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MedFit Care
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While Covid accentuated poor heath conditions in some, they were prevalent long before Covid. 

The Good News: Physical activity can positively affect over 30 chronic conditions, making it the best deterrent of chronic disease in primary and secondary prevention.

Health Statistics for adults in the U.S. 

  • 50-60% have at least one chronic disease; 25-40% have two or more.
  • Almost 40% are clinically obese.
  • Hypertension affects over 100 million.
  • Over 30 million have Type 2 diabetes.
  • Osteoarthritis affects over 30 million. It’s thought everyone over 60 has at least 1 joint affected.
  • Cardiovascular disease is responsible for almost 1 in every 4 deaths.

What is MedFit Care?

MedFit Care is a telehealth company offering medically necessary exercise prescriptions for consumers and patients nationwide.

A MedFit Care physician will write a medically necessary exercise prescription that can be used to pay for your MedFit Care fitness professional, who understands your unique needs and can work with you to improve your health and quality of life. With your prescription in hand, you are now able to use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), or your own funds as a medical expense tax deduction, to pay for the services of a qualified medical fitness specialist.

If you, a family member, or friend has health issues of concern, call our New Orleans Healing Center location at 504-754-1101 or​ stop by the New Orleans Healing Center to discuss your options.

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May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month
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​Non-melanoma skin cancer is a very common cancer in the United States, with more than 5 million people diagnosed each year. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are non-melanoma skin cancers, are the most common types of skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body.

  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.
  • Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.
  • When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.

Melanoma:

Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. It is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body than the more common forms of skin cancer.

Melanoma is more common in men than women and among individuals of fair complexion. Unusual moles, exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma – American Association for Cancer Research.

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for melanoma in the United States for 2024 are:

  • About 100,640 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 59,170 in men and 41,470 in women).
  • About 8,290 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 5,430 men and 2,860 women).

Less Common Skin Cancers:

1) Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare and aggressive type of skin cancer that develops in sun-exposed skin areas and has a high likelihood of spreading to other body parts.2) Skin lymphoma, also called Cutaneous lymphoma, is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that starts in the skin.3) Kaposi sarcoma is a type of cancer that starts in lymph or blood vessel cells and tends to appear in the mouth and as lesions on the skin, but may also develop in the lungs, liver and digestive tract.4) Skin adnexal tumors are tumors that start in hair follicles or skin glands.5) Sarcomas are soft tissue tumors that can begin in deep skin tissue.

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Things that put you at higher risk for getting skin cancer are called risk factors. The main risk factor for developing skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from:

1) Sunlight2) Tanning beds3) Sun lamps

Other factors that may contribute to developing skin cancer include:

– Having a history of severe, blistering sunburns- Having many, or unusual, moles- Being a blond or redhead, having fair skin that easily freckles or sunburns- Exposure to large amounts of toxic substances such as paraffin oil, coal tar and arsenic compounds- Family history of skin cancer- Previously being diagnosed with skin cancer- Being older, male- Having a weakened immune system- Having a rare inherited condition called xeroderma pigmentosum– People with darker complexions have a much lower risk of most types of skin cancer. When they do develop melanoma, people with darker skin types are much more likely to have rare types of melanoma such as acral lentiginous melanoma, an aggressive type affecting the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and nail bed. Melanoma can also develop in non-sun-exposed area such as the membranes of the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and female genital tract. The most important warning sign of skin cancer is a new spot on the skin, especially if that spot changes shape, color or size. Another potential symptom is a spot that looks different from all the others on your skin (known as the “ugly duckling sign”).

Other signs include:

– Red or pink patches with shiny, pearly-white raised edges- Non-healing open sores that bleed or develop a crust- Red scaly patches of skin that may bleed- Wart-like growths with crusted surfaces- Hard, waxy skin lumps with visible blood cells- A newly itchy, tender or painful sore


Good Cholesterol vs Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is essential for building cell membranes and producing hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that aid in digestion. However, having too much cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Here's a breakdown of the two main types of cholesterol:

  1. Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol:

    • Often referred to as "bad" cholesterol.
    • LDL cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries, forming plaque that can narrow and clog arteries, leading to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  2. High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol:

    • Referred to as "good" cholesterol.
    • HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries by transporting it to the liver, where it can be broken down and eliminated from the body. This process helps protect against heart disease.

