Tips For Reducing Wildfire Risk

Landowners can reduce wildfire risks to houses, cabins and outbuildings by creating defensible spaces around them, according to wildfire experts.

Information about how to create defensible spaces and reduce wildfire risks to property is at

 “With this spring’s unusually dry conditions, we are asking people to be especially careful with all types of fires around their property, and we urge them to implement defensible space practices around their homes and outbuildings," says Bill Crapser, state forester with the Wyoming State Forestry Division (WSFD).

The website is part of Barnyards & Backyards, Rural Living in Wyoming by the Small Acreage Issue Team, which is a collaborative effort of the University of Wyoming (UW) Extension, WSFD and other land resource organizations in Wyoming.

The subjects in how-to articles and videos include creating defensible space around a house, cabin or outbuilding; fire-wise plants that can be used in landscapes; and other steps to prepare for wildfire. There is also information about what to do after a wildfire, such as rehabilitating the fire line, burned and stressed tree danger, whether to salvage fire-damaged trees, and water quality and erosion following fires.

“The Barnyards & Backyards website is one of the best sites out there for practical information of interest to rural residents in our state,” says Jennifer Thompson, small-acreage outreach coordinator with UW Extension. “Visitors can find information on a whole host of subjects including vegetable gardening, weed control, water-wise landscaping, tree care, windbreaks, pine beetle management, grazing management and more. The rich and useful content is the result of the efforts of resource professionals across the state.”

Tips to Reverse Diabetes Using Social Medicine

Diabetes is on the rise, but it is also preventable by a healthy lifestyle change. Making small changes in the way people eat, adding in a little more exercise, and losing even a modest amount of weight can improve diabetes. The diabetes community found on, supports diabetics and their lifestyle., a health-based social networking site, helps people suffering from a variety of health conditions, like diabetes, to globally connect, help and share information with others in similar situations, by focusing on bridging the gap of patient-to-patient communication, and patient-to-practitioner, with all the social networking features and functionality expected in today’s society. focuses on community support, where real people in similar situations come together, to circumvent negative feelings like disconnection and loneliness, and focus on improving self-esteem, understanding, communication, relationships, and peer support.

Diabetics have more control over their health than they think. The most important thing people can do for their health is to lose weight. The biggest risk factor for developing diabetes is being overweight. Your risk is higher if you tend to carry your weight around your abdomen. Experts say that losing just 5% to 10% of your total weight can help diabetics lower blood sugar considerably, as well as lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Changing your lifestyle doesn’t mean living in deprivation. Diabetics can continue to eat and enjoy their favorite foods, and best of all, don’t have to give up sweets or resign to carbohydrate counting. But you’ll probably need to learn some better eating habits. But what does eating right for diabetes mean? A diabetes diet is simply a healthy eating plan that is high in nutrients, low in fat, and moderate in calories.

The glycemic index (GI) shows how quickly a food turns into sugar. High GI foods tend to spike blood sugar levels. These foods include white rice, white pasta, white bread, potatoes, sweets, chips, and many processed foods. They should be limited in your diet. Low GI foods include nuts, seeds, lean meats, seafood, whole grains, beans, brown rice, whole-wheat bread, and whole-wheat pasta. Diabetics should be eating a lot of non-starchy vegetables, beans and fruits such as apples, pears, peaches, and berries. Even tropical fruits like bananas, mangoes, and papayas.

Diabetics should always monitor blood glucose, particularly when alcohol is consumed. Alcohol can interfere with medication and insulin. Beer and wine contain calories and carbs, while cocktails are loaded with sugar. Men and women should drink in moderation, with women one drink per day and men two drinks per day.

If diabetics crave something sweet, they should limit intake of bread, rice or pasta during your main meal. Eating sweets adds extra carbohydrates; it is best to cut back on other carbohydrates where possible. Make your indulgence count by eating slowly and paying attention to the flavors and textures. Think about cutting down on sweets by reducing soda and juice drinks, reducing the amount of sugar in recipes by 1/4, and instead of ice cream, blend up frozen bananas, or a small piece of dark chocolate. Diabetics should also begin to replace your daily dessert with fruit.

