen directly to the face. Instead, spray generously into your hand and apply to your face as you would a lotion. Don’t forget to apply a lip balm with an SPF of 30, too!
Sunscreen will wear off throughout the day. Be sure to reapply every two hours and following exposure to water or sweat.
If you’re avoiding sunscreen because you don’t like how it feels on your skin or you had an allergic reaction, try another type or brand. There are a variety of choices by a variety of brands, so if you aren’t happy with one, try another until you find one that works with your skin. You may want to make an appointment with your primary care provider or dermatologist to discuss your individual needs. After all, the best sunscreen is the one you will wear!
AVOID EXPOSURE BETWEEN 10 AM AND 4 PM Have you heard of the shadow rule? If your shadow is shorten than you are in real life, the sun’s rays are strong. During this time, you should avoid exposure or follow precautions to protect yourself and your family. For our region in the Midwest, the sun is most intense from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., so you’ll want to be the most vigilante in protecting your skin during this time.
USE SUNGLASSES Your eyes will absorb those harmful rays much like your skin does. Look for sunglasses that block and absorb UVA and UVB light. The lenses should fit close to the skin and be large enough to cover your eyes and the surrounding areas. The bigger the better! Polarized lenses will help eliminate glare, which is great for driving or days in the water or snow.
DRINK MORE WATER When you’re sweating, you are losing water. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially in hot weather to keep dehydration at bay. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Also, look for signs of heat exhaustion such as; feeling overheated, tired or weak. Nausea, headaches and dizziness are also indications that it’s time to get out of the sun, cool down and drink some water. Heat stroke is a more serious condition. If you or someone in your family stops sweating, has red and/or hot skin, a high temperature, confusion or is suddenly uncoordinated, seek medical attention right away.
GO LONG!: WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING Long-sleeved shirts and long pants provide an extra layer of protection while spending time out in the sun. Look for clothing made with tightly woven fabrics. Those linen pants aren’t going to protect you from the sun, so be sure to wear sunscreen underneath. When playing the water, look for bathing suits that feature a sun shirt, especially for little ones.
HATS OFF ON!: WEAR A BROAD RIMMED HAT Wearing a hat with a full brim is a great way to protect the scalp, ears, face and neck from exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Tightly woven fabric is the key to a good hat, straw hats are cute, but don’t provide the protection you need. When purchasing sun hats for the family, be sure to pick the correct sizes for each person. Kids will pull off a hat that slips down over their eyes.Seek the shade & avoid direct sunlight
Trees or shelters block the sun’s UV rays and provide ultimate protection. Seek out these spaces when spending time outdoors to help protect yourself and your family from painful sunburns and help reduce the risk of skin cancer. When you can’t find shade, make it! Invest in a beach umbrella or tent to shield your family from the sunlight.
BE CAUTIOUS OF REFLECTIONS Your exposure to the sun’s rays increases when the sun shines onto and reflects off of bright surfaces, like water, sand or house paint, for example. When spending time near a reflective surface, ensure everyone is sporting sunglasses and sunscreen or protective clothing are being used consistently.
TANNING Don’t. Tan skin is damaged skin and the impact can last or even shorten a lifetime. Tanning should not be part of a beauty regiment at any point in a person’s life.
PROTECTION 365 DAYS Skin cancer prevention is not seasonal. Sure, we wear less clothing and spend more time outside in the sun’s rays during the summer months, but protection from those rays is just as important during the winter months. UV rays reflect off snow just as they do off of sand, water and concrete. Apply sunscreen to the face and any other exposed skin, wear sunglasses and lip balm every day. When it comes to sun safety, there’s a lot of information to soak in. Download this handy checklist and keep it in your beach bag to help ensure you and your family are covered for summer skin protection.
Who could have imagined the struggles that all of us would encounter from this unprecedented global pandemic? Not only has it brought our state and country great economic stress, but it also has changed how healthcare services will be delivered forevermore.
Early in the crisis, IHA’s healthcare providers and staff took multiple steps to help our community respond to the pandemic. Within a matter of days, our medical group opened drive-thru testing sites, implemented a free on-line COVID screening tool, and designated locations where patients with fevers and upper respiratory symptoms could be treated. Additionally, we rolled-out video appointments for all our patients and began piloting home care visits for our most vulnerable patients.
These are complicated times with rapidly changing standards, which is why IHA has been providing regular updates to our staff and providers, as well as our patients. In a matter of weeks, IHA has addressed the most significant and complex changes to face healthcare in our lifetime, but we are not done. We are moving toward what many are calling the “new normal.”
