Stay Healthy http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/9360/all en-US 6 Ways to Stay Healthy While Working the Night Shift http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-healthy-while-working-the-night-shift <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-stay-healthy-while-working-the-night-shift" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tired_woman_in_front_of_laptop.jpg" alt="Tired woman in front of laptop" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Though I don't work the night shift, I'm an avowed night owl. Some of my best writing happens between the hours of 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. (when most folks are in full REM mode). But indulging my nocturnal tendencies without risking my health takes a little bit of strategy. Whether you're working the graveyard shift, or just a stubborn night owl like me, here are six ways to stay healthy when you're staying up all night.</p> <h2>1. Stick to a regular sleep cycle</h2> <p>It's tempting to want to be awake when the rest of the world is awake. But if you work the night shift, that's simply not possible. To maintain your physical and mental well-being, establish a regular daytime sleep schedule and stick to it even during your days off. Also, use naps strategically to &quot;power-up&quot; right before each shift. Remember, your routine is your friend. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bedtime-routines-of-famous-financial-gurus?ref=seealso" target="_blank">5 Bedtime Routines of Famous Financial Gurus</a>)</p> <h2>2. Create a restful environment at home</h2> <p>When it's time to sleep, you want to be able to sleep. Turn your bedroom into a slumber-ready refuge. Invest in <a href="http://amzn.to/2opVHBj" target="_blank">blackout curtains</a> to prevent even the thinnest sliver of sunshine from disturbing your dreams. Mask traffic noise with a <a href="http://amzn.to/2F5kCUk" target="_blank">white noise machine</a> or buy a few dozen pair of those <a href="http://amzn.to/2oodQiO" target="_blank">disposable foam earplugs</a> to deaden everything that goes bump in the day. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-fall-asleep-when-you-cant?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Fall Asleep When You Can't</a>)</p> <h2>3. Unplug</h2> <p>Sure, friends and family may know you work the night shift, but that doesn't stop the endless stream of daytime text messages, emails, and robocalls. To protect your sleep, consider going dark during daylight hours. Silence your phone and turn off all audible notifications.</p> <h2>4. Eat right</h2> <p>Don't treat your late night meals like midnight snacks. Eat small, nutritionally dense meals comprised of lean meats, leafy green vegetables, and a few fruits. Avoid fatty, carb-heavy foods. They may fill your stomach and give you a short boost of energy, but the inevitable crash will make the rest of your shift feel like torture. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-that-can-help-you-sleep?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a>)</p> <h2>5. Limit sugar and caffeine</h2> <p>Caffeine and sugar &mdash; Wonder Twin powers activate! This winning combination has been fueling American workers for generations. But if you're working the night shift, know when to say &quot;no.&quot; About four or five hours before the end of every shift, begin phasing out caffeine and sugar. That window will give your body time to recover from the effects of both stimulants and help you fall asleep easier when you get home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-reasons-to-stop-eating-sugar-forever?ref=seealso" target="_blank">12 Reasons to Stop Eating Sugar Forever</a>)</p> <h2>6. Stay active</h2> <p>I totally get it; after working all night, <em>working out</em> is the last thing on your mind. Still, try to fit in 15-20 minutes of moderate exercise before wrapping up your day. Keep things logistically simple. Instead of heading to the gym, stay home and speed walk on the treadmill or practice a few minutes of mindful yoga. Besides boosting your metabolism, it'll help you relax and improve the quality of your sleep. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-simple-ways-to-get-more-exercise-without-working-out?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Simple Ways to Get More Exercise Without Working Out</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F6-ways-to-stay-healthy-while-working-the-night-shift&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F6%2520Ways%2520to%2520Stay%2520Healthy%2520While%2520Working%2520the%2520Night%2520Shift.jpg&amp;description=6%20Ways%20to%20Stay%20Healthy%20While%20Working%20the%20Night%20Shift"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/6%20Ways%20to%20Stay%20Healthy%20While%20Working%20the%20Night%20Shift.jpg" alt="6 Ways to Stay Healthy While Working the Night Shift" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-healthy-while-working-the-night-shift">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation">7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-questions-to-ask-before-getting-trendy-beauty-treatments">4 Questions to Ask Before Getting Trendy Beauty Treatments</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-routines-of-wealthy-people">5 Everyday Routines of Wealthy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-age-well-for-0">10 Ways to Age Well for $0</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Health and Beauty Graveyard Shift health tips healthy habits Night Shift Stay Healthy work tips Fri, 02 Mar 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Kentin Waits 2110676 at http://www.wisebread.com What to Do if You Get Sick While Traveling Abroad http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-get-sick-while-traveling-abroad <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/what-to-do-if-you-get-sick-while-traveling-abroad" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_hiking_in_the_forest.jpg" alt="Woman hiking in the forest" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have plans to go abroad anytime soon? Are you abroad right now? If so, you likely have plans for all the fun activities and sightseeing you want to do. But even once-in-a-lifetime trips can take a turn for the worse when you get sick or injured while abroad. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation?ref=seealso" target="_blank">7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation</a>)</p> <p>People get sick while traveling all the time, and it's important to have a plan in place for if and when that happens. Falling ill in general can be an inconvenience, but if you fall seriously ill while abroad, it can be downright frightening.</p> <p>Take measures to prepare yourself now by doing these six things when traveling abroad.</p> <h2>1. Research before you go</h2> <p>It's a good idea to do some research about your medical options while abroad. Some questions you will need to answer are:</p> <ul> <li> <p>Does your insurance company cover you while abroad?</p> </li> <li> <p>Do you need to purchase temporary travel insurance?</p> </li> <li> <p>What's the number for your insurance company?</p> </li> <li> <p>Who is your emergency contact while abroad?</p> </li> </ul> <p>If your current health insurance policy does not provide coverage while abroad, you should consider purchasing a short-term travel policy. It's best to purchase travel medical insurance before your departure, but you may still have options after, as well. Take special note of all medical information and keep it on you while traveling. You never know when you might need it. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-buying-travel-insurance?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Everything You Need to Know About Buying Travel Insurance</a>)</p> <h2>2. Keep a first aid kit on hand</h2> <p>Most minor medical issues can be fixed easily with a first aid kit. Many travelers, however, don't keep a kit handy. A small injury can easily become more serious if you are having to track down appropriate medicine or treatment at the last minute in a foreign country. It's also helpful to keep cold and flu medication on hand in case you need it.