There are various fats to consider when having a meal. Some fats are unhealthy, while other fats have high health benefits. The two most damaging fats are saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fats are found mainly in animal products such as red meat, whole milk dairy products, and eggs. Trans fats are fats that are less likely to spoil. The best fats are unsaturated fats, which come from plant and fish sources. Good sources include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, avocados, salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health.

When it comes to preventing, controlling, or reversing diabetes, consider exercising. Regular exercise maintains your weight and can improve your insulin sensitivity. One of the easiest moderate-intensity activities is walking for 30 minutes five or more times a week, swimming or riding a bike.

Vital Signs: Women's heart health

While fewer Americans overall are dying from heart disease, the death rate from heart disease for women younger than 55 is increasing. One in every two U.S. women will die from heart disease or stroke.

As National Heart Month gets under way this month, here are some of the top unanswered questions about how heart disease affects women – and some steps women can take right now to improve their heart health.

Seeking answers

A recent report from the Society for Women’s Health Research and WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease outlined some of the key questions researchers are working to answer.

These questions include:

» Why does heart disease affects men and women differently, and why do women have worse outcomes from heart disease?

» What are the best ways to assess a woman’s risk for heart disease?

» What are the best ways to deal with those risk factors to reduce a woman’s risk for heart disease?

Researchers here at the University of Virginia Health System are seeking answers to many of these questions. For instance, I am involved in a study that uses a small ultrasound device to examine the arteries of 100 women and 100 men who had heart attacks to learn if the arteries of men and women are different. This could lead to different and better treatments for women.

UVa researchers, including Dr. Christopher Kramer, are examining whether MRI is a better tool to diagnose heart disease in women. Women are more likely than men to have abnormalities in the small vessels of their heart, which can be diagnosed more easily using MRI.

Taking charge of heart health

As researchers look for better ways to detect, treat and prevent heart disease in women, there are several proactive steps you can take now to protect your heart health.

The first step is knowing your risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and smoking. Discuss your risk factors and family history with your doctor.

Good health begins with lifelong, maintainable changes to your lifestyle. Some of the most important changes you can make include:

» Get regular exercise. You should get at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days, if not every day.

» Maintain a healthy weight. Aim to keep your body mass index (BMI) below 25.

» Eat fresh foods, and avoid processed foods whenever possible.

» Find time to take care of yourself and reduce your stress level. Helping other people begins with helping yourself.

Health tips for Rainy days

1. Stay active indoors
Take advantage of the less than ideal monsoon weather and tackle a spring cleaning project. Soon your sweat glands will be working overtime and detoxing seems an easy task.

2. Get creative with your exercise routine
During a TV commercial break, exploit the couch and perform bench dips and a set of lunges. Begin with 10 of each and increase it by two more at the next commercial break.

3. Bake for health sake
Grab hold of healthy recipes from the internet, cookbooks or newspaper and start baking. Or simply experiment with substituting regular flour with whole wheat variety for favourite breads and muffins recipes.


Tips for low cholesterol cooking

A diet makeover is an effective way to cut down bad cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein). By avoiding certain foods high in trans and saturated fats, you can lower your cholesterol level drastically.

But, the secret to a balanced heart-friendly diet doesn't here. Lowering bad cholesterol must start from your very kitchen with the help of healthy cooking methods. By practicing easy-to-follow cooking tips, you can deal with high cholesterol woes while making sure that all essential nutrients remain intact. Here are 8 important tips for low cholesterol cooking...

Employ low-fat cooking methods: Try low-fat cooking methods like broiling, grilling, stir-fry, braising and steaming. These methods are much better than batter coating and deep frying as they help retain all the essential nutrients and flavours of the ingredients. Fried foods, on the other hand, should be strictly avoided because most of them contain high levels of saturated and trans-fats. Moreover, when oil is heated to very high temperatures, a toxic compound called acrylamide is formed which is a neurotoxin and carcinogen. Hence, to maintain heart health and lower bad cholesterol, use these health cooking methods.