In summary, high levels of LDL cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease, while high levels of HDL cholesterol can help reduce that risk by removing excess cholesterol from the bloodstream. It's important to maintain a balance between these two types of cholesterol for optimal heart health.

Exercise and Cholesterol​

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Regular exercise can have a significant impact on cholesterol levels and overall heart health. Here's how exercise influences cholesterol:

  1. Raises HDL Cholesterol: Physical activity, especially aerobic exercise like brisk walking, running, swimming, or cycling, can increase the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood. This helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, reducing the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries.

  2. Lowers LDL Cholesterol: Exercise can also lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. It does this by increasing the size of the particles that carry LDL cholesterol in the blood, which makes them less likely to contribute to plaque formation in the arteries. Additionally, regular physical activity can stimulate the liver to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood.

  3. Aids in Weight Management: Regular exercise helps with weight loss and weight management, which can indirectly improve cholesterol levels. Being overweight or obese is associated with higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol levels. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight or achieve weight loss, which in turn can improve cholesterol profiles.

  4. Improves Overall Heart Health: Exercise strengthens the heart muscle, improves circulation, and reduces inflammation throughout the body. These benefits can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are often associated with high cholesterol levels.

  5. Reduces Triglycerides: Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood that can increase the risk of heart disease when levels are too high. Regular exercise helps lower triglyceride levels, further improving heart health.

To reap the benefits of exercise on cholesterol levels, it's recommended to engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes per week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for at least 75 minutes per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week. However, even small amounts of physical activity can provide health benefits, so finding activities you enjoy and incorporating them into your routine is key.





How To Stay Active with Arthritis

Osteoarthritis Action Alliance

​More than 40% of adults with arthritis do not receive counseling from their health care providers on the benefits of physical activity for arthritis management.

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Arthritis can lead to severe joint pain and may limit your normal activities, but there are several ways you can reduce arthritis pain without medication. Research has shown being physically active is one of the best ways to treat arthritis. 

Physical activity can help your arthritis by: 

  • Reducing pain
  • Improving range of motion and function
  • Increasing energy
  • Improving mood
  • Supporting weight management
  • Preventing or improving other conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

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How much activity should you aim​ for? Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week - like brisk walking. This can be broken up into smaller segments such as 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Even if you can’t reach this goal, staying as active as you can is good for your health. Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none!

What kinds of activities should you do? You should choose physical activities that are gentle on your body and joints to reduce the risk of injury. These activities can include:   

  • Brisk walking
  • Yoga
  • Gardening
  • Dancing
  • Swimming

Explore physical activity programs in your community that are designed to reduce arthritis symptoms and teach you how to safely increase your activity level. Many of these programs are free or low-cost and available at local YMCAs, parks, and recreation or community centers. Learn more about Arthritis-Appropriate Evidence-Based Interventions (AAEBIs) here

Remember, your doctor is a reliable source of information about physical activity. If you have concerns or questions, talk to your doctor about the right level of activity for your abilities and health goals. For more tips on staying active, go to the CDC website.





Group Circuit Training by Paul

Monday and Thursday 11:15 am-12:00pm

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​BENEFITS OF CIRCUIT TRAINING: 

  • Maximum results in minimum time
  • Challenge your whole body
  • Mix cardio and strength
  • Send your metabolism soaring
  • Never waste another minute
  • Beat gym boredom
  • All fitness levels welcome
  • Arrive early for instruction

Have questions? Call Paul @ 504.525-2956


Vacation recovery plan

So you went away, saw a new part of the world, and now you’re back. You ate, you drank, you relaxed, and then you ate some more. And now it’s time to face the music.

As you wake up on Monday morning after your week of less-than-healthy eating… Your body is puffy and bloated. Your joints are achy. Your clothes feel tight.

Maybe you are feeling that way right now.