</p> <p>Keep a small kit stocked with Band-Aids, ibuprofen, antibiotic ointment, and backups of any medication you take. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-first-aid-kits?ref=seealso" target="_blank">The 5 Best First Aid Kits</a>)</p> <h2>3. Contact the embassy or consulate</h2> <p>In a serious medical situation, you should contact the local U.S. embassy. The embassy can arrange for immediate medical care, should you need it. They can also wire over money as needed and inform your family and friends at home. Keep in mind, while the embassy can help to arrange all medical care, the bill will still be your responsibility to pay.</p> <h2>4. Keep your insurance card and ID available</h2> <p>In the event that you become injured or ill, make it easy for those around you. Keep your insurance card, emergency contact, and ID available at all times. If you are traveling with children, be sure to keep their information on you as well so you can provide it in the event of an emergency.</p> <h2>5. Seek local care</h2> <p>Once, while at the beach in Italy, one of my travel companions was stung by a jellyfish. We had no idea what to do, so we went to a local pharmacy. The pharmacist on duty knew exactly what we needed, even though we didn't speak the same language.</p> <p>The point is, the local doctors and pharmacists are experts at treating common injuries sustained where they live. They know the common threats to visitors, whether it's a sunburn, a trip or fall, or altitude sickness, and can treat it accordingly.</p> <h2>6. Take preventative measures</h2> <p>Illnesses abroad often happen because travelers are on a different routine. You can prevent many sicknesses abroad by taking extra care of yourself and those you are traveling with. Be sure to drink plenty of clean water, take time to rest, use sunscreen, and avoid eating too much or too little food. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-these-6-foods-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Eat These 6 Foods to Stay Healthy While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fwhat-to-do-if-you-get-sick-while-traveling-abroad&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FWhat%2520to%2520Do%2520if%2520You%2520Get%2520Sick%2520While%2520Traveling%2520Abroad.jpg&amp;description=What%20to%20Do%20if%20You%20Get%20Sick%20While%20Traveling%20Abroad"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/What%20to%20Do%20if%20You%20Get%20Sick%20While%20Traveling%20Abroad.jpg" alt="What to Do if You Get Sick While Traveling Abroad" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/rachel-slifka">Rachel Slifka</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-get-sick-while-traveling-abroad">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation">7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-of-the-safest-countries-to-visit-in-2018">5 of the Safest Countries to Visit in 2018</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuck-at-the-airport-relax-with-these-14-easy-self-care-tricks">Stuck at the Airport? Relax With These 14 Easy Self-Care Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-hotel-room-has-bedbugs-now-what">Your Hotel Room Has Bedbugs. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-famous-overseas-film-settings-you-can-visit-on-any-budget">5 Famous Overseas Film Settings You Can Visit on Any Budget</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Travel cold getting sick Stay Healthy the flu travel abroad travel tips Thu, 01 Mar 2018 10:00:06 +0000 Rachel Slifka 2110591 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happiness_couple_at_the_seaside.jpg" alt="Happiness couple at the seaside" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Heading off on vacation is often the culmination of months of planning and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-easy-way-to-save-up-a-big-travel-budget?ref=internal" target="_blank">saving for your travel budget</a>. It's the one time of year when we really get to relax, let our hair down, and enjoy the freedom of being away from work. So why risk wasting all that effort by allowing an unexpected bout of sickness to ruin it?</p> <p>Health dangers are part of nearly every trip, but with proper precautions before and during your travels, it's entirely possible to avoid getting sick on vacation.</p> <h2>1. Get your shots</h2> <p>Your number one priority when heading off on an international vacation should be making sure that you are protected from diseases. First, double check that you are up to date on your routine vaccinations, such as those for Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap) and Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), which may require a booster. Then you need to figure out <a href="https://www.vaccines.gov/travel/" target="_blank">what jabs are necessary</a> for whichever country or countries you are planning to visit.</p> <p>The best way to do this is to make an appointment with your health care provider or a specialized travel clinic, which should be able to advise you on exactly what you need. It's important to leave yourself plenty of time, as some of the shots, such as the vaccination against cholera, require two doses. Also make sure you check if there is any medication you need to take while you are traveling, such as anti-malaria tablets. It's far better to be safe than sorry.</p> <h2>2. Prepare for the plane journey</h2> <p>You don't want to ruin your vacation before it's even begun by arriving at your destination feeling out of sorts, so it's important to make sure you're properly prepared. Long plane journeys are renowned for having a detrimental impact on your health, but even short flights could be hazardous. The effects of air travel on the body range from dehydration and restlessness, to the potentially fatal deep vein thrombosis.</p> <p>Do your best to make sure that you are fully rested in the days leading up to your flight. Consider boosting your immune system by taking some multivitamins, eating healthily the week beforehand, and ensuring that you are fully hydrated when you board the plane. However tempting it may be, particularly if you're a nervous flyer, stay away from the airport bar, as the combination of alcohol and altitude may undo all of your preparation.</p> <h2>3. Avoid tap water</h2> <p>Regardless of your destination, avoiding the local tap water is always a good idea when you go on vacation. There are many locations around the world where it's unsafe to drink the tap water, but even in the countries where it is technically safe, the water may still upset your stomach. This is due to the different balance of minerals and chemicals in the local water, as well as the different purification methods used.</p> <p>The easiest way to avoid any issues arising is to stick to bottled water, but that's both potentially expensive and bad for the environment. If you want a practical and ecological way to steer clear of single use plastic bottles, there are plenty of other options you can consider. There is a huge <a href="http://amzn.to/2t0tgNx" target="_blank">variety of filtration bottles</a> available on the market that get rid of almost 100 percent of microbiological contaminants as well as chlorine, fluoride and heavy metals. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-these-6-foods-to-stay-healthy-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Eat These 6 Foods to Stay Healthy While Traveling</a>)</p> <h2>4. Wash your hands and use antibacterial gel</h2> <p>Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is the most effective way to clean them. This is because it gets rid of dirt that may be harboring germs, and kills the germs themselves. But there isn't always a ready supply of water and soap for this to be a practical option. In these cases, hand sanitizing gel or antibacterial spray is the secret weapon of the savvy vacationer. When used properly, these products kill over 99 percent of bacteria.