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20 Summer Savings Tips

It’s safe to say summer 2020 is going to be different than any other. “Make sure you stay at least 6 feet away from your friends in the pool, Timmy!” That is, if swimming pools are even open—who knows?

One thing we do know is that COVID-19 has changed what your typical summer would usually look like. The kids are already out of school, theme parks are shut down, and people aren’t going to be super eager to travel any time soon.

But there’s good news: This is a great time to save some money! Here are 20  money-saving tips to help you pocket some extra cash this summer. Mix and match ideas to create your own summer savings plan without sacrificing fun.

20 Ways to Take Advantage of Summer Savings

1. Trim up your entertainment budget by $100.

As things slowly start to reopen this summer, it’s going to be pretty easy to cut back on entertainment costs (after all, public gatherings might still be canceled in your area). So that will save you a lot of money right there. But when events start to pick back up where you live, make the most of the free stuff like outdoor concerts, movie-on-the-lawn nights, and free days at local museums. Set up your budget with EveryDollar to keep track of all your savings!

 

You can save even more by borrowing free DVDs from the public library or ditching cable and signing up for a streaming service instead of spending too much money at the movie theater. And let’s be honest, after the kind of spring we all just had, you probably aren’t exactly itching to go to a jam-packed theater anyway.

2. Pocket $400 by skipping the theme park and visiting a natural park instead.

Again, who knows when theme parks will even open this summer. But once they do open, skipping a trip can save you major bucks. The one-day ticket price for a theme park ranges from about $50 to well over $100 (thank you, Disney). That means a family of four could pay anywhere from $200–400 for just one single day of fun. Sheesh! Keep your cash and visit a state park in the great outdoors instead. Many parks are free or only charge a small entry fee per carload.

3. Earn $100 or more by doing a garage sale.

Who doesn’t love a good garage sale? More importantly, who doesn’t love the extra $100 you make from pawning your old stuff onto complete strangers? Now’s the time to hop on that spring-cleaning train, dig through the attic, and start planning for a garage sale. Well, you know, whenever you can stand less than 6 feet away from someone again.

If you just can’t wait to sell off your stuff, host a virtual garage sale. Post the photos and prices of the items online, let people Venmo you the payment, and all you have to do is drop the (sanitized) item off on their doorstep. Try apps like VarageSale, Letgo and Facebook Marketplace if you go the virtual route. All that money you rake in could go toward your next Baby Step, like building an emergency fund or paying off debt.

4. Skip the car wash and save $60–100.

Skipping the car wash six times this summer could save you $60–100! So grab the kids, get the suds, and start cleaning your own wheels. Or, let the nice summer rain take care of the job for you once in a while. Every week that you’d usually drive through a car wash, transfer $10 into your summer savings account.

5. Save nearly 20% on energy costs by caulking your windows and doors.

Your mom was right: There’s no need to air condition the entire neighborhood by forgetting to close your windows and doors. So go a step further and seal your doors and windows. This will help your air conditioner not have to work overtime—and it just might help you save up to 20% on your energy costs!1

6. Earn $50–100 when you sell your old clothes.

Spring cleaning is in full swing! Clean out your closets and take your pre-loved threads to a consignment shop, or sell your clothes from the comfort of your own home through an online marketplace like thredUP or Poshmark. You can put the money you make toward new school clothes for your kids in the fall or just add it to your summer savings fund.

7. Take advantage of a tax-free weekend and save hundreds on big purchases.

Check to see if your state (or one near you) offers tax savings for back-to-school buys. If so, wait until the tax-free weekend to buy things like school supplies, computers and clothes. It’s pretty outrageous how much taxes can add to your total price tag. So if you can swing it, just hold off until tax-free weekend to make those big purchases.

8. Save $200–800 on camp fees by creating your own.

Give it a go and try a camp-free summer (thanks to coronavirus rules, you might have to anyway this year). A typical one-week day camp can cost anywhere from $200–800.2 Multiply that by several kids and doing more than one camp throughout the summer, and the cost adds up to a small fortune!

Instead of having a summer camp bill that rivals a year of college tuition, just organize your own “camp” for your kids. Pick a theme and start making a plan. Get inspired by this list of free stuff to do with kids from Rachel Cruze. Ask friends and family members if they’d be interested in doing a video call with your kids for story time, craft projects or exercising. If you’d rather not take on the pressure of your own day camp, sign your kids up for virtual camps from across the country. Chances are, your kids will have just as much fun as they would at an expensive camp.

