Chores can help your brain stay young!

Even if you don’t engage in vigorous exercise as you grow older, don’t discount the benefit of everyday activities for physical and cognitive health. Making the bed, taking out the garbage and
sweeping the floor all add up, say University of Florida researchers.

And the more energy you expend on those daily chores other, the less likely you are to become cognitively impaired as you age, compared with older people who exert less energy, according to the study results published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Even if you can no longer pursue your favorite sport, you can move more throughout the day, which may stimulate parts of the brain involved in memory formation. So grab a vacuum cleaner—or just take a 5-minute dance break when your favorite song comes on the radio.

Concussion – Serious Injury and Serious Talk: “Tips for Observation at Home”

by Tim “Trapper” OConnell MS  LAT
MCHS Divisional Director/Pro Care Orthopedics/CHW Family Med/Occupational Med

First and most important, my thoughts and prayers to all family members associated with a loss or affliction as a result of CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy).

We have looked at signs and symptoms observed immediately following a suspected concussion. If injured person is transported to an advanced medical facility, then follow discharge orders. If the injured person is deemed well enough to go home, here are some tips to consider in the hours following a suspected concussion:

  • Increasing headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Difficulty or slurred speech
  • Balance or coordination difficulty
  • Unusual or out of character behavior
  • Changes in level of consciousness
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Disorientation
  • Delayed verbal or motor response
  • Amnesia
  • Stiffness in the neck or weakness in arms or legs
  • Blood or clear fluid from nose or ears
  • Abnormal drowsiness or sleepiness
  • Rest and observation are important. If he/she is able to sleep, continue to observe. If any changes in symptoms or signs are alarming, seek advanced medical care immediately.


Following are some additional tips: 

  • DO NOT take any medication other than what a medical doctor has prescribed.
  • NO physical activity until directed by health care professional.
  • Limit television and cell phone time as well as computer use.



Stress & The Gut

Your Gut Reaction to the Word STRESS
by Dr. Sindhu Kaitha

If unmanaged, STRESS can have a negative impact on every part of our digestive system.

Did you know:

  • Over 40% of people in the U.S. report having more than one digestive symptom per month with women being higher than men.
  • The digestive system is home to more cancers and causes more cancer mortalities than any other organ system in the body.
  • More than 270,000 Americans develop a cancer of the esophagus, stomach, colon or rectum each year.
  • Your stomach does not do most of the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
  • The absorptive surface area of the small intestine is around 2,700 feet equal to the size of a tennis court.

 We can take control of our gut health by better managing our stress. Often, we put others first and ourselves last.  This mindset can severely affect our health and negatively impact those who rely on us.  With a simple lifestyle shift and proper perspective, you can put the focus in order and keep your health and your gut in check!

Simple Ways to Keep YOUR Gut in Check: 

  • Healthy diet with fresh foods, probiotics or fermented foods
  • Meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises and elevate your heart rate just 30 minutes a day!
  • Sleep… our bodies need at least 8 hours of sleep (sometimes even MORE if stressed).
  • Digestive health screenings, colonoscopies, etc.
  • TALK to your doctor and don’t delay seeking help if you’re uncomfortable or hurting

For more information on maintaining your digestive health or treatment for getting your digestive system in balance, contact:

Dr. Sindhu Kaitha, M.D
ProCare Gastroenterology
Phone: (432) 640-3007
540 West 5th Street, Suite 300 • Odessa, Texas 79761

Happiness is Healthy

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Why happiness is healthy

Happiness – you know it when you see it, but it’s hard to define.

Why be happy?

Being able to manage the emotional ups and downs is important for both body and mind, said Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard School of Public Health. Many scientific studies, including some by Kubzansky, have found a connection between psychological and physical well-being.

A study of more than 200 studies found a connection between positive psychological attributes, such as happiness, optimism and life satisfaction, and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease. Kubzansky and other Harvard School of Public Health researchers published these findings in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

It’s not as simple as “you must be happy to prevent heart attacks,” of course. If you have a good sense of well-being, it’s easier to maintain good habits: Exercising, eating a balanced diet and getting enough sleep, researchers said. People who have an optimistic mindset may be more likely to engage in healthy behaviors because they perceive them as helpful in achieving their goals, Kubzansky said.

Lower blood pressure, normal body weight and healthier blood fat profiles were also associated with a better sense of well-being in this study.

Happiness: Living in the moment

But what about right now – what can we do to make ourselves feel more positive? If you’re seeking to increase your own sense of happiness, try mindfulness techniques. Mindfulness means being present and in the moment, and observing in a nonjudgmental way, stated Susan Albers, psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Focusing on the here and now is a counterbalance to findings that mind-wandering is associated with unhappiness.

So remember: A glass half full might be healthier than a glass half empty.


“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy


Submitted by John Douthitt, Mission Fitness