Staying safe in the “new normal”. Video appointments continue to be our primary method used to treat patients. Since launching this service just a few weeks ago, we have completed nearly 25,000 video appointments. The decline in new COVID cases is enabling IHA to reconnect in-person with patients whose appointments, surgeries or outpatient procedures were cancelled. Over the next two weeks, our physicians and practitioners will slowly increase the number of in-person appointments they offer and surgeries they perform. As we reopen more offces, we want to assure you that we are committed to being both responsive and responsible, navigating these unusual times with everyone’s safety in mind.
Numerous safeguards and quality measures are in place across IHA to care for COVID and Non-COVID patients. These include our use of telehealth visits which are actively being embraced by our patients and our providers alike.
IHA is following CDC guidelines and has put additional cleaning and screening processes in place to keep anyone entering an IHA building safe. These processes include requiring all staff and patients to wear masks and having their temperature checked before entering a practice. Along with maintaining appropriate social distancing, items such as hand sanitizer and tissues will be prominent in every location.
Saving lives, improving quality of life.
Our difficult journey is not over, but we must look to the future. Children need to maintain their immunization schedules, older adults or those with complex medical issues need their health and medications regularly monitored, and further delaying surgeries or exploratory procedures may cause serious harm or lead to other health problems. The steps we are following to reopen are being implemented with extreme care and will be constantly evaluated. As a member of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, we are working together on safety and security protocols. We have developed COVID-Free Zones, areas where we provide care only for people not known to have COVID-19 or COVID symptoms. We wish to assure the community that our healthcare delivery system is working closer than ever to keep your health and wellness at the center of everything.
Over the past two months, no one industry has learned more than healthcare about the need to change and adapt quickly in order to care for those we serve. Our lives have drastically changed but fulfilling IHA’s mission of healing will remain with us forever. Please know that we stand ready to care for you. IHA’s motto “our family caring for yours” has never meant more to us than it does today.
We encourage you to call your provider’s office or visit ihacares.com today to learn about the many ways we can connect and safely provide the care that you need. IHA is here for you.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Even the most laid back, easy-going people feel stressed sometimes. And considering our current situation, a pandemic and all, stress pretty much goes with the territory. Luckily, the CDC has some important reminders to help manage stress and support yourself.
Take breaks from watching, reading or listening to the
The news is everywhere, it’s so hard to escape. If your
stress levels are up, then an escape may be just what you need. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be
Take care of your body.
When you feel like stress is taking over, take deep breaths,
stretch or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise
regularly, get plenty of sleep and avoid alcohol and drugs.
Make time to unwind.
Make a list of the things you enjoy most. What can you do
right now? What can you plan to do in the future, to help give you something to
look forward to? If you’re a person that creates a daily schedule, include some
time to do what makes you happy. You may also try setting an alarm or reminder
on your digital calendar to stop and take a few minutes for yourself.
Connect with Others.
Consider who you trust in your life. Who do you think would
best understand your current concerns? Seek out people in your life that can
help you navigate stressful feelings and lighten your load. With social
distancing rules currently in place, you may need to be creative in how you
connect with others, phone and video calls work great!
Know when it’s time to seek medical care.
If your stress is keeping you from your daily activities or social interactions, reach out to your healthcare provider. They will be able to help you find a solution and get you feeling like yourself again!
In the last few weeks, the
immune system has been brought into the spotlight. When functioning properly,
the immune system identifies a variety of threats, including viruses, bacteria
and parasites, and distinguishes them from the body’s own healthy tissue,
according to Merck Manuals. A healthy immune system could be the difference between
getting sick and staying healthy. Read on for tips on strengthening your immune
system focusing on Lifestyle Medicine. Increasing your body’s immune response is
not a guarantee against infection, but it’s a good start.
Pause. Take a few seconds to consider your breathing, listen
to a favorite song, or watch a funny video. The stress hormone, cortisol, suppresses
immune response. Being mindful, even in small doses, reduces stress and as a
result, cortisol production.
Avoid smoking, vaping, or inhaling any substance,
which can be toxic to the lungs.
What you eat makes all the difference! For strong immunity, consume a wide array of fiber-filled, nutrient-dense, and antioxidant-rich whole plant foods at every meal. Choose a rainbow of fruits and vegetables, eat your beans, consume whole grains, and use a variety of herbs and spices to enhance flavors. Stay hydrated with water!
Purchasing fruit and veggies is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Commit to the piece of produce you choose. Try not to manipulate the produce items by touching them and placing them back.
Wash your hands with clean water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds after returning from the grocery store. Hand sanitizer for 60 seconds can also be used.
Produce items should always be washed thoroughly with cold water prior consumption.