9. Shop smarter to save $20–50 each week.

Before the week even starts, compare the ads from your local grocery stores and plan your meals around what’s on sale that week. Then, make a shopping list and stick to it once you get to the store. Not tossing extra items into the cart is one of the hardest parts of grocery shopping, but sticking to the list will help you save a lot!

Want to save even more on groceries? Give generic brands a try, stick to a weekly meal plan, and buy fruits and veggies that are in season from your local farmers market.

10. Use coupons.

We know what you’re thinking—coupons, really? Do coupons save you money? Yes! You just need to know how to find the right ones. Your local grocery store probably has digital coupons through their app. And there are about a million different cash-back apps out there too. They give you rebates for buying a certain brand of orange juice or tomato sauce. Then after you rack up enough rebates, you can cash them out. It’s a pretty good gig.

You can even use coupons at your favorite restaurants and fast-food joints too! Look out for 10% off coupons, kids eat free nights and buy one entrée, get one free deals. Download your favorite restaurant’s app to save even more! Don’t forget sites like Groupon and Living Social that offer you a $20 gift card for only $10 bucks. Using coupons like this can really add up.

At the end of the day, there’s still no denying that some of the best coupons come from the weekly ads in the Sunday newspaper (you know, the pile of stuff you usually toss out). So take a second and see what they’re offering before you pitch it in the garbage.

11. Save $200–300 by packing your lunch.

Making your own meals is usually healthier and way cheaper than dining out, especially in the summer when fresh fruits and vegetables are everywhere (you could even grow you own!). Instead of going out to eat every day with your buddies, try making your own lunch two or three times a week. You could save $20–30 each week, which adds up to $200–300 over the course of the summer.

12. Skip the professional repairs and do it yourself.

Plenty of online tutorials teach you the basics of do-it-yourself jobs. Before you pick up the phone and call the professionals, give it a shot and see if you can solve the problem yourself. You’ll save money and maybe even learn something new! That’s a win-win for anyone.

13. Stock up on dollar store snacks before a road trip and save $25–50.

Road trips might look a little different this summer. But no matter where you’re headed for whatever reason, you can still save some money. If you normally stop for snacks while on the road, buying them at the dollar store ahead of time will help you not buy overpriced treats from a convenience store or gas station. Grab a plastic shoebox while you’re there so you can keep all the goodies organized for the road trip (yeah, even if it’s just a Sunday drive out in the country).

14. Look for discounts on your rental car.

Another thing that might look different for you this summer? Renting a car. Don’t pay full price for a car rental this summer! Be on the lookout for deep discounts from rental companies trying to get you to hit the open road.

Install a coupon finder like Honey onto your web browser so it can automatically look for coupons based on the car rental website you’re on. You could score a savings of 5–10%! And it’s time to kick the clunky process of renting a car with your debit card to the curb. Check out how Dollar Car Rental makes renting a car with your debit card easier than ever.

15. Keep your blinds and curtains closed during the day.

Yeah, you might feel like a vampire blocking out any shred of light creeping in, but the payoff could be worth it. The U.S. Department of Energy says that 76% of sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows enters to become heat.3 And that means your A/C unit will be cranking to try to produce the cool air in your house—which is bad news for your electric bill. If you still want to let natural light in (and we don’t blame you), open the curtains or blinds that don’t let direct sunlight in.

16. Wash your clothes in cold water.

Guess what? You can wash your clothes in cold water and they’ll still get clean. The U.S. Department of Energy says two of the best ways to cut down on the amount of energy your home eats up is by using less water and using a cooler water temperature. Just moving that temperature setting on the washer from hot to warm could cut each load’s energy use in half!4

17. Shut the doors!

It might sound weird, but keeping the doors closed to rooms you aren’t using could save you a bundle! Your A/C won’t have to keep pumping air to those closed rooms, which means it’ll have less square footage to cool off and it’ll work more efficiently doing it. Simple fixes like this can impact your energy bill in a big way.

18. Save $400–500 by pausing your gym membership.

Since gyms have been closed this spring, you’ve probably already discovered you can break a sweat without ever having to step into a fitness center. Take advantage of the warm weather and keep doing your workouts outside. Jog around your neighborhood, do yoga in the backyard, or even do a fitness class on YouTube. If you just suspend your gym membership during the warmer months of April–October, you could save about $400–500!

19. Find vacation discounts.

Alright, if you do want to give traveling a go this summer, you’re bound to find some great deals. Hotels, airlines and tourist hotspots are going to be doing all they can to try to seek out summer travelers. This means if you’re comfortable with traveling, you’re bound to save some major money. Search sites like Travelocity, Airbnb and Kayak to see how much you can save!