</p> <p>Always carrying a small bottle of antibacterial liquid around with you is a simple and convenient way to ward off any germs that may have been transferred onto your hands. Don't wait until you arrive at your destination to start. Planes are notoriously unclean environments, so it pays to spray before and after boarding your flight, as well as when you're going to the bathroom. Always wash up before eating, but don't be afraid to use hand sanitizer at regular intervals throughout the day, too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-items-you-will-never-regret-bringing-on-a-trip?ref=seealso" target="_blank">10 Items You'll Never Regret Packing on a Trip</a>)</p> <h2>5. Watch what you eat</h2> <p>Food, and specifically the different bacterias found within it, are one of the main causes of people getting sick while they're away. The number one rule to follow when you're eating on vacation is to be cautious. Of course you want to sample the delicious local delicacies &mdash; it's one of the pleasures of traveling. But try to ease your stomach into exotic foods rather than immediately bombarding it with all of these new and exciting flavors. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-eat-street-food-safely-while-traveling?ref=seealso" target="_blank">How to Eat Street Food Safely While Traveling</a>)</p> <p>Be aware of where you eat and the establishment's hygiene standards, whether it's a hotel restaurant, or a local street food stall. Food poisoning indiscriminately affects anywhere that has poor practices. To steer clear of food that will make you ill, always make sure it's freshly prepared and piping hot, avoid raw food, and don't eat anything prepared with tap water that isn't boiled. A great way to get the lowdown is to ask around for recommendations on which places are good, or do some research online.</p> <h2>6. Beat the mosquitoes</h2> <p>Despite their diminutive size, mosquitoes are some of the most dangerous creatures on the planet. At best, they'll give you an annoying bite that will lead to a lot of itching and discomfort, or even a fever, which in itself could ruin your vacation. At worst, depending on where you're going, you could end up with any one of a long list of nasty diseases that could be threatening to your health.</p> <p>The only way to completely stop any risk is to not get bitten, so if you're going to a mosquito-heavy area, take plenty of tried and tested repellent, cover up areas of exposed skin, and always sleep under a mosquito net.</p> <h2>7. Take care in the sun</h2> <p>One of the pleasures for many travelers heading overseas is the opportunity to spend some time catching a few rays. But too much fun in the sun can have seriously negative effects on your health. The most common of these is sunburn, but more serious illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke aren't to be taken lightly. In extreme instances, they can even lead to death.</p> <p>If you overdo it in the sun, you could end up spending days on your sickbed recovering, so it's best to know your limits and take it easy. Use a suitable strength of sunscreen, don't spend too much time directly in the sun, avoid strenuous activity at midday and drink plenty of water to keep hydrated. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-easy-health-and-fitness-tricks-for-travelers?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Health and Fitness Tricks for Travelers</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F7%2520Ways%2520to%2520Avoid%2520Getting%2520Seriously%2520Sick%2520on%2520Vacation.jpg&amp;description=7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Getting%20Seriously%20Sick%20on%20Vacation"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/7%20Ways%20to%20Avoid%20Getting%20Seriously%20Sick%20on%20Vacation.jpg" alt="7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nick-wharton">Nick Wharton</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-healthy-while-working-the-night-shift">6 Ways to Stay Healthy While Working the Night Shift</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-vacation-destinations-where-eating-healthy-is-surprisingly-cheap">4 Vacation Destinations Where Eating Healthy Is Surprisingly Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-get-sick-while-traveling-abroad">What to Do if You Get Sick While Traveling Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stuck-at-the-airport-relax-with-these-14-easy-self-care-tricks">Stuck at the Airport? Relax With These 14 Easy Self-Care Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Travel health tips healthy eating healthy habits lifestyle sick sick on vacation Stay Healthy travel tips Tue, 27 Jun 2017 08:30:14 +0000 Nick Wharton 1971631 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_44946184_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="bringing healthy habits to work" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>From weight gain to carpal tunnel syndrome, working a desk job takes its toll. According to the Mayo Clinic, <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sitting/faq-20058005">sitting all day can cause</a> high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and even increase your risk of developing cancer. But by being proactive and taking some precautions, you can minimize the impact of sitting all day and keep yourself healthy and happy.</p> <p>See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-keep-your-desk-from-killing-you?ref=seealso">5 Ways to Keep Your Desk From Killing You</a></p> <h2>1. Drink Water</h2> <p>Many people are so busy at work that they forget to eat, or drink water, and all those cups of coffee can dehydrate you. As your body craves water, you can feel hungry, irritable, or listless, just because you're thirsty. Keep dehydration at bay by keeping a large water bottle at your desk. If you need a boost of flavor, add some fresh fruit to it to give it some extra zing. Having it within reach will encourage you to drink throughout the day and stay hydrated. You might be amazed by how much more alert you feel with enough water in your system.</p> <h2>2. Avoid Sugary Snacks</h2> <p>The best part of any workday when surprise bagels or doughnuts show up at a meeting. But those extra sweets and carbohydrates add up. Not only can they cause a sugar crash, leaving you feeling exhausted, but the extra calories can cause you to gain weight. Instead, plan ahead to have healthy snacks instead. Hard boiled eggs, string cheese, nuts, and peanut butter and crackers are healthy treats packed with protein, so you feel full and satisfied. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smoothie-bowls-you-want-right-now?ref=seealso">11 Smoothie Bowls You Want Right Now</a>)</p> <h2>3. Walk Whenever You Can</h2> <p>Sitting at your desk not only contributes to obesity, but also to hypertension and other health issues. Get up and walk several times throughout the day to keep your muscles moving. If possible, step out at lunch for a brisk 20-minute walk. Better yet, schedule walking meetings to catch up on status reports and new updates. You'll find yourself more energized after your meeting than if you sat in a conference room.</p> <h2>4. Eat Lunch</h2> <p>With so much going on at work, you may skip lunch or forget about it until you're ravenous at 3:00 p.m. That makes it even more tempting to grab a candy bar from the vending machine. Instead, make eating a healthful lunch a priority. A salad made with vegetables and chicken can give you energy, while a sandwich made with lean meats, tomatoes and kale can make you feel full for the rest of the afternoon.</p> <h2>5. Protect Your Neck</h2> <p>Whether you look down at the computer, or hold the phone against your shoulder to keep your hands free, your job can be hard on your neck. And all of that strain can cause your muscles to tense and tighten up, causing pain later on. Raise your computer to a comfortable height so you can see it looking straight ahead. You don't need expensive equipment; a few reams of copy paper can do the job. And a simple phone headset can allow you to use the phone while typing, without hurting your neck.