Here are 5 steps to recovering from your vacation and getting back on track with your fitness goals:

Step One: Focus

Your vacation happened. You ate things from the “never eat these” list, you drank more that you should have…but now it’s over.

Draw a line in the sand. You’re back home so the bad eating stops now.

If you’re serious about your fitness goals, then your vacation was the exception, and not the rule. Don’t beat yourself up for letting loose on your trip. Simply get back up, dust yourself off and get focused.

Step Two: Hydrate

While travel days can take on many forms, the end result is most often dehydration and water retention. The only way to restore your balance is to get hydrated.

Your first priority in getting back on track is to drink plenty of water throughout your first few days home. Start with a tall glass of water in the morning, and carry a water bottle with you to sip throughout the day.

Don’t add any artificial sweeteners or stimulants to your water – these will sabotage your hydration efforts. For flavor, add sliced fresh fruit, herbs or vegetables to your water, just like at the spa.

Step Three: Cleanse

For your first few days home I need you to be extra picky about what you eat. Stick with only whole, real foods like fruits, vegetables and lean meats. Whole, real foods will help to restore balance and block out cravings.

Don’t eat any packaged foods for the next few days. This means no snack foods, processed meat slices, dairy, baked goods or alcohol. Try the recipe for Quick Chicken Stir Fry below – this is a wonderful, whole food dish.

Step Four: Rest

As relaxing as vacation days are, most end with the feeling of exhaustion. Make catching up on sleep a priority over the next few days.

When your body is low on sleep, it becomes easier to make poor eating choices. You’re also less likely to get back into your workouts if you don’t give your body a chance to rest.

Aim for getting a full 8 hours of sleep each night.

Step Five: Exercise

It’s time to sweat out all those vacation indulgences. So lace up your athletic shoes and put on your favorite gym clothes. When you start your first workout, ease in slowly. Take the time to warm up and stretch your muscles before powering up to a solid 30-minute routine.

I have just the exercise plan for you – one that will not only help you recover from your vacation, but will help keep you motivated and going strong in the future.

If you haven’t joined yet, now is the perfect time for you to start. Together we will get you to your goals with my results-driven method.

Simply call or email me today to set up your first workout.

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Michael Roberts

Medical Fitness Specialist

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Downtown Fitness Center

2372 St Claude Ave Suite 264

New Orleans, LA 70117

5047541101


Get Back At It

You may feel tempted to skip your workout the day after you return home from vacation, but be warned that it’s a slippery slope. After all you’re tired, you have unpacking to do and you’re stiff from the ride home. That day slides into the next day and the next day. Before you know it you’ve been home for a week and still haven’t gotten in a workout.

Jump into your workouts immediately once you return home. Sure, you’re going to feel a little rusty on that first day back, but remember that the sooner you get back into the swing of your routine the better. You can do it!


Quick Chicken Stir Fry

Resist the temptation to eat out by making quick, healthy dinners like this one. Chicken and veggies make up the bulk of this meal, keeping you lean and green. Instead of rice, serve this stir fry over a cauliflower rice. To make simply run a head of cauliflower through a food processor with the grating attachment, so that it is finely shredded. Sauté the cauliflower in a large skillet, with a teaspoon of olive oil, until soft. Season with salt and pepper.

What you need
Serves 6

1 pound organic, boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 heads broccoli, chopped
2 carrots, cut in half and then into 2 inch segments
2 heads baby bok choy, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
3/4 cup chicken broth (divided)
2 Tablespoons arrowroot starch
2 Tablespoons toasted sesame seed oil
1 Tablespoons ume plum vinegar
1 Tablespoon coconut aminos
1 ripe, organic mango, peeled, pitted and chopped

Instructions

1. Rinse the chicken and cut into 1 inch cubes.

2. Place the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions, sauté for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add the broccoli, carrots and chicken and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add the bok choy and zucchini. After 5 minutes add 1/4 cup of chicken broth, cover, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

3. In a small bowl combine the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth, arrowroot, sesame oil, vinegar and coconut aminos. Add the seasoned mixture to the skillet, along with the chopped mango, and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.

Nutrition
243 calories, 11g fat, 675mg sodium, 15g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 19g protein

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