And don’t forget the beauty of a staycation. After being stuck in your house for weeks on end, it might be nice to hang out in your own neck of the woods for a while and explore your town again. Hit the park (remember those?) and kick back with a good read, like a book from our $10 Sale.

20. Save $700 by shopping for insurance with the help of an independent insurance agent.

You didn’t see that one coming, did you? This is one of Dave’s most popular money-saving tips because it’s so easy to do. Maybe you’ve outgrown your current coverage or you qualify for new discounts. An independent insurance agent can research all the options to find the best deal that’s right for you.

Most people save an average of $700 when they shop around for insurance with one of the agents Dave recommends. That’s nuts! Kick-start your summer savings by making sure you’re getting the best deal on insurance! Get a free quote from an insurance Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) today!

Source https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/summer-cash-savings-plan


Sarcoma Symptoms, Causes, and Risks Factors

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of sarcoma include:

  • A lump that can be felt through the skin that may or may not be painful
  • Bone pain
  • A broken bone that happens unexpectedly, such as with a minor injury or no injury at all
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss

Causes

It’s not clear what causes most sarcomas.

In general, cancer forms when changes (mutations) happen in the DNA within cells. The DNA inside a cell is packaged into a large number of individual genes, each of which contains a set of instructions telling the cell what functions to perform, as well as how to grow and divide.

Mutations might tell cells to grow and divide uncontrollably and to continue living when normal cells would die. If this happens, the accumulating abnormal cells can form a tumor. Cells can break away and spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Risk factors

Factors that can increase the risk of sarcoma include:

  • Inherited syndromes.Some syndromes that increase the risk of cancer can be passed from parents to children. Examples of syndromes that increase the risk of sarcoma include familial retinoblastoma and neurofibromatosis type 1.
  • Radiation therapy for cancer.Radiation treatment for cancer increases the risk of developing a sarcoma later.
  • Chronic swelling (lymphedema).Lymphedema is swelling caused by a backup of lymph fluid that occurs when the lymphatic system is blocked or damaged. It increases the risk of a type of sarcoma called angiosarcoma.
  • Exposure to chemicals.Certain chemicals, such as some industrial chemicals and herbicides, can increase the risk of sarcoma that affects the liver.
  • Exposure to viruses.The virus called human herpesvirus 8 can increase the risk of a type of sarcoma called Kaposi’s sarcoma in people with weakened immune systems.

Source https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sarcoma/symptoms-causes/syc-20351048


UV Radiation Safety

Taking steps to protect yourself from the sun is a year-round responsibility. Protect yourself and others from the sun with shade, a shirt, or sunblock (SPF 15+) all year long.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a form of non-ionizing radiation that is emitted by the sun and artificial sources, such as tanning beds. While it has some benefits for people, including the creation of Vitamin D, it also can cause health risks.

  • Our natural source of UV radiation:
    • The sun
  • Some artificial sources of UV radiation include:
    • Tanning beds
    • Mercury vapor lighting (often found in stadiums and school gyms)
    • Some halogen, fluorescent, and incandescent lights
    • Some types of lasers

What are the different types of UV radiation rays?

UV radiation is classified into three primary types: ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC). These groups are based on the measure of their wavelength, which is measured in nanometers (nm= 0.000000001 meters or 1×10-9 meters).

 

Wave TypeUVAUVBUVC
Wavelength315- 399 nm280-314 nm100-279 nm
Absorption LevelNot absorbed by the ozone layerMostly absorbed by the ozone layer, but some does reach the Earth’s surfaceCompletely absorbed by the ozone layer and atmosphere

 

All of the UVC and most of the UVB radiation is absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer, so nearly all of the ultraviolet radiation received on Earth is UVA. UVA and UVB radiation can both affect health. Even though UVA radiation is weaker than UVB, it penetrates deeper into the skin and is more constant throughout the year. Since UVC radiation is absorbed by the earth’s ozone layer, it does not pose as much of a risk.

Benefits

Beneficial effects of UV radiation include the production of vitamin D, a vitamin essential to human health. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus from food and assists bone development. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 5 to 15 minutes of sun exposure 2 to 3 times a week.

Risks

  • Sunburn is a sign of short-term overexposure, while premature aging and skin cancer are side effects of prolonged UV exposure.
  • Some oral and topical medicines, such as antibiotics, birth control pills, and benzoyl peroxide products, as well as some cosmetics, may increase skin and eye sensitivity to UV in all skin types.
  • UV exposure increases the risk of potentially blinding eye diseases, if eye protection is not used.
  • Overexposure to UV radiation can lead to serious health issues, including cancer. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States. The two most common types of skin cancer are basal cell cancer and squamous cell cancer. Typically, they form on the head, face, neck, hands, and arms because these body parts are the most exposed to UV radiation. Most cases of melanoma, the deadliest kind of skin cancer, are caused by exposure to UV radiation.