Aim to sleep for 7 to 9
hours. Develop a routine: Set an alarm for when to go to sleep and when to wake
up. Make sure your room is cool, dark, quiet, and comfortable. Avoid screens at
least 90 minutes before bedtime. Practice a “wind down” ritual, like listening
to soft music, writing in a journal, or reading a book.
physical activity is vital to keeping the immune system strong! While Physical
Activity Guidelines recommend at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week, as little as
20 minutes can suppress inflammation and support immunity.
Physical distancing is essential when contagious disease risks are high, but not at the expense of being isolated or lonely. Connect with friends and family via FaceTime, Zoom sessions, texting, and phone calls. Positive
emotions, which are shown to improve immunity, arise from even brief, virtual
What is Lifetstyle
Medicine? Lifestyle Medicine is the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic
approaches, such as a whole food, plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular
physical activity, restorative sleep, stress management, avoidance of risky
substances and positive social connection as a primary therapeutic modality for
treatment and reversal of chronic disease.
Recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers of COVID-19 patients
Close contacts of COVID-19 patients should follow these recommendations: • Make sure that you understand and can help the patient follow their healthcare provider’s instructions for medication(s) and care. You should help the patient with basic needs in the home and provide support for getting groceries, prescriptions, and otherpersonal needs. • Monitor the patient’s symptoms. If the patient is getting sicker, call his or her healthcare provider and tell them that the patient has laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people in the office or waiting room from getting infected. Ask the healthcare provider to call the local or state health department for additional guidance. If the patient has a medical emergency and you need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that the patient has, or is being evaluated for COVID-19. • Household members should stay in another room or be separated from the patient as much as possible. Household members should use a separate bedroom and bathroom, if available. • Prohibit visitors who do not have an essential need to be in the home. • Household members should care for any pets in the home. Do not handle pets or other animals while sick. • Make sure that shared spaces in the home have good air flow, such as by an air conditioner or an opened window, weather permitting. • Perform hand hygiene frequently. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60 to 95% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. • The patient should wear a facemask when you are around other people. If the patient is not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), you, as the caregiver, should wear a mask when you are in the same room as the patient. • Wear a disposable facemask and gloves when you touch or have contact with the patient’s blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, urine. • Throw out disposable facemasks and gloves after using them. Do not reuse. • When removing personal protective equipment, first remove and dispose of gloves. Then, immediately clean your hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Next, remove and dispose of facemask, and immediately clean your hands again with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. • Avoid sharing household items with the patient. You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items. After the patient uses these items, you should wash them thoroughly (see below “Wash laundry thoroughly”). • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, every day. Also, clean any surfaces that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. • Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions. Labels contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product. • Wash laundry thoroughly. • Immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. • Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after removing your gloves.
• Read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent. In general, using a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and dry thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label. • Place all used disposable gloves, facemasks, and other contaminated items in a lined container before disposing of them with other household waste. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after handling these items. Soap and water should be used preferentially if hands are visibly dirty. • Discuss any additional questions with your state or local health department or healthcare provider. Check available hours when contacting your local health department.
If you or someone you know has symptoms of COVID-19, take our free online screening today.
This week in Michigan, school was officially cancelled for
the remainder of the year in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. For many students
an occasional snow day is a welcomed site, but trading once-in-a-lifetime
events like prom and graduation, fun with friends, concerts and performances, sports
and end of year class parties for several weeks or months of quarantine is a different
story. With the announcement this week, your child, especially teens, may be left
feeling a sense of loss. As parents, you want to support your children as they
navigate this unprecedented stage of life, but you’re also working through these
changes while trying to keep up with working from home, homeschooling and
keeping the family healthy. We’ve got you covered! Read on for some quick tips on
how to support your teen through quarantine.
It’s OK to feel angry.
High school seniors have lost out on much of what they’ve
been working for over the last 12 years, and teens in general are missing out on
high school and college rites-of-passage. Understandably, they may be feeling angry,
sad, disappointed, and just plain miserable. For parents, expressing empathy for
their current situation can go a long way in helping them cope.
Say this: “I’m sorry that you’re missing out on so many
things you were looking forward to. This will end and life will get better, but
I understand that you feel miserable right now.”
It’s OK to feel happy.
On the flip side, your teen may feel a huge sense of relief with
the premature end of the school year. For some, the stress of studies, pressure
of performances, or social struggles means quarantine is actually a welcomed
change. It’s important to allow your child to feel both disappointment and
Say this: “It’s okay to feel relieved that some of the
things you were worried about are now not going to happen.”
Be ready for friction.
