Nordic Walking Can Improve Your Heart Function. Here's How It Works. - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Nordic Walking Can Improve Your Heart Function.

A recent study found people with coronary artery disease saw improved health outcomes after committing to the nordic walking workout for 12 weeks.

HuffPost | By Jillian Wilson | Sep 8, 2022, 05:45 AM EDT | Updated Sep 8, 2022

It’s widely known that walking is great for you. Research shows that walking can cut your risk of heart disease, reduce joint pain and naturally relieve stress.

A study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology in June also found that a specific kind of walking can be beneficial for people with coronary artery disease: Nordic walking. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronary artery disease “is the most common type of heart disease in the United States.” The study results suggest that people with the disease saw improved heart function after committing to Nordic walking for three months.

Nordic walking involves using poles similar to ski poles as you move. Unlike a regular walk, this kind of walking incorporates your upper body muscles in addition to your lower body muscles. According to the International Nordic Walking Federation, Nordic walking began as an off-season workout for skiers and has been around since the mid-1900s.

For the study, 130 people with coronary artery disease were randomly split into one of three groups. The first group followed a 12-week high-intensity interval training program; the second group followed a 12-week moderate-to-vigorous intensity training program; the third group followed a 12-week Nordic walking program.

After the workout program, participants were observed for 14 weeks, and their functional capacity ― or their ability to exercise or perform daily activities that require physical effort ― was tested by measuring how far they walked in six minutes.

Additionally, the researchers had participants fill out a heart disease-specific questionnaire and a 36-question health survey. Depression levels were also measured using the Beck Depression Inventory-II, which is commonly used to measure depression after heart attacks. Participants were tested at the beginning, the middle and the end of the study.

Nordic walking yielded the best results.

While all participants saw favorable health outcomes, those in the Nordic walking group experienced the largest increase in functional capacity compared to their baseline level at the start of the study.

In other words, those who committed to the 12-week Nordic walking program were most able to show increased exercise capacity during the six-minute walk test. And one’s functional capacity is “an important predictor of future cardiovascular events in patients with [coronary artery disease],” the study stated.

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Take a Trip for Brain Health - Researchers suggest travel therapy may benefit adults living with dementia

Travel therapy may benefit adults living with dementia

Researchers suggest travel therapy may benefit adults living with dementia

By Peter Urban, AARP

EN ESPAÑOL

Not that anyone needs an excuse to take a holiday, but researchers in Australia suggest that a break from the daily routine has mental and physical health benefits, including for adults living with dementia.

“Medical experts can recommend dementia treatments such as music therapy, exercise, cognitive stimulation, reminiscence therapy, sensory stimulation and adaptations to a patient’s mealtimes and environment. These are all also often found when on holidays,” lead researcher Jun Wen, a lecturer in tourism and hospitality management in the School of Business and Law at Edith Cowan University, said in a statement.

Wen and fellow researchers suggest in a paper published in Tourism Management that travel therapy, like music and art therapy, should be available to adults living with dementia. “This research is among the first to conceptually discuss how these tourism experiences could potentially work as dementia interventions,” he said.

Although some research has shown tourism’s health benefits for people in general, additional research is needed to demonstrate how it can enhance the lives of people living with diseases like dementia and depression, Wen said.

“Tourism is generally considered a form of leisure that liberates people from the everyday. The emotional states, thoughts, and unique memories evoked by tourism have the potential to positively influence the well-being of individuals with dementia,” the researchers wrote.

Here are some ways, according to the researchers, that a vacation could serve as therapy for adults living with mild to moderate dementia.

• Sightseeing provides an opportunity to get the brain working by stimulating thinking, concentration and memory — especially when interacting with caregivers or other tourists.

• Travel brings people to novel environments where adults living with dementia may “experience new emotions, moods and other reactions, thereby stimulating brain functions that enable them to process such feelings.”

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22 Tiny Mental Health Habits That Can Improve Your Life In 2022 - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

22 Tiny Mental Health Habits That Can Improve Your Life In 2022

Huffpost.com | By Amber Gibson12/28/2021 06:44pm EST

Self-care won’t solve every problem, but these quick and easy activities may at least bring some happiness to your day.

Another roller coaster year is coming to an end, and the lingering effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic have certainly taken a collective toll on our mental health.

There’s no way to know what 2022 has in store for us, nor can self-care erase the grief, trauma or other challenges we may have endured over the last 12 months. But as we look toward the new year, we can adopt healthy new habits to help incrementally improve our days, even if just for a moment. Sometimes, that’s more than enough.

Below are 22 happiness tips to try in the new year:

Start a gratitude journal.

This only takes a few minutes. Recording positive things about your day, whether major achievements or simple pleasures, can reduce stress, improve sleep and even foster better relationships by building a sense of empathy.