Anyone can get skin cancer, but is more common in people who:

  • Spend a lot of time in the sun or have been sunburned.
  • Have light-color skin, hair, and eyes.
  • Have a family member with skin cancer.
  • Are over age 50.

To protect yourself from UV radiation:

  • Stay in the shade, especially during midday hours.
  • Wear clothes that cover your arms and legs.
  • Consider options to protect your children.
  • Wear a wide brim hat to shade your face, head, ears, and neck.
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays.
  • Use sunscreen with sun protection factor (SPF) 15 or higher, for both UVA and UVB protection.
  • Avoid indoor tanning. Indoor tanning is particularly dangerous for younger users; people who begin indoor tanning during adolescence or early adulthood have a higher risk of developing melanoma.

Source h https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/features/uv-radiation-safety/index.html


Protect Yourself, Family and Pets from Excessive Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation

UV Safety: Stay Safe in the Sun

  • Do Not Burn or Tan: Avoid intentional tanning. It may contribute to skin cancer and premature aging of skin
  • Seek Shade: Get under cover when the sun’s rays are the strongest between 10 am and 4 pm
  • Wear Protective Clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants and a wide-brimmed hat as well as UV-blocking sunglasses
  • Generously Apply Sunscreen: Use a Broad Spectrum sunscreen with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher for protection from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which contribute to premature aging, sunburn and skin cancer. Always follow the label directions and apply sunscreen generously. Apply 15 minutes before going outdoors and reapply every two hours, or after swimming, sweating, or toweling off. Choose sunscreens without chemicals harmful to marine life.
  • Use Extra Caution Near Water and Sand: These surfaces reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn
  • Check the UV Index Every Day: The higher the UV index, the more you should do to protect yourself from the sun. When planning outdoor activities, follow EPA’s safety recommendations
  • Get Vitamin D safely: While the skin needs sunlight to help manufacture vitamin D, which is important for normal bone health, overexposure to UV light can be detrimental by damaging and killing skin cells. The National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention recommends obtaining vitamin D through food and supplements, not through UV rays.
  • Protect Children from UV Rays: Children, the elderly and those with special needs may need special attention or be more sensitive to sun. Children tend to spend more time outdoors, can burn more easily, and may not be aware of the dangers of UV exposure. Parents and other caregivers should protect children from excess sun exposure by using the steps above. Babies younger than 6 months should be kept out of direct sunlight and protected from the sun using hats and protective clothing.

Source https://www.weather.gov/safety/heat-uv


Healthy Eating for Juvenile Arthritis

There’s no special JA diet, but certain foods can promote healthy growth and development and help dial down inflammation.

By Amy Paturel

Eating a healthy diet is important for any growing child, but children with juvenile arthritis (JA) face an additional challenge: Eating foods that promote growth and development and help quiet inflammation. In the face of the coroavirus pandemic, it’s even more important to support your child’s health and immune system with a healthy, balanced diet.

Since diet plays a role in inflammatory processes, parents are increasingly turning to popular diets to tame painful arthritis symptoms in their kids. Unfortunately, no special diet can cure arthritis and there’s no evidence that certain foods or nutrients will stave off JA complications or comorbidities. Some of the trendier regimens may even put kids with JA at risk for dietary deficiencies, explains Denise Costanzo, a nurse practitioner in the Pediatric Rheumatology Department at Cleveland Clinic.

The good news? A diet made up largely of whole, unprocessed foods and that limits inflammatory foods can reduce inflammation, while also supporting your child’s bone, joint and tissue health.

What to Eat

These foods promote healthy growth and development and can help dial down inflammation.