For teens, friendships can be as important and their
relationships with their family members. Expect that they are not going to
enjoy being forced to stay away from their friends for many weeks. Be ready for
arguments and anger as you keep them home to keep them well. This will be even
more challenging as other parents may not follow the rules and allow their children
to interact with friends outside their homes.
Say this: “I’m following the advice of medical experts
during this quarantine, and I can’t allow you to go to someone else’s home or
have someone over to ours, regardless of the choices your friend’s parents are
Give them a voice.
As you navigate a new family schedule, be respectful of the
fact that your teen has their own idea of how they would like to see their day
go. Layout your expectations for schoolwork, help with younger siblings and housework.
Ask for their input and come to an agreement together.
Say this: “I need some things from you during this quarantine,
and I know you have needs too. Let’s look at our weekly schedule together and
come up with one that works for both of us.”
When you’re working from home, it can be more difficult than
ever to disconnect from work. It’s important to give your family, and
especially your children, undivided attention, sans work. Set aside time every day
where you can put your devices away and focus on family.
Say this: “At five-o’clock today, let’s head outside and
take a walk before dinner. It’s important to get our work done, but we need to
make time for time for each other. Spending time with you is one of my favorite
things to do!”
Know when your child needs help.
Despite your best efforts, your child’s response to the stress
surrounding COVID-19 may require some outside help. The IHA Pediatric Behavioral
Health team is here to support you. Call today to learn more.
Say this: “I can see you’re struggling, and I want to do
what’s best to help you. I know someone that can help.”
We’re often so busy with education and activities outside
our homes, there aren’t many opportunities to educate children inside the home.
Enter the quarantine of 2020. Never has there been a time where we were all in
our homes for weeks at a time, without any outside activities. This time
presents many opportunities for teachable moments around the house.
Darks and lights. What goes in the dryer, what doesn’t. Now
is the time to teach your child some basic lessons around doing laundry to
ensure your they aren’t clueless at the laundromat their freshman year of
college. Even the youngest child can help load machines, measure detergent,
push buttons and match up clean socks (if you can find both).
Allow your child to (safely) assist with planning, preparing
and cooking meals. Plan a cooking competition, with your child as the chef and
the rest of the family as judges, set the table and have the family dress up
for a fancy sit down dinner.
Make the bed.
This is a simple act that can set the tone for the rest of
the day. Before you make it out of your room, you already accomplished
Read a map.
Because those turn by turn directions aren’t right every single
time, you’ll want you child to have the ability to understand a map, paper or
digital. Plan a scavenger hunt in your yard with a treasure at the end, and let
your child be the leader. If you have older children, give geocaching a try!
Hammer a Nail.
Learning some basic home repair skills at an early age can come
in handy (pun intended) when your child becomes a homeowner or apartment
dweller. Assist your child with hammering nails into a board, teach them how to
change a light bulb, plunge a toilet, paint a room or any other items on the
to-do list. You’ll feel accomplished to check-off your list and your child will
pick-up some great skills. It’s a win-win!
Clean the bathroom.
Much like lessons in home improvement and laundry, some
basic cleaning skills will serve as lifelong tools for your child. Ask them to
help with the dishes, pick-up toys, vacuum the rugs, clean the windows and the
bathroom. Be sure an adult supervises children while cleaning and use products
that are safe for children.
Balance a bank account.
This is a great way to teach math without having to learn elementary
school math. Create a play store, give your kids some money and help them learn
about spending and saving.
Plant a garden.
Find an area of your yard where your child can create their
garden. Work together to clean the area, remove weeds and prepare the dirt to
receive plants or seeds in the coming weeks. If you have the supplies needed,
start seeds growing in a window now. The responsibility and reward of planting
and caring for a garden throughout the summer are wonderful lessons for children
and adults alike.
Manage a schedule.
Ask you child to create their own schedule. How do they want
to structure their day? What’s important to them? Help them learn to balance
free time or play time with work time. Getting work done is important, but learning
to balance work with leisure will give them skills to manage their stress
levels in adulthood.
Due to the outpouring of support IHA has received from community members, they have setup a donation center for those who have expressed interest in donating items.
The outbreak of COVID-19 is straining our local communities and resources. While IHA currently has the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) necessary to keep frontline healthcare workers safe, donations from the community will proactively support our reserves for potential long-term challenges.
Beginning today, IHA will accept
donations of the following unused items:
Disposable Face Masks
Donations may be made Monday through Friday between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm to: IHA Central Offices (at Domino’s Farms Office Park)
24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive
Lobby J, Suite 2000
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
For more information on COVID-19
and how to seek care, please visit: www.IHAcares.com