Use lean cuts of meat: Another healthy cooking method is using more of lean cuts of meat and poultry as they are lower in fats. Lean cuts of pork include loin chops and tenderloin while that of beef includes chuck, sirloin and round. Also, while cooking chicken meat, use boneless breast pieces or trim the excess fat with the help of kitchen scissors.

Remove visible meat fats before cooking: While cooking meat and poultry, trim all visible fats from the pieces. This includes oils, butter and fats on the meat. The skin also harbours a lot of fat and calories and hence, it is advisable to always remove it. You may leave the skin on while cooking but remove it prior to eating.

Use pure vegetable oils instead of fats: Use more of olive oil, sunflower oil and canola oil for cooking instead of opting for lard or butter. These cooking oils are a very good source of unsaturated fatty acids required for maintaining a healthy heart. While olive oil is a good source of mono-unsaturates, pure vegetable oils like sunflower oil are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Avoid fatty favouring additives: For a low cholesterol diet, try more of organic spices like basil, cilantro and oregano rather than fatty additives for flavouring. Instead of leaning more towards sour cream and butter to liven your dish, you can reach for these spices to remain healthy and fat-free.

Cook meat dishes in advance: While cooking stews, soups and boiled meat, try and cook a day in advance and then keep it inside the refrigerator. This is because as the dish chills, the fat present in it hardens at the top. This can be removed easily and the remaining low-fat dish can be used.

Remove or drain fat after cooking: Another cooking recommendation that will help lower the cholesterol content is by draining the fat after cooking. Once the meat or poultry pieces are cooked properly, you can remove the excess oil in the pan and then rinse the pieces in hot water. Following this, you can remove the water from the cooked meat with the help of a paper towel.

Eat foods with high fibre content: For cooking low-cholesterol foods, opt for ingredients that have high fibre levels. Fibre foods can be categorized under two distinct sectors - soluble and insoluble fibre foods. Insoluble fibre foods include green leafy vegetables, nuts and grains while soluble fibres are found in bananas and oatmeal.

Some tips to beat the heat wave

"Cool it!"

That's the advice going out Wednesday night from the Broome County Health Department, especially to the elderly, and parents of infants and toddlers.

That's because they're the ones most likely to suffer from a heat-related illness over the next few days.

The guys rebuilding Johnson Avenue on Binghamton's West Side are on a tight schedule.

No waiting for cooler weather.

But they're not taking chances in this heat.

They are taking this advice from Dr. Chris Ryan, Medical Director of the Broome County Health Department.

"You should drink lots of water." advises Dr. Ryan.

Sports drinks are o.k. too, as long as they don't have too much sugar or caffeine.

What else?

"Try to spend time in cool, air conditioned environments." said Dr. Ryan

Not an option for the construction crew.

But it's exactly what the Loyal D. Greenmun Senior Center is offering, weekdays 10 to 4.

"Even several hours each day spent in a cool, air conditioned environment is a good idea, is protective." said Dr. Ryan

For the duration of the heat wave, the center's welcoming even non members.

"You don't have to be a member to come in and sit. And it's nice and cool in here so I'd advise it, if somebody wanted to get out of the heat to come in. " said Mitz White

And, you don't have to just sit.

"We have crafts here. We have pool downstairs. We have 4 pool tables. We have shuffleboard here. We have the Wii game, we can get things going here, activities for people." said White

Of course this is the activity most people think of when the temperature hovers around 90.

A way better option than huddling inside around a fan.

"If it's less than 95 and you feel better with a fan blowing, that's great but don't count on that to be protective against heat-related illness." tells Dr. Ryan

When the fan stopped making a difference at the Lindsley's home, Mom, Dad, and 19 month-old Mason headed for the nearest public pool.