  • Fiber-Rich Foods. Plenty of research suggests eating a fiber-rich diet protects against inflammation. “So, instead of white rice, white bread and processed snacks, opt for whole grain varieties of these foods,” says Jennifer Hyland, RDN, part of the Pediatric Nutrition Support Team at Cleveland Clinic. Quinoa, sweet potatoes, beans and lentils are good examples. Fiber also helps move food through the digestive tract, which can help growing bodies hold on to important nutrients while filtering out toxins.
  • Clean Protein. “Protein is important for growth and development and to navigate the added demands of a long-term illness,” explains Houston, Texas-based rheumatologist, Rajat Bhatt, MD. Not only does protein support the immune system, it’s also a key building block for all muscle and tissue. While plant-based protein such as legumes, beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds should top the list, other good protein sources include fatty fish (i.e., salmon) and lean cuts of poultry and grass-fed beef.
  • Colorful Fruits and Veggies. In adults, studies show that plant-based diets support health and stave off chronic disease. Folate-rich dark green leafy vegetables are especially important for kids taking methotrexate since the drug can cause deficiencies of this important nutrient. In fact, the darker and more colorful the produce, the more disease-fighting chemicals it contains. Solid examples include beets, berries, tomatoes, cherries, broccoli and kale. “I encourage parents to incorporate colorful vegetables into foods they’re already eating,” says Hyland. Mix them into smoothies, fold them into casseroles and bake them into chips. You can even dice up veggies and puree them into dips and spreads.
  • Herbs and Spices. Many herbs and spices boast anti-inflammatory properties, including ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and rosemary, says Hyland. A bonus: Herbs and spices amp up the flavor of food so you may use less sugar and salt.
  • Omega-3-Rich Foods. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna and sardines are heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory. Just watch the amounts, since all types of fish may be tainted with mercury, which can be risky for a developing brain, cautions Bhatt. Plant sources, including walnuts and seeds (such as flax, chia and hemp), contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is a precursor to omega-3 fatty acids. The body can convert ALAs into omega-3s, but not as efficiently. If your child won’t eat fish, talk to your doctor about omega-3 supplements – and how much may be necessary, if at all, to support his growth and development.
  • Calcium and D-Rich Foods. Calcium and vitamin D are critical nutrients for all children. While both nutrients help build strong bones, studies suggest vitamin D has important immune-boosting properties. “A lot of kids with arthritis need to take some combination of calcium and vitamin D,” says Costanzo. This is especially true for children who are taking corticosteroids and medications like methotrexate, which may inhibit calcium absorption.

What to Avoid

Studies consistently show that the typical American diet, which prioritizes processed meats, sugar and chips over blackberries and kale, increases inflammatory processes in the body. Here are some major culprits:

  • Sugar. Whether from cookies, cakes and sweets or unsuspecting offenders like enriched “wheat” bread (make sure you opt for 100 percent whole-wheat), ketchup and salad dressing, sugar can increase blood sugar and lead to bacterial overgrowth in the gut. The result? More inflammation.
  • Saturated and Trans Fats. You can find these fats in animal products and coconut oil (saturated) and manufactured foods in the form of partially hydrogenated oils (trans). Both types hang out in the body and release inflammatory proteins into the bloodstream. That’s one reason why popular diet plans, including the high-fat Keto diet, can be problematic. Fatty and processed meats and butter are big-time offenders. In some circles, the jury is still out on coconut oil – in part because the plant-based saturated fat is mostly made of medium-chain fatty acids, which the body processes differently. But some major health organizations, like the American Academy of Dietetics and the American Heart Association, advise against it. For now, it’s probably best to err on the safe side: Use it sparingly and make heart-healthy olive oil your go-to instead.
  • Artificial Ingredients. If your child’s immune system is already overloaded and confused, you don’t want to give it another unrecognizable substance to digest. Steer clear of partially hydrogenated oils (also code for trans fat), high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes and sweeteners, suggests Bhatt. Better yet, avoid foods listing more than five or six ingredients.
  • Charred Foods. Foods that are grilled, especially fatty cuts of meat and foods that have been charred black, have more pro-inflammatory compounds. So, instead of firing up the barbeque to grill or blacken your favorite foods, turn to your stovetop or oven. Broiling, steaming and baking are all good options.

 

Bottom Line

“Healthy eating should really be a family affair,” emphasizes Bhatt. “Parents should never single out a child with JA by putting them on a special diet or treating them differently.”

Hyland suggests that the family follows a Mediterranean-style diet, which including olive oil, fish and lean protein, fruits, vegetables and nuts and seeds. “Such diets are naturally rich in important nutrients including vitamin A, B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids,” she says.

Still, it’s important to recognize that some kids with arthritis may have different dietary needs, depending on which medications they take and if they have any food intolerances or allergies. During flares, some kids may even lose their appetite.

Your best bet? “Work with a dietitian to help ensure your child is meeting requirements for growth and development,” says Costanzo. “And always check with your doctor before embarking on a special dietary plan that cuts out entire food groups.”

Source https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/nutrition/healthy-eating/healthy-eating-for-juvenile-arthritis


16 Joint-protection Tips

Arthritis aches and pain can affect your daily life. But there are simple ways to protect your joints, reduce strain and improve how you function each day. Here are 16 things you can do that could make a big difference.

 

1.Ditch the high heels.