</p> <h2>6. Prevent Eye Strain</h2> <p>All of that time in front of the computer screen can hurt your eyes, causing headaches, sensitivity to light, and dry eyes. Keep your computer screen about an arm's length away from you. If you can't clearly see the text on the screen, just increase your font size. There are also screen covers you can use to minimize the glare from the monitor to decrease the strain on your eyes.</p> <h2>7. Fidget</h2> <p>Fidgeting and moving can help minimize the effects of a sedentary work life. Whether you use an exercise ball as a chair or have a minibike under your desk, even occasionally moving around can help increase blood flow and circulation. A recent study showed that fidgeting, or just doing small movements every day, could counteract the <a href="http://time.com/4045317/fitness-sitting-work/">negative effects of sitting at your desk</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-exercises-to-do-at-work-that-dont-make-you-look-silly?ref=seealso">10 Exercises You Can Do at Work</a>)</p> <h2>8. Invest in Lighting</h2> <p>Fluorescent lights can be brutal on your eyes. If possible, ask maintenance to disable the lights in your office or directly over your cubicle, and bring in a floor or desk lamp of your own with softer light. If that's not possible, a small desk shade can help shield you from the fluorescent light's rays.</p> <h2>9. Focus on Posture</h2> <p>When you're on a tight deadline and typing away, it's all too easy to end up hunched over your computer. But that position can be harmful to your back and joints. At the end of the work day, you can end up feeling sore and stiff due to your work habits. Invest in a good office chair or cushion to help encourage good posture. Apps like <a href="http://www.postureminder.co.uk/">PostureMinder</a> send you reminders throughout the day to sit up straight, helping you break a bad habit.</p> <h2>10. Take Vacation</h2> <p>Most importantly, if you have vacation days, use them! Vacations are physically and mentally important for you to unwind, de-stress, and spend time with loved ones.</p> <p>While office jobs can be hard on your body, you can counteract the effects with some ingenuity and preplanning. By preparing healthy meals and snacks and by reminding yourself to get moving, you can keep yourself energized all day long.</p> <p><em>What other healthy habits can you do at your desk? Share with us!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kat-tretina">Kat Tretina</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-stay-healthy-on-vacation">7 Ways to Avoid Getting Seriously Sick on Vacation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-age-well-for-0">10 Ways to Age Well for $0</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-healthy-while-working-the-night-shift">6 Ways to Stay Healthy While Working the Night Shift</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-tips-for-better-workplace-body-language">7 Tips for Better Workplace Body Language</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-bad-habits-that-are-ruining-your-career">6 Bad Habits That Are Ruining Your Career</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building Health and Beauty cubicle healthy eating healthy habits Office productivity Stay Healthy work work habits Tue, 16 Aug 2016 09:30:31 +0000 Kat Tretina 1773088 at http://www.wisebread.com 29 Ways to Prevent Visiting the Doctor http://www.wisebread.com/29-ways-to-prevent-visiting-the-doctor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/29-ways-to-prevent-visiting-the-doctor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/kids with local farmers.jpg" alt="schoolchildren talking with farmers" title="schoolchildren talking with farmers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You&rsquo;ve heard that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But is there anything else you can do to prevent unnecessary visits and save money?</p> <p>I like to think that I have done fairly well in this area, averaging a sick visit about once every couple of years for most of my adult life. In hindsight, a few of those could have been skipped. Mostly, I have learned through trial and error to recognize when rest, fluids, and over-the-counter meds are fine and when intervention is needed, plus I picked up on ways to stay healthy by reading about research studies and recommendations. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-healthy-changes-you-can-make-today">25 Healthy&nbsp;Changes You&nbsp;Can Make Today</a>)</p> <p>Here are some specific actions that have helped me to prevent visits to the doctor.</p> <h2>Have Healthy Habits</h2> <p>There are many small things that you can do every day that can have a big impact on your overall wellness and keep you from having to be treated for chronic illnesses. Not all disease can be prevented, and many people have genetic tendencies that lead to health problems. Still, there are steps you can take to prevent doctor's visits plus save money in other spending categories.</p> <p><strong>1. Get to Know Your Local Farmers</strong></p> <p>Visit your local farmers market or just stop by a roadside stand to get to know farmers and gardeners, talk about food, and buy locally grown produce. They can often give you food prep tips and tell you what's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fresh-fruits-and-vegetables-by-the-month">in season</a> as well as help you eat enough fruit and vegetables on a daily basis.</p> <p><strong>2. Make Your Own Salad Dressings</strong></p> <p>Commercially bottled salad dressings often use sugar, sodium, and extra fat to add flavor. Control the ingredients and save money by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-tasty-and-affordable-salad-dressing-recipes">making your own salad dressing at home</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>3. Cook With Wine</strong></p> <p>Even though too much alcohol can cause health problems, small amounts of <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-wine/HB00089/">wine may be beneficial to your health</a>. Use wine as a <a href="http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/6-secrets-of-cooking-with-wine">low-fat alternative to adding flavor</a> to recipes for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-things-to-do-with-boxed-wine">fruit salads, marinades, and more</a>. You can even use wine in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes">crock pot recipes</a> (see #3, coq au vin).</p> <p><strong>4. Practice Yoga</strong></p> <p>Yoga can help you relax and reduce anxiety, which is a major health problem among young adults. According to <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/yoga/CM00004">Mayo Clinic</a> and <a href="http://www.webmd.com/balance/the-health-benefits-of-yoga">WebMD</a>, poses can be beneficial for building and maintaining flexibility, range of motion, balance, posture, and strength, which can help avoid physical therapy needed to restore function in these areas. A friend who is a yoga instructor also mentions that sitting up straight has helped her to maintain her height as she has gotten older, despite having a debilitating disease.</p> <p>Check out these links to find <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/where-to-find-free-or-cheap-yoga-classes">free or cheap yoga classes</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/half-moon-full-wallet-free-online-yoga-videos">free online yoga videos</a>.</p> <p><strong>5. Take a Spin Class</strong></p> <p>Spin classes can improve your cardiovascular capabilities and release endorphins, which can improve your mood and <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise-and-stress/SR00036">help battle mild depression and anxiety</a>. Before you sign up, read about what to expect at a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-started-in-indoor-cycle-class">spin (or indoor cycle) class</a>.