Your Health and Wellness



Braving the Cold for Outdoor Family Fitness

Getting outdoor exercise for the whole family can be difficult in the winter months, especially when the weather is cold and sunset arrives early. What are the benefits of braving the winter weather and how can you make sure you and your family are exercising safely? Jacklyn Kiefer, DO, DME, a family and sports medicine physician with ProMedica Sports Care® and a faculty member of ProMedica Toledo Hospital Family Medicine Residency, answers our questions.

What are the benefits of outdoor exercise, even in the winter?

All exercise is beneficial, but outdoor movement is important because nature provides unique emotional benefits, giving you a better sense of well-being. And even just 15 minutes of sunshine can keep your vitamin D levels healthy. When the winter days are warmer or sunnier than usual, take advantage of the weather and enjoy the outdoor time together as a family.

What are some good outdoor activities families can enjoy?

Snow presents some fun opportunities to get in a family workout. Sledding, snowball fights and building a snowman are all activities that can build a sweat and burn calories. The Toledo Metroparks does a wonderful job of coordinating outdoor adventures, including nature walks and outdoor work projects; and there are some local ice skating rinks. Brisk walks on a paved park trail or enjoying a park playground are also good ways to actively enjoy the outdoors.

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Confronting Flu Myths

It’s peak season for the flu, and with the virus running rampant, so are rumors about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness on social media. Uma Savanoor, MD, MPH, Director, Medical Operations, OccuHealth and Employee Health at ProMedica dispels some of the more popular myths we’ve seen surrounding vaccination.

Myth #1: Flu vaccines are not very effective, especially since you can’t be protected from every strain.

This year’s vaccine includes protection from Influenza A (H1N1), which appears to be the most widespread virus this season. Even though the vaccine may not be 100% effective, it remains the best means of preventing the flu (Please link to – Antibodies made in response to vaccination with one flu virus can sometimes provide protection against different but related flu viruses.

The effectiveness of a vaccine varies from year to year, and depends on:

• Age and health of person vaccinated.

• “Match” between Flu viruses circulating and the strains in the vaccine.

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5 Serious Symptoms in Babies Never to Ignore

Sometimes being a parent is just plain baffling, especially when your newborn’s health is in question. Deciding if and when to take your child to the emergency room can be quite the challenge. Mary Ellen Pizza, MD, a pediatrician with ProMedica Physicians, offers guidelines to help you know when a trip to the ER is warranted for your baby.

“It can be easy to panic the first time your newborn coughs or gets a rash,” says Dr. Pizza, a pediatrician with ProMedica Physicians. Instead, try to set aside new parent jitters and focus on these five warning signs you should never ignore in babies younger than 3-months old.

1. Blue lips. “If your baby’s lips are turning blue, this could be a sign that he or she is not getting enough oxygen,” says Dr. Pizza. “Call 911 immediately.”

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