"Yes, yes, it's too hot at home. The fans aren't even working. No air conditioning, so we came here." said Ashley Lindsley

And with no letup for a few days, they'll probably be back.

Tips for staying healthy in hot temperatures

With the arrival of summer and hot weather upon us, Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the California Department of Public Health, is encouraging California residents to follow these top-10 helpful tips to stay safe this summer:

• Reduce exposure to the sun from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. when UV rays are strongest, and keep physical activities to a minimum during that time. When working outside, drink plenty of water or juice even if you are not thirsty, and take rest breaks in the shade.

• Wear a wide-brimmed hat to cover the face and neck, and wear loose-fitting clothing to keep cool and to protect your skin from the sun and mosquitoes.

• Wear sunglasses that provide 100 percent UVA and UVB protection. Chronic exposure to the sun can cause cataracts, which left untreated, can lead to blindness.

• Liberally apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15)

15 minutes before venturing outdoors and re-apply at least every two hours — sunscreen prevents skin cancer, the number one cancer affecting Californians and prevents premature aging.

• Never, EVER leave infants, children or frail elderly unattended in a parked car. It can take as little as 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to rise to levels that can kill.

• To prevent overheating, use cool compresses, misting, showers and baths — if you or someone experiences a rapid, strong pulse, feels delirious, becomes unconscious or has a body temperature above 102, call 911 immediately.

• Prevent children from drowning by providing adult supervision at all times and having a safety barrier that surrounds a pool or spa. Drowning is the leading cause of injury deaths for children under five.

• Make sure that your doors and windows have tight-fitting screens to keep out mosquitoes. Some mosquitoes carry West Nile Virus, which can mimic influenza symptoms such as fever, body aches and eye pain.

The virus can cause serious health complications and in rare cases, death.

• Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535 according to label instructions.

Mosquitoes usually bite in the early morning and evening so it is important to wear repellent during those times.

• Eliminate all sources of standing water on your property, including flower pots, old car tires, rain gutters and pet bowls — mosquitoes breed and lay eggs in standing water.

For more tips on staying cool in the summer sun, go online to

Stroke prevention and getting enough sleep

Health tips for Wednesday include a healthy diet to prevent stroke, and getting ample sleep for both adults and children!

Strokes are probably one of the more debilitating and disabling health downturns we could have, if we survive one at all.

Healthy weight and healthy eating lower our risk, but now, one thing we can have in our diet could protect us from stroke, that comes from an encouraging report to be published tomorrow in the Journal of Neurology.

The Mediterranean diet is a healthy way to eat and very beneficial for our hearts.

It comprises of fruits, vegetables, fish, whole grains and includes olive oil. In this study of over 7 thousand people who reported they used lots of olive oil, the researchers also found a 41 percent lower risk of stroke when compared to the people who used no olive oil.

So olive oil might be the protector against that awful attack to our brain vessels that's called a stroke.

So what I tell people is that olive consumption is good but to keep in mind that we don't know how much you should take and that olive oil is a fat. However it is a good fat so we encourage people to substitute bad fats with good fats

In another story, we have more information on women's sleep out today from sleep experts.

Many of us, both men and women, use weekends to try to catch up the snooze we didn't get enough of during the week. And while we may feel more rested, sometimes it's not enough, because our brain functions don't recover totally.

But one study reported today finds that women don't suffer the effects of sleep deprivation as much as men do.

The researchers think that is because women, when they do sleep, get "deeper" sleep and that is what protects them more when they're deprived of sleep.

That's one for the women.

And another sleep study reported today looked at pre-schoolers and what happens when they don't get enough sleep. The study involves about 6,860 children with analyses controlled for gender, ethnicity and family income

While most moms can probably tell you what happens, this scientific research found this: Kids not getting enough sleep at home might make them more likely to be hyperactive and inattentive in Kindergarten.

"ADHD is usually diagnosed during the school age years, but the onset of hyperactivity and impulsivity starts much earlier", said the researcher.