Unless you’re a fashion model, chances are you can live without high heels. Experts say a 3-inch heel stresses your foot seven times more than a 1-inch heel. In addition, heels put extra stress on your knees and may increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.

 

  1. Hang out at the bar.

Popular veggies from a salad bar – romaine and Bibb lettuces, broccoli, spinach, kale or parsley – can slow down cartilage destruction and lessen the amount of bone loss that occurs with age, research says, thanks to their high calcium counts. But remember to go easy on the dressing.

 

  1. Move around.

Neither sitting nor standing on your feet all day is good for your joints. When possible, alternate between the two to prevent stiffness and strain. If your job primarily involves sitting, try to take a break and stand up every 30 minutes or so. Whether at home or the office, make time for simple stretches throughout the day.

 

  1. Kick butt.

People who smoke have a greater risk of fracture than nonsmokers. In fact, smoking can reduce bone mass, which can lead to osteoporosis. Kick the habit to keep your body strong and healthy. Plus, just think of all the money you’ll save by going smoke-free.

 

  1. Resolve to reduce.

If you lose weight, you may not only like your “new look,” you’ll feel better, too. Every extra pound you gain puts four times the stress on your knees. The flip side is that even a small amount of weight loss will give your knees relief. Research has shown that losing as little as 11 pounds may improve your joint health and cut your risk of osteoarthritis of the knee by 50 percent.

 

  1. Take the plunge.

From strength training to jogging to aerobic classes (and let’s not forget the plain old swim), aquatic exercises can help maintain flexibility and range of motion, while taking a load off of your joints while you exercise.

 

  1. Warm up.

Don’t think about hitting the gym, the pool or the trails (or any exercise for that matter) before warming up. Warming up your body before exercise is like warming your car up in the winter. To keep it running smoothly and for optimal joint safety, start slowly and get up to speed only after your muscles and joints have at least five minutes prep time.

 

  1. Handle heavy loads.

Use your largest, strongest joints and muscles to take stress off of smaller hand joints and to spread the load over large surface areas. When you lift or carry items, use the palms of both hands or use your arms instead of your hands. Hold items close to your body, which is less stressful for your joints. For joint safety, slide objects whenever possible rather than lifting them.

 

  1. Build strong bones.

Boost your calcium intake, because a diet rich in this important mineral helps to keep your bones sturdy and can lower your risk of osteoporosis (the brittle bone disease). There are plenty of sources besides milk, including yogurt, broccoli, kale, figs, salmon and calcium supplements.

 

  1. Pick, pour or peel.

If you’re looking for a tasty treat, reach for an orange – or a tall glass of orange juice. Why? Research shows that vitamin C may help to slow the progression of osteoarthritis.

 

  1. Cut back on caffeine.

While you may need that extra burst of energy in the morning, try and resist those second and third cups of coffee. Studies show that the extra caffeine can weaken your bones.

 

  1. Take your vitamins.

Supplementing your diet with a multivitamin is a good way to get the nutrients you may lack in your diet. Strong joints (and overall joint health) will benefit from bone-building calcium and vitamin K, tissue-repairing vitamin C, pain-relieving vitamin E, folic acid and more.

 

  1. Choose function over fashion.

Shoes shouldn’t just look good; they should work well, too. Look for flexible, supportive shoes that are squared or rounded at the toe so your toes can move around. A shoe with a rubber sole will give you more cushion. Make sure your shoe is flexible at the ball of your foot, where you push off.

 

  1. Don’t stomp your feet.

Research shows pounding exercises like kickboxing and step aerobics can be tough on joints. Switch to low-impact activities like biking and swimming that offer the same calorie-burning benefits without the painful pounding.

 

  1. Increase your range.

Range-of-motion exercises (such as stretching) are a good way to keep your muscles and ligaments flexible and strong. Add weights to your workout and you’ll tone up, too.

 

  1. Say no.

It may be tough at first, but saying no to others lets you say yes to extra time for yourself. It also frees up time to allow you to say yes to exercise, healthy eating and stress reduction – three power-packed methods of improving your health.

Source https://www.arthritis.org/health-wellness/healthy-living/managing-pain/joint-protection/16-joint-protection-tips


Does Cord Blood Contain COVID-19?

To the best of our knowledge, the umbilical cord blood will not contain COVID-19, even if the mother is sick at the time of delivery.  It is important to clarify that there is a difference between studies that look for COVID-19 disease transmission between mother and baby, versus studies that test for signs of COVID-19 in the cord blood; these are two separate topics.