</p> <p><strong>6. Go to a Late-Night Movie</strong></p> <p>Find entertaining and engaging ways to have fun and socialize in the evening that don&rsquo;t involve consuming lots of alcohol. You already know that <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/binge-drinking.htm">binge drinking</a> can cause problems. But binge-drinking episodes as a young adult can also impair judgment and cause heart problems later in life. So finding cool stuff to do at night with friends &mdash; like a movie, comedy show, or bowling &mdash; can be a boon to your current well-being and long-term health.</p> <p><strong>7. Train for a 5K</strong></p> <p>My brother-in-law started running 5Ks after a heart attack in his 40s as a form of cardio rehabilitation. But you may consider tackling such an event prior to the possibility of developing heart disease.</p> <p>Join a group training program or follow my guide to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-run-your-first-5k">running your first 5K</a>. After you accomplish that goal, consider training for a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stick-to-an-exercise-plan">half-marathon</a>&nbsp;or&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/exercising-in-a-winter-wonderland-how-to-be-fit-and-frugal">marathon during the winter months</a> as an alternative to a gym membership. Just invest in shoes and winter workout gear.</p> <p><strong>8. Carry Dried Fruit as Fuel During Long Workouts</strong></p> <p>Dried fruit (such as cranberries, dates, plums, and cherries) is <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15670984">nutritious and contains antioxidants</a>, which may be useful in <a href="http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/antioxidants">fighting cancer</a>. For me, though, <a href="http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/disadvantages-dried-fruit-3227.html">they have too many calories</a> for everyday snacking. However, they are a great energy source and a frugal alternative to generally pricier sports gels, etc. with the bonus of having health benefits.</p> <p><strong>9. Visit a Dentist </strong></p> <p>Dental problems rank in the top 10 of reasons for emergency room visits, according to <a href="http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/surgeries-procedures/10-common-reasons-for-er-visit3.htm">Discovery Health</a>. You may be able to get <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/open-wide-5-ways-to-score-discount-dental-care">inexpensive dental care</a> by visiting a local dental school or community college with a dental hygiene program. &nbsp;</p> <p><strong>10. Snack on Walnuts </strong></p> <p>Substitute <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-and-worst-nuts-by-nutrition-and-price?wbref=slide">walnuts (or other nutritious nuts)</a> for candy bars, cookies, doughnuts, and chips. Eating small amounts of nuts may help you to <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nuts/HB00085/">lower your cholesterol</a> while <a href="http://uncnews.unc.edu/content/view/5407/1/">avoiding junk food</a> that causes health problems.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>11. Host a Meeting While Walking</strong></p> <p>To fit in more exercise and avoid disease associated with a sedentary lifestyle, find ways to get more activity during the day. You might hold a meeting with a coworker or two while walking. Or you could walk to lunch, walk to the branch office, or park in a distant lot instead of snagging the closest space at the mall.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>12. Take a Date on a Hike </strong></p> <p>If you are looking for a fun and inexpensive date with health benefits, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-5-to-30-date-ideas-for-every-budget?wbref=slide">go on a hike</a>. Just make sure that you know the route and bring plenty of water.</p> <p><strong>13. Pick Blueberries With Your Kids</strong></p> <p>Skip the indoor video arcade and go pick fruit at a nearby farm or orchard. <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-tip/HT00368/rss=6">Blueberries</a> and fruits that you can pick yourself are usually cheaper than store-bought, plus they are fresher. Occasionally, you may buy already-picked fruit at <a href="http://www.openforum.com/articles/9-business-lessons-from-the-roadside-stand">roadside stands</a> that has been picked earlier in the day or the day before, also at a great price. Freeze blueberries that you don't eat immediately.</p> <p><strong>14. Make a Homemade Smoothie for Breakfast</strong></p> <p>You can often get 1-2 servings of fruit for breakfast if you make a smoothie at home. Plus, you can avoid lots of extra fat and calories associated with a fast-food breakfast or pastry.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>15. Volunteer</strong></p> <p>If you are looking for things to do in your free time that can contribute to your community, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/translating-volunteer-experiences-and-skills-to-workplace-credentials">professional credentials</a>, and health, find a place to volunteer. Some studies have shown that volunteering has a <a href="http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/volunteering/benefits.asp">beneficial impact on wellness</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>16. Have a PB&amp;J Sandwich and Apple for Lunch </strong></p> <p>For a quick lunch, skip the drive-through at the fast-food restaurant and have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (choose all-natural peanut butter without the added trans-fats to get the health benefits of peanuts) on whole wheat bread with an <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eatingwell/health-benefits-of-apples_b_966110.html#s364122&amp;title=Exercise_Extender">apple</a> as your side dish. Make at home or bring the supplies to have on hand at work.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>17. Take a Class</strong></p> <p>A class at the university, community college, or elsewhere can keep your brain active and help prevent dementia or<a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/dementia/DS01131/DSECTION=prevention"> limit the effects of dementia</a>. You may not be worried about aging problems right now, but you can also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-classes-that-can-pay-for-themselves">learn new skills that can save you money</a>. Plus, you may be able to expand your circle of friends and professional network.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Avoid Accidents and Incidents</h2> <p>Even relatively minor accidents and incidents can cause you to seek medical help. Take simple steps to stay safe.</p> <p><strong>18. Cover Up </strong></p> <p>Wearing long-sleeved shirts, pants, and gloves can help prevent allergic reaction from poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac when you are tending to natural areas in your yard. Cover-ups and special UPF clothing can protect your skin from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-and-simple-sunburn-remedies-that-really-work">sunburn</a>, particularly if you happen to have extra-sensitive skin. Putting on a <a href="http://www.uihealthcare.com/topics/medicaldepartments/familymedicine/tickseason/index.html">cap while hiking</a> can help keep ticks from biting and hiding in your hair. Carry extra clothing in your backpack or car trunk.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>19. Learn to Swim</strong></p> <p>Swimming is a great life skill and can help you to avoid being fearful around water and, well, drowning. Plus swimming is beneficial to your heart health and friendly to your joints.</p> <p><strong>20. Be Prepared With First Aid Knowledge</strong></p> <p>It sounds geeky, but having basic first aid supplies on hand can prevent doctor's visits. You can quickly tend to wounds and possibly avoid complications.