“There is no right or wrong way to write a journal, but I recommend that this becomes a daily exercise,” 

John Lee, director of clinical psychology at Executive Mental Health.

Lee suggests journaling at the same time each day, whether before dinner or before bed, and identifying at least one item for daily gratitude.

Take five deep breaths.

“Stress has many physical manifestations,” explained Amanda Goldstein, a psychiatrist in California. This can include issues like stomachaches or other digestive problems.

“By changing your breathing pattern, you can trick your brain into suppressing your fight-or-flight sympathetic nervous system and increase your parasympathetic activity, or rest and digest. Not only will this make you feel calmer, but it will also help you digest your lunch better.”

Keep a light therapy lamp on your desk.

“Your circadian rhythm regulates your sleep-wake cycle, which affects bodily functions and behavioral responses,” Goldstein said. “Exposure to sunlight, especially first thing in the morning, helps keep your clock on time. Since most of us work indoors, a light therapy lamp serves this purpose and gives a nice boost in energy and mood. And as an added bonus, it provides excellent lighting for video calls.” (Here’s how to use one properly.)

Drink water.

Our bodies are made up of 60% water, yet up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated.

Sara Cullen, founder and CEO of GEM, said drinking enough water daily helps boost her mood. “Water is the essence of us and what we need in order for our micronutrients and functions to operate,” she said.

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Managing Diabetes is an Uphill Climb

Managing Diabetes is an Uphill Climb

Source: Diabetes.org

Giving support to those you love can make all the difference.

Diabetes affects millions, but its impact goes far beyond that.

It affects everyone—family, friends, and loved ones.

When a family member, especially a child, is diagnosed, it sends an emotional shockwave. What are the medical costs? What about getting proper care? How can you help manage diabetes at school? Suddenly, you have the world on your shoulders. But you also have support. There are countless ways to help your loved ones live a healthy, happy life. Reach out and ask for help: we have it for you here.

Talk to a health care provider

Too often, it can be hard to know where to start when you find out someone you love has been diagnosed with diabetes. Ask your healthcare provider what you can do to keep your loved one safe and healthy. Reach out to other parents or family members who have been impacted by this disease. You are now part of a worldwide community. And asking for help is the first step in supporting your loved one’s journey to health.

Parents: it’s a challenge you can meet head on

Hearing that your child or loved one has diabetes can be a shock. But after that shock wears off, know that there are plenty of things you can do to help along the way. Sure, daily life with diabetes can be a challenge, but it’s a challenge you can meet head on.

With planning and preparation, you can get back to daily life and resume your routine activities. You can help make physical activity part of every day. You can create a balanced eating plan for your loved one—one that everyone can live with and thrive on. Throughout it all, know that diabetes can’t keep your loved one from doing whatever they want or achieving their highest goals. There are Olympic athletes with diabetes, as well as professional football players, politicians, actors, rock stars and CEOs. So, take a deep breath. You can do so much to make sure the people you love are thriving as they manage their diabetes.

Keep them safe at school

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Healthcare Enrollment Ends Soon - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

Healthcare Enrollment Ends Soon

The Deadline to register for healthcare ends January 15th.

Let Carlos with Shield Insurance Agency get you signed up and covered.

You can call or text 616.777.3017 or email Carlos and get covered today!

Need other insurance? Shield Insurance Agency is locally owned and operated for over 20 years and can help with all your insurance needs!

Shield Insurance Carries Every Kind of Insurance Imaginable
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6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

6 Anti-inflammatory Foods You Should Be Eating

HowStuffWorks.com | By: Alia Hoyt  |  Updated: Feb 11, 2021

You’ve probably heard that anti-inflammatory foods are good for you, but why? And how can they help you anyway?

First, it’s important to understand what bodily inflammation is, and why it can be harmful. In fact, there are actually two types: acute and chronic. The former is nothing to get too worked up over. “Acute inflammation is part of healing and is a normal, healthy response to injury or infection,” says registered dietitian Jean LaMantia in an email interview.

Basically, whenever your body recognizes something that is foreign – such as a microbe, pollen or a chemical, it goes to work to get rid of it. It does this by activating your immune system which triggers a process called inflammation. Inflammation helps to get rid of the offending organism.

But sometimes this inflammation continues even when there isn’t a foreign invader. That’s called chronic inflammation.

“Chronic inflammation starts out as acute, but then doesn’t shut off. This creates a new environment at the area of injury, as the inflammatory messengers tell the body’s cells to die off and replace themselves with new cells,” says LaMantia. “With this rapid cell turnover, there is greater likelihood of a cell with a genetic defect to appear.” Chronic inflammation is linked to a higher risk of cancerdiabetesasthma, depression, metabolic syndrome and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), among other problems, she notes.

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The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2022 - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

The 50 Best Places to Travel in 2022

From far-flung destinations to hometown favorites, 2022 is the year to get back out there and turn your dream trips into reality.