When a person is sick with a respiratory virus, it is very rare for the virus to appear in their blood3,10,12. The patient’s blood will show antibodies to the virus, but not the virus itself. For this reason, the FDA does not recommend13 tests to screen asymptomatic blood donors for COVID-19. It is extremely unlikely for COVID-19 to appear in cord blood.

A 2006 study12 sponsored by the American Red Cross is almost prescient in describing the current COVID-19 pandemic. The paper predicts that during a flu pandemic, donated blood will be safe, but there will be a blood shortage due to disruption of blood center operations. That is exactly what is happening now, and in response the FDA has relaxed their restrictions on blood donors14.

Further reassurance that COVID-19 does not appear in the umbilical cord blood or birth tissues comes from a study15 of nine births in Wuhan China. The nine mothers were all suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia, and their babies were delivered via C-section. While the babies were still in the sterile operating room, and before they had contact with their mothers, samples were collected of their amniotic fluid, cord blood, and neonatal throat swabs. Later the mother’s breastmilk was collected. All of these samples tested negative for COVID-19, using both the CDC test and the hospital’s in-house RT-PCR test15.

Hence, if a mom has COVID-19 during her pregnancy or even during birth, she does not need to worry that the virus will be present in the umbilical cord blood or the tissues of the placenta and umbilical cord. To learn more about cord blood banking, visit Parent’s Guide to Cord Blood Foundation at https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/news/coronavirus-during-pregnancy-and-cord-blood-banking

 

Source https://parentsguidecordblood.org/en/news/coronavirus-during-pregnancy-and-cord-blood-banking


Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Men: Take Charge of Your Health

Overview

Most men need to pay more attention to their health. Compared to women, men are more likely to:

  • Smoke
  • Drink too much alcohol
  • Make unhealthy or risky choices
  • Put off regular checkups and medical care

The good news is that you can start taking steps to improve your health today!

How can I take charge of my health?

See a doctor for regular checkups even if you feel healthy. This is important because some diseases and health conditions don’t have symptoms at first. Plus, seeing a doctor will give you a chance to learn more about your health.

Here are some more things you can do to take care of your health:

  • Eat healthy and get active.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Know your family’s health history.
  • Get screening tests to check for health problems before you have symptoms.
  • Make sure you’re up to date on your shots.

Healthy Habits

Use these tips to take charge of your health.

Eat healthy and get active.

Remember, it’s never too late to start healthier habits. A healthy eating pattern and regular physical activity can help control your:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Cholesterol
  • Weight

By keeping these numbers in the normal range, you can lower your risk of serious health problems like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Make eating healthy and being active part of your daily routine.

In addition:

Small Changes

Make small changes every day.

Small changes can add up to big results – like lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Here are some examples:

  • Take a walk instead of smoking a cigarette.
  • Try a green salad instead of fries.
  • Drink water instead of soda or juice.

Get more ideas for small changes you can make to stay healthy.

Talk about it.

Don’t be embarrassed to talk about your health. Start by talking to family members to find out which diseases run in your family.

Use this family health history tool to keep track of health problems that run in your family. Then share this information with your doctor.

 

Get Preventive Care

Get preventive care to stay healthy.

Many people think of the doctor as someone to see when they’re sick. But doctors also provide services – like screening tests and shots – that help keep you from getting sick in the first place.

Get screening tests to find problems early.

Screenings are medical tests that check for diseases and health conditions before they cause any signs or symptoms. Screenings help find problems early, when they may be easier to treat.

Depending on your age and medical history, you may need to be screened for things like:

  • Certain types of cancer
  • High blood pressure or high cholesterol
  • Mental health conditions, like depression

Learn more about getting screened.

Stay up to date on your shots.

Everyone needs shots (vaccines) to stay healthy. Ask your doctor or nurse which shots you need to stay healthy – then make sure you stay up to date. For example, everyone age 6 months and older needs a seasonal flu vaccine every year.

Find out which shots you may need:

Use the myhealthfinder tool to get personalized preventive services recommendations.

 

Cost and Insurance

What about cost?

Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get screenings and shots at no cost to you.

The Affordable Care Act requires most insurance plans to cover many preventive services. This means you may be able to get screenings and shots at no cost to you. Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan.

If you don’t have insurance, check out these resources to help you get health care:

Source https://health.gov/myhealthfinder/topics/doctor-visits/regular-checkups/men-take-charge-your-health


20 Summer Savings Tips

It’s safe to say summer 2020 is going to be different than any other. “Make sure you stay at least 6 feet away from your friends in the pool, Timmy!” That is, if swimming pools are even open—who knows?

One thing we do know is that COVID-19 has changed what your typical summer would usually look like. The kids are already out of school, theme parks are shut down, and people aren’t going to be super eager to travel any time soon.