</p> <p><strong>21. Respect Age Recommendations</strong></p> <p>Following <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/in-search-of-safety-a-moms-8-step-guide-to-toy-selection-and-everyday-use">age recommendations for children's toys</a>, carnival rides, etc. helps parents prevent accidents and incidents. The one time that I ignored a recommendation, my son ended up in urgent care with a small toy part in his nose.</p> <p><strong>22. Read Medication Labels and Inserts</strong></p> <p>Reading the literature that comes with medication can help you to recognize side effects and complications, or perhaps avoid them by closely following instructions and warnings. If you happen to have tossed out this information or want to learn about medications before you get a prescription, visit drug-makers' websites to read what you need to know.</p> <p><strong>23. Check Your Gear</strong></p> <p>Before going on an <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/close-to-home-outdoor-adventure-basics">outdoor adventure</a>, inspect your gear. Replace components or entire sets of equipment if needed. Simple checks can often save you from an accident that can send you to the emergency room or urgent care facility.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Know When You Should See the Doctor</h3> <p>No matter what you do, you'll occasionally get sick. Knowing when you should seek medical treatment and when you can safely take care of yourself is not always straightforward. But some basic knowledge can help you make a decision. Plus, there are a few things you can do to aid your recovery without seeing a physician.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>24. Do Your Own Triage</strong></p> <p>Just like the triage nurse sorts through which patients need to be seen immediately and who can wait, evaluate yourself, your husband or wife, or your children. Consider details like whether you are running a fever, when you started feeling badly, what specific symptoms are unusual or prominent, how long symptoms have lasted, and what has changed over the last few hours or days.</p> <p>Generally, unless there is an odd symptom, unusually high fever, or no improvement for several days, I don&rsquo;t make a doctor's visit. And if I do decide to see a doctor, I make a mental note about whether I could can skip a visit for subsequent, similar illnesses.</p> <p>To help you figure out what to do, board-certified family physician <a href="http://www.davisliumd.com/">Davis Liu, M.D</a>. recommends using <a href="http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/health-tools/search-by-symptom.html">flow charts</a> found at <a href="http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en.html">FamilyDoctor.org</a>. These can help you clarify what's going on and either reassure you to stay away from the doctor or prompt you to make a visit if needed.</p> <p><strong>25. Talk to Your Pharmacist</strong></p> <p>Pharmacists can make recommendations for over-the-counter drugs that can be just as helpful as a doctor's visit. If you have a mild illness, consider stopping by the pharmacy first and making a doctor's appointment only if your condition persists or worsens.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>26. Make a Phone Call </strong></p> <p>If you have an established relationship with a physician, call the office to discuss your concerns and possibly prevent a visit. Before dialing, write down details about your condition so that you can be ready to talk and won&rsquo;t miss saying an important bit of information. Also, remember to ask about normal progression of an illness (say the stomach virus that is going around) and when symptoms should lessen so that you won&rsquo;t have to make a visit later if your recovery takes longer than you hoped.</p> <p>I have found that the office staff is either a) great about letting you know that they do not want to see you or your sick child because, for example, you probably have a virus that should be treated by resting at home or b) clueless in advising you and instead just ask what you want to do &mdash; which naturally negates the purpose of the call. When the advice seems unclear, request a call back from a nurse who knows you or your physician.</p> <p><strong>27. Send an Email</strong></p> <p>You may have the option to converse with your physician or a nurse at the doctor&rsquo;s office by secure email. This process may take longer than a phone call (up to a couple of days), but I have found this technique to be a clearer way to communicate. It can be useful if you have nagging but non-urgent symptoms or if you have discovered that the usual response time is reasonably fast.</p> <p><strong>28. Say &ldquo;No&rdquo; to Excessive Treatments</strong></p> <p>Occasionally, you will meet a physician who wants to schedule appointments or provide medical interventions that are not necessary. It can be scary to say &ldquo;no&rdquo; to someone you think you should trust, but there are times when refusing diagnostic testing or treatment is the smartest course of action.</p> <p>For example, a couple of years ago, I turned down a recommendation from an orthopedic specialist for an MRI to diagnose back pain for my son. The physician didn&rsquo;t provide a clear explanation of how the results could be used to design or improve a treatment plan, beyond the information that he had already gathered. We declined the $1,800 procedure and subsequent office visits, and I advised my son to rest rather than pursue rehabilitation through this practice. After a few more weeks, the pain disappeared. Since then, I have read that <a href="http://www.webmd.com/back-pain/news/20110131/skip-the-mri-for-low-back-pain">MRIs are not recommended for all patients with back pain</a>.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>29. Make an Occasional Doctor's Visit</strong></p> <p>It may seem counterintuitive, but an occasional, planned visit can help prevent multiple visits. Your physician should be able to give you tips on staying healthy based on a review of your habits, evaluation of your and your family&rsquo;s medical history, and numbers like blood pressure and blood work. You may be able to get some immunizations that can prevent disease. Finally, those occasional visits can make you eligible for quick phone or email consultations.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/29-ways-to-prevent-visiting-the-doctor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-healthy-while-working-the-night-shift">6 Ways to Stay Healthy While Working the Night Shift</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-healthy-habits-to-take-to-work">10 Healthy Habits to Take to Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-to-do-if-you-get-sick-while-traveling-abroad">What to Do if You Get Sick While Traveling Abroad</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-foods-that-can-help-you-sleep">10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-easy-things-science-says-you-should-do-for-your-body-every-day">5 Easy Things Science Says You Should Do for Your Body Every Day</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty doctor’s visit nutrition Stay Healthy Tue, 10 Jul 2012 10:24:17 +0000 Julie Rains 938631 at http://www.wisebread.com 50 Ways To Squeeze Value From Your Healthcare Dollar Without Killing Yourself http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-squeeze-value-from-your-healthcare-dollar-without-killing-yourself <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/50-ways-to-squeeze-value-from-your-healthcare-dollar-without-killing-yourself" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stethoscope.jpg" alt="stethoscope" title="stethoscope" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="250" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Healthcare will most likely be my family&#39;s largest expense in a couple of years, when we&#39;ve finished paying our home mortgage. We&#39;re not heavy users of the healthcare system: to take care of my own needs, for example, I have seen my family physician for a non-routine visit just 3 times in the last 15 years. Just one family member takes a prescription medicine on a regular basis. What have we done to incur such high costs? We&#39;re Americans who want to protect our family from a medically-induced financial disaster. We&#39;re not alone. </p> <p>According to Davis Liu, M.D. and author of &quot;<a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0979351200/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20" title="http://www.amazon.com/dp/0979351200/ref=nosim/?tag=wwwwisebreadc-20">Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely: Making Intelligent Choices in America&#39;s Healthcare System</a>&quot; health insurance premiums grew 73% compared to wage increases of 15% from 2000 to 2005. Dr. Liu doesn&#39;t have a well-crafted plan to solve the national healthcare crisis but he does offer practical ideas for getting the most out of your healthcare dollar. Here are 50-plus ways to save money without compromising your well-being, drawn mostly from Dr. Liu&#39;s book but supplemented by my experience, research, and wisdom of the Wise Bread community.  </p> <ol> <li>Skip the annual physical but get <a href="http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/USpstfix.htm#Recommendations" title="http://www.ahrq.gov/clinic/USpstfix.htm#Recommendations">specific screening tests recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)</a>.</li> <li>Save on prescription medications if you meet certain eligibility guidelines found at <a href="http://www.togetherrxaccess.com/Tx/jsp/about.jsp" title="http://www.togetherrxaccess.com/Tx/jsp/about.jsp">Together Rx Access</a>.</li> <li>Review all medical bills and question anything that doesn&#39;t seem right, especially services that should be covered under your insurance plan; talk to your insurance agent, employee benefits counselor, and/or insurance company representative to make sure that covered items are paid correctly.  </li> <li>Call your physician’s office to ask about a non-urgent problem (or to see if a symptom requires immediate treatment) rather than scheduling an appointment.</li> <li>Ask your pharmacist about medications including prescriptions, over-the-counter drugs, and behind-the-counter remedies; you&#39;ll get free, valuable advice from a healthcare professional who has spent many years studying medicines. </li> <li>Compare your physician’s recommendations with clinical guidelines (e.g., <a href="http://www.aap.org/" title="http://www.aap.org/">pediatrics</a>, <a href="http://www.acog.org/" title="http://www.acog.org/">obstetrics/gynecology</a>, <a href="http://www.auanet.org/" title="http://www.auanet.org/">urology</a>); ask about anything that you don&#39;t understand or seems to be unusual care. </li> <li>Do self exams (see techniques for <a href="http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/self_exam/bse_steps.jsp" title="http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/self_exam/bse_steps.jsp">women</a> and <a href="http://www.acor.org/TCRC/tcexam.html" title="http://www.acor.org/TCRC/tcexam.html">men</a>).</li> <li>Get high-deductible healthcare insurance rather than forgoing insurance because the uninsured have higher death rates from <a href="http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/7451.pdf" title="http://www.kff.org/uninsured/upload/7451.pdf">chronic disease</a> and <a href="http://mitsloan.mit.edu/newsroom/2003-doyle.php" title="http://mitsloan.mit.edu/newsroom/2003-doyle.php">accidents</a>. </li> <li>Carry continuous coverage so that <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_hipaa.html" title="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/faqs/faq_consumer_hipaa.html">exclusions for preexisting conditions will be limited</a> according to federal law associated with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).</li> <li>If you may lose your job or already have lost your job, compare the cost of <a href="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/cobraemployee.pdf" title="http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/pdf/cobraemployee.pdf">COBRA coverage</a> (extended to displaced employees but includes the employer’s <em>and</em> employee’s cost) to other options such as purchasing insurance on your own (either a comprehensive or high-deductible plan) or getting coverage on a spouse’s plan. </li> <li>Open a <a href="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p969/index.html" title="http://www.irs.gov/publications/p969/index.html">HSA (Health Savings Account</a>) linked to a high-deductible insurance plan and take a tax deduction for your contributions, subject to limitations as stated in the federal tax law.   </li> <li>If your insurance company doesn’t cover USPSTF-recommended tests, question why it doesn’t cover expenses proven to prevent disease and start a letter-writing campaign asking for coverage; write your insurance company and your <a href="http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm" title="http://www.naic.org/state_web_map.htm">state’s insurance commissioner</a>. </li> <li>Take a<a href="http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc502.html" title="http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc502.html"> tax deduction for medical expenses</a> that exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income (AGI).</li> <li>Go to a provider (physician, physician extender, or hospital) that is in your insurance company’s network so that you can take advantage of discounted rates already negotiated by your insurance company. </li> <li>If the provider that you prefer is not in your insurance company’s network, ask the provider to join so that you can get discounted rates. </li> <li>Choose a high-performing healthcare plan by checking out plan ratings by the <a href="http://www.ncqa.org/" title="http://www.ncqa.org/">National Commission on Quality Assurance</a>.</li> <li>Select a physician who follows standards of care according to evidence-based medicine; find those who meet the NCQA criteria in its <a href="http://recognition.ncqa.org/" title="http://recognition.ncqa.org/">searchable physician directory</a>. </li> <li>Get free blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol checks at health fairs. Take the results to your physician for discussion and further testing if needed. </li> <li>Wait at least 24 hours after the onset of a fever (with no other worrisome symptoms) before making a doctor’s appointment.</li> <li>Take free or nominal-fee health classes on topics such as childbirth preparation and diabetes prevention; beware that some of these classes are sponsored by pharmaceutical companies. </li> <li>Find <a href="/love-your-skin-with-free-health-screenings" title="http://www.wisebread.com/love-your-skin-with-free-health-screenings">free skin cancer screenings</a> but don’t wait to find a free check if you think you may have a problem.</li> <li>If there is a competitive market for healthcare services (e.g., more than one maternity hospital in your town), <a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/980923c.cfm" title="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/980923c.cfm">negotiate prices</a>, preferably before you receive services.</li> <li>Check out the safety, effectiveness, and clinical soundness of home remedies, herbs, and supplements at <a href="http://peoplespharmacy.com/index.asp" title="http://peoplespharmacy.com/index.asp">The People’s Pharmacy</a> and <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/health/natural-health.htm" title="http://www.consumerreports.org/health/natural-health.htm">Consumer Reports-Health</a>.  </li> <li>Evaluate hospitals using <a href="http://www.leapfroggroup.org/home" title="http://www.leapfroggroup.org/home">The Leapfrog Group&#39;s ratings</a>.  </li> <li>Donate blood and receive free blood pressure, iron-level, and temperature checks. </li> <li>Establish a relationship with a primary care physician through an “establish visit.”</li> <li>Get better, more informed, and quicker medical advice by preparing a written summary of your medical history (should include surgeries, medical conditions, medications, allergies, family history, and social history).