Doctor's recommendation: toddlers to age 3 should get 12 to 14 hours of sleep , and preschoolers and kindergarteners need to get 11 to 13 hours. So doctor's orders: see that those little ones get their sleep.

Health tips for pregnant women dealing with diabetes

We all know that the condition of pregnancy can be difficult for any women but it can be more challenging if the woman has Diabetes. So if any of you is about to get pregnant then there are many precautions that you need to take care of and bad habits like smoking or drinking should be avoided. Here are certain health tips that help you out in dealing with pregnancy and diabetes at the same time:

Maintain a healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight can help you in avoiding injuries and keeping a check on the blood sugar level. It is very easy to maintain a healthy weight by performing routine exercise designed for pregnant women. Loosing excess weight and taking prenatal vitamins can assist in keeping blood sugar under control.

Women who are dealing with diabetes type 2 are more at risk for PCOS, which is also known as polycystic ovary syndrome. In this complex situation, it is very difficult for a woman to get pregnant. However, there are certain medications that can assist in stimulating the ovulation like Clomid and Serophene.

Constant checkups

Woman dealing with pregnancy and diabetes at the same time deal with complex problems quite often, that is why it is very important for her to undergo regular checkups with her doctor. Regular monitoring, blood sugar level checkups and ultrasounds with the doctor can be of great help in detecting any sort of problems earlier on before it gets late. It is very important to keep the blood sugar under control by regular blood glucose monitoring so that your diabetes does not create problems in pregnancy stages.

Tips on how to reduce exposure to cell phone radiation

How do you cope with the fact that the cell phone, the means of communication by which million of people communicate, may cause brain cancer?

News that exposure to the phones' radio frequency and electromagnetic fields may put consumers at an increased risk for glioma, a malignant type of brain cancer, will likely have panicked users reaching for their land lines.

While there no direct evidence that cell phones will give you cancer, there are proven way to help you reduce your risk:

If you're going to talk on your cell phone, go hands free.

These devices emit far less radiation than the actual phone, according to the Environmental Working Group. If you're alone, you could also use the phone's speaker mode.

Got a weak signal?  While it seems counterintuitive, that's the time when radiation is the strongest. The fewer bars you have, the more important it is to wear that headset.

Like to talk on your cell phone while you drive? Be aware that your iPhone may be more dangerous while you're in the car.  The reason?  While your phone is searching hard for a signal, it's emitting more radiation.

We've all become used to having our phones within a moment's grasp. But think twice before you keep it in your pocket or on your belt, right next to your body while you're chatting, advises the environmental group.

Little kids shouldn't talk on cell phones for more a few minutes – their brains absorb more radiation.  Tell Grandma to call on the land line.

Some phones cause more radiation to be absorbed by the human body.  Here are a few to consider avoiding, according to the group.

1. Motorola Bravo (MB520) AT&T 1.59 W/kg
2. Motorola Droid 2 GlobalVerizon Wireless *1.58 W/kg
3. Palm PixiSprint1.56 W/kg
4. Motorola Boost i335Boost Mobile 1.55 W/kg
5. Blackberry Bold 9700AT&T, T-Mobile1.55 W/kg
6.Motorola i335Sprint 1.55 W/kg
7. HTC Magic (T-Mobile myTouch 3G)T-Mobile 1.55 W/kg

10 Tips for a 10 minutes healthy shopping spree

For all the moms, hostelites, working professionals, freelancers or for that matter single men and women out there, life doesn't fit into neat little routine blocks, does it?

After all, time saved is time earned! And who wants to spend hours and hours doing mundane chores at home and then heading to the supermarket to shop for the coming week. But, when it comes to shopping for healthy food items one does not need to compromise on quality. So we thought, why don't we put together our top 10 tips which will help you shop in 10 minutes or less, without compromising on the nutritious front. Game? Read on!

Prepare a grocery list for one entire week's meals. This will save you from making multiple trips to the grocery store and will also help you in making sure you buy only what you need.