But there’s good news: This is a great time to save some money! Here are 20  money-saving tips to help you pocket some extra cash this summer. Mix and match ideas to create your own summer savings plan without sacrificing fun.

20 Ways to Take Advantage of Summer Savings

  1. Trim up your entertainment budget by $100.

As things slowly start to reopen this summer, it’s going to be pretty easy to cut back on entertainment costs (after all, public gatherings might still be canceled in your area). So that will save you a lot of money right there. But when events start to pick back up where you live, make the most of the free stuff like outdoor concerts, movie-on-the-lawn nights, and free days at local museums. Set up your budget with EveryDollar to keep track of all your savings!

 

You can save even more by borrowing free DVDs from the public library or ditching cable and signing up for a streaming service instead of spending too much money at the movie theater. And let’s be honest, after the kind of spring we all just had, you probably aren’t exactly itching to go to a jam-packed theater anyway.

 

  1. Pocket $400 by skipping the theme park and visiting a natural park instead.

Again, who knows when theme parks will even open this summer. But once they do open, skipping a trip can save you major bucks. The one-day ticket price for a theme park ranges from about $50 to well over $100 (thank you, Disney). That means a family of four could pay anywhere from $200–400 for just one single day of fun. Sheesh! Keep your cash and visit a state park in the great outdoors instead. Many parks are free or only charge a small entry fee per carload.

 

  1. Earn $100 or more by doing a garage sale.

Who doesn’t love a good garage sale? More importantly, who doesn’t love the extra $100 you make from pawning your old stuff onto complete strangers? Now’s the time to hop on that spring-cleaning train, dig through the attic, and start planning for a garage sale. Well, you know, whenever you can stand less than 6 feet away from someone again.

If you just can’t wait to sell off your stuff, host a virtual garage sale. Post the photos and prices of the items online, let people Venmo you the payment, and all you have to do is drop the (sanitized) item off on their doorstep. Try apps like VarageSale, Letgo and Facebook Marketplace if you go the virtual route. All that money you rake in could go toward your next Baby Step, like building an emergency fund or paying off debt.

 

  1. Skip the car wash and save $60–100.

Skipping the car wash six times this summer could save you $60–100! So grab the kids, get the suds, and start cleaning your own wheels. Or, let the nice summer rain take care of the job for you once in a while. Every week that you’d usually drive through a car wash, transfer $10 into your summer savings account.

 

  1. Save nearly 20% on energy costs by caulking your windows and doors.

Your mom was right: There’s no need to air condition the entire neighborhood by forgetting to close your windows and doors. So go a step further and seal your doors and windows. This will help your air conditioner not have to work overtime—and it just might help you save up to 20% on your energy costs!1

 

  1. Earn $50–100 when you sell your old clothes.

Spring cleaning is in full swing! Clean out your closets and take your pre-loved threads to a consignment shop, or sell your clothes from the comfort of your own home through an online marketplace like thredUP or Poshmark. You can put the money you make toward new school clothes for your kids in the fall or just add it to your summer savings fund.

 

  1. Take advantage of a tax-free weekend and save hundreds on big purchases.

Check to see if your state (or one near you) offers tax savings for back-to-school buys. If so, wait until the tax-free weekend to buy things like school supplies, computers and clothes. It’s pretty outrageous how much taxes can add to your total price tag. So if you can swing it, just hold off until tax-free weekend to make those big purchases.

 

  1. Save $200–800 on camp fees by creating your own.

Give it a go and try a camp-free summer (thanks to coronavirus rules, you might have to anyway this year). A typical one-week day camp can cost anywhere from $200–800.2 Multiply that by several kids and doing more than one camp throughout the summer, and the cost adds up to a small fortune!

Instead of having a summer camp bill that rivals a year of college tuition, just organize your own “camp” for your kids. Pick a theme and start making a plan. Get inspired by this list of free stuff to do with kids from Rachel Cruze. Ask friends and family members if they’d be interested in doing a video call with your kids for story time, craft projects or exercising. If you’d rather not take on the pressure of your own day camp, sign your kids up for virtual camps from across the country. Chances are, your kids will have just as much fun as they would at an expensive camp.

 

  1. Shop smarter to save $20–50 each week.

Before the week even starts, compare the ads from your local grocery stores and plan your meals around what’s on sale that week. Then, make a shopping list and stick to it once you get to the store. Not tossing extra items into the cart is one of the hardest parts of grocery shopping, but sticking to the list will help you save a lot!

Want to save even more on groceries? Give generic brands a try, stick to a weekly