</li> <li>Communicate priorities during the initial part of the physician visit, rather than waiting until the very end of the visit to express your concerns about an important matter.</li> <li>Help your physician arrive at a diagnosis with a minimum of tests by discussing your symptoms in terms of <strong><em>when</em></strong> you first noticed the problem and <strong><em>when</em></strong> it occurs; <strong><em>what</em></strong> it feels like (sharp or dull, constant or intermittent) and <strong><em>what</em></strong> seems to make the problem better or worse; <strong><em>where</em></strong> in the body it occurs; and <strong><em>why</em></strong> you are concerned. </li> <li>Make sure you understand any diagnosis, additional testing requirements, treatment plan, and further assessments recommended by your physician before you leave the office.</li> <li>Before allowing medical treatment (giving informed consent), determine the benefits, risks or complications, and alternatives to treatment plans. </li> <li>Don&#39;t hesitate to get a second opinion not only on the diagnosis but also for the treatment plan, if you feel uncomfortable with your physician&#39;s plan and especially if you have a rare disease. </li> <li>If you are waiting on test results, “Never accept the phrase, ‘we’ll only contact you if the results are bad.’” Ask for a call back or, preferably, written documentation of your test results.</li> <li>Get immunizations to prevent certain diseases (see <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/default.htm" title="http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/default.htm">Center for Disease Control’s recommendations</a>).</li> <li>Ask your primary care physician what type of specialist treats the problems you are concerned about to avoid paying for a visit to the wrong type of specialist.</li> <li>Make sure your physician is <a href="http://www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html" title="http://www.fsmb.org/directory_smb.html">licensed</a> by checking with state boards. </li> <li>Don’t be overly influenced by ads for prescription medicine: ask about symptoms mentioned in commercials or ads rather than requesting specific medications; stick with your current regimen if it is working without complications. Heavily advertised medications are almost always more expensive than non-promoted ones. </li> <li>Consider generic drugs to replace name-brand drugs; for a list of generic drugs with their equivalents, check out the <a href="http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/default.htm" title="http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/default.htm">Electronic Orange Book</a>.  </li> <li>Compare drugs in the same class by price using <a href="http://www.consumerreports.org/health/best-buy-drugs/index.htm" title="http://www.consumerreports.org/health/best-buy-drugs/index.htm">Consumer Reports-Health</a> website.</li> <li>Cut costs on prescriptions through patient assistance programs; learn more at <a href="http://www.rxassist.org/" title="http://www.rxassist.org/">Rx Assist</a> or <a href="https://www.pparx.org/Intro.php" title="https://www.pparx.org/Intro.php">Partnership for Prescription Assistance</a>. </li> <li>Ask for free samples of medication from your physician. </li> <li>Tell your physician about cost concerns and see if there is a less expensive but just as effective alternative treatment. </li> <li>Read the <a href="http://www.fda.gov/CDER/drug/default.htm" title="http://www.fda.gov/CDER/drug/default.htm">labels and ingredient lists of over-the-counter medicines</a> to make sure that you are not overdosing on certain active ingredients. </li> <li>To get more face time with your physician, schedule multiple visits rather than signing up for <a href="http://www.physiciansnews.com/business/204.kalogredis.html" title="http://www.physiciansnews.com/business/204.kalogredis.html">concierge care</a> (flat fee for dedicated service).</li> <li>Say &quot;no&quot; to <a href="http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/ct/" title="http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/ct/">body scans</a> that are more likely to lead to unnecessary testing and cause harm via radiation rather than detect deadly disease. </li> <li>Take part in group visits with your physician or support groups for those with similar diseases.</li> <li>Exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and don’t smoke.</li> <li>Research medical issues using reliable sources such as the <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.com/" title="http://www.mayoclinic.com/">Mayo Clinic</a>. </li> <li>Sign up for discount programs with non-insurance companies such as <a href="http://www.merck.com/merckhelps/uninsured/about.html" title="http://www.merck.com/merckhelps/uninsured/about.html">Merck’s Prescription Discount Program</a> (available to those who do not have prescription coverage) and <a href="http://www.pfizerhelpfulanswers.com/pages/Find/findall.aspx" title="http://www.pfizerhelpfulanswers.com/pages/Find/findall.aspx">Pfizer&#39;s program</a>.</li> <li>Visit a dental clinic associated with a dental or dental hygiene training program to save on fees (see health reasons for <a href="http://www.perio.org/consumer/exams.htm" title="http://www.perio.org/consumer/exams.htm">proper dental care</a>).</li> <li>Tap into hospital <a href="/how-to-erase-your-medical-debt" title="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-erase-your-medical-debt">programs that offer aid for low-income, low-resource patients</a>.</li> <li>Take a <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/rx-stressed-workers-take-two/story.aspx?guid=%7B6C508B2E-D695-4AEC-8C0E-5DA10A802657%7D" title="http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/rx-stressed-workers-take-two/story.aspx?guid=%7B6C508B2E-D695-4AEC-8C0E-5DA10A802657%7D">vacation</a>.</li> <li>Leave the country to receive quality healthcare often at heavily discounted prices (see <a href="http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/2007/09/medtravel.html" title="http://www.kiplinger.com/magazine/archives/2007/09/medtravel.html">Adventures in Medical Travel</a> article from Kiplinger and read about <a href="http://healthcarehacks.com/" title="http://healthcarehacks.com/ ">Amy&#39;s journey to wellness in India</a>).</li> </ol> <p>If you&#39;ve saved money on healthcare <em><strong>and</strong></em> improved your health, tell me about it. </p> <p><em>Note: I received a copy of</em> Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely <em>in exchange for a book review. Disclaimer: This book and my post are intended to provide readers with a general understanding of healthcare issues rather than provide personalized medical, financial, or legal advice. Please consult your physician, CPA, attorney or other advisors for help with specific situations.</em> </p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-squeeze-value-from-your-healthcare-dollar-without-killing-yourself">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stay-healthy-live-longer-spend-wisely-making-intelligent-choices-in-americas-healthcare-system">Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely: Making Intelligent Choices in America&#039;s Healthcare System</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-your-fsa">What You Need to Know About Your FSA</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-about-a-price-list-at-the-hospital-or-doctor-s-office">How About a Price List at the Hospital or Doctor’s Office?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-big-dental-bills-with-safe-and-inexpensive-products">Avoid Big Dental Bills with Safe and Inexpensive Products</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living General Tips Health and Beauty Davis Liu healthcare high-deductible healthcare plans HSA Live Longer M.D. prescription savings Spend Wisely Stay Healthy Thu, 26 Jun 2008 03:00:00 +0000 Julie Rains 2197 at http://www.wisebread.com