Stick to your grocery list. With new health items hitting the market every second day, you could be in that store for a long time. Keep a list handy, tick items as you buy them, and you're out in a jiffy.

In order to stock healthy fast food at home, compartmentalise your shopping list in a way that all the food items are written under a separate column focusing on the perimeter of the store. Based on your neighbourhood supermarket's isles system, divide your shopping list.

Once a month, when you have ample time for food shopping in your hands, go for bulk shopping, if possible. Basic stapes such as tomato ketchup, flour, chilli sauces, oregano, rice, pasta and so on should be bought in bulk.

Avoid depending on 2-minute processed snacks. Instead opt for a variety of sauces, herbs (both fresh and dry), and fruits (both fresh and dry). Replace buying too much of tinned, processed foods with fresh homemade pastes and whole wheat products.

Stock your kitchen with easy-to-find healthy food items in order to maximize health benefits. Go for cheeses labelled as fat-free or reduced-fat, products with zero gram trans fat and whole grain stamp items. Fat free milk or low fat milk and products which say 'low in saturated fat and cholesterol' are good choices.

Avoid shopping right after work as busy evenings mean crowded stores. Try shopping over weekends.

Do eat a protein rich snack such as almonds or peanuts or a whole fruit before shopping. This way you'll avoid mindless bingeing while shopping.

Get your choices right. Select wisely when you are shopping and don't give in to the temptation. Choose a burger which is made of 100% whole grain bread instead of the white bread option. Go for low-fat dressings or better still just take ingredients such as lemon, parsley, honey, chilli flakes, mixed herbs, vinegar, soya sauce and prepare your own homemade hygienic dressing.

Tell your friend who shares your fitness routine or weight loss goal to accompany you. This will help you stick to your healthy weight management goals without getting distracted or tempted.

10 tips to feeling happier now

Are you happy? It’s such an important question that British Prime Minister David Cameron recently created a national happiness index to check on how Brits feel. Even Facebook is measuring the Gross National Happiness of its members.

We’re asking because happiness has a huge impact on your health, from your arteries to your heart, from the glow in your skin to the pep in your step.

Happy feelings influence your brain and body chemistry in ways that make you better able to cope with pain and stress, and to fend off colds, flu, heart disease, even cancer. The effects of happiness on your health can be even bigger than the effect of quitting smoking. If you’re happy, you’ll likely live longer and definitely live younger!

And here’s the thing: Being happy isn’t just luck. You can make yourself happier, day in, day out. Here are 10 ways to get started:

1. Listen to music. Whether you love Bach or the Beastie Boys, music that makes you feel good increases your heart and breathing rates, and makes your brain release dopamine, a lovely feel-good neurotransmitter.

2. Hang out with upbeat friends. Your chances of happiness increase by 15 per cent if someone in your immediate social circle is happy.

3. Take a joy break. Don’t worry if you’re among the 80 per cent who say their job doesn’t thrill them. Even a few minutes of doing something you love (singing, hiking, watching a sunset) can reduce anxiety and improve your mood.

4. Talk nice to yourself. Is your inner voice quick to snap out things like: “How could you forget that, you idiot?” Trade put-downs for encouraging words; you can do this. They set you up for success.

5. Connect. Talk, really talk, to people you care about; connecting is good for you both. Get physical, too: Hugs stimulate oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone,” giving you a feel-good boost. Lovemaking does, too, in steady relationships (those couples report the highest happiness levels).

6. Keep a gratitude journal. Simply writing down what you’re thankful for makes you healthier and more optimistic.

7. Don’t sit around. Physical activity is a significant happiness booster. Get moving for 30 minutes a day.

8. Meditate. We do. It eases stress, improves sleep, strengthens immunity and measurably increases happiness (in one study, by 20 points on a scale of 100).

9. Help others. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, hospital or shelter. Giving back adds more meaning, which is essential to happiness in your life.

10. Go outside. Spending time with Mother Nature makes you feel alert, enthusiastic, full of energy and, simply, happy.