By Travel + Leisure | December 09, 2021

Planning new adventures as a new year approaches is always a thrill, but finding the best places to visit in 2022 is unique. After two years of border closures, cruise cancellations, and travel restrictions galore, 2022 is the year we hope to get back out there, uninhibited (albeit vaccinated and COVID tested), return to our favorite destinations, and cross new ones off our lists.

Though the hospitality industry was hit hard by the pandemic, many properties used the forced downtime to renovate rooms, add new amenities, and expand outdoor spaces to offer even more once guests return. 2022 is when many travelers will venture further from home, and even overseas, for the first time since the start of the pandemic, finally reaping the benefits of these valiant efforts.

Related: Where to Travel in 2021

Although COVID variants remain, regulations are still evolving, and precautions must still be taken, many of the destinations we chose for 2022 offer what we believe travelers are looking for in a post-pandemic world, from hotels with private accommodations to destinations teeming with fresh-air activities. Others, like Las Vegas, are for those who are ready and raring to make up for all the social time they missed — with a few splashy headliners, including Adele and the Raiders, thrown in for good measure. 

Related: The Top 100 Hotels in the World

As cruising makes its comeback, we included unforgettable places to see by water, from Antarctica to the Nile, and as hard-hit destinations like Italy and Asia recover, we found the buzziest reasons to return. Of course we didn’t forget about all the stateside gems we got to know while domestic travel was surging, from Alaska and California to Florida and Michigan.

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4 Tips for National Bath Safety Month - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

4 Tips for National Bath Safety Month

Keep the fun in the tub throughout the month of January.


Scholastic.com | BY SCHOLASTIC PARENTS STAFF

Stay with her. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children 4 and under always have a parent or caregiver present when they are near water, including the tub. Accidents can happen in an instant.

Prevent slips. Young children do not have the coordination or strength to hold steady if they lose their balance. Affix a slip-resistant plastic mat that suctions to the bottom of the tub and make sure the throw rug outside the tub does not slide when stepped on. Consider installing a grab bar for kids to hold onto when stepping in and out of the bath.

Test the temperature. Always wait until the tub is finished filling up before placing your child in the water, as the temperature can change. Set your home’s water heater to deliver water no hotter than 120 degrees to lower the risk of scalding. If you don’t have control over the heater, buy an anti-scald device that attaches to the faucet.

Beware of sharp edges. 

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Flos Restaurant Gift Card given away from Shield Insurance Agency

Gift Card Winners Compliments of Shield Insurance Agency!

Friday, December 31, 2021

Every week, Shield Insurance Agency draws a winner of a local gift card from its clients and social media followers.

Why? Because we love giving stuff away!

Be sure to LIKE our Facebook Page to get yourself entered to win and see who the winners are!

Shield Insurance Agency has given away thousands of dollars in local gift cards over the last 20 years serving Michigan.

Look who is winning!

Shield Insurance Weekly Gift Card Winner
Shield Insurance Weekly Winner
Target Gift Winner from Shield Insurance Agency in Michigan
Subway Giftcard Winner from Shield Insurance
Meijer gift card winner from Shield Insurance Agency
Shield Insurance Agency Lowes Gift Card Winner
Shield Insurance Agency Denny's Gift Card Winner
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Shield Insurance Agency Meijer Gift Card Winner
Shield Insurance Agency Lowes Gift Card Winner!
Shield Insurance Agency Target Gift Card Winner!
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Panera Bread Gift Card Winner at Shield Insurance Agency
Subway Gift Card Winner at Shield Insurance Agency
Shield Insurance gives away another local gift card!
Target Shield Insurance Gift Card Give A Way
Red Robin Gift Card Winner at Shield Insurance Agency

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10 Ways to Make Your Loved One Feel at Home and Independent - Shield Insurance Agency Blog

10 Ways to Make Your Loved One Feel at Home and Independent

Support an aging family member with household upgrades, new products

by Sarah Elizabeth Adler, AARP, December 15, 2021

Is your loved one aging in place? Part of helping someone do that successfully involves limiting risks — but at the same time allowing for Mom, Dad or another family member to maintain independence. Consider these smart choices around the house for added safety, autonomy and a sense of connection.

1. Smart speakers

These multipurpose devices function like voice-controlled virtual assistants: Ask to listen to music, set medication reminders, hear the weather forecast or even control compatible home fixtures such as a smart thermostat with the sound of your voice.

2. Nonslip rug grips

Slippery area rugs pose a fall risk and can be tricky to navigate for those who use mobility aids like a walker or cane. If you don’t want to remove area rugs altogether, consider adding a nonslip layer for safety: Opt for a nonskid carpet pad under each rug, or use adhesive corner grips or double-sided carpet tape to secure edges and keep corners from curling.

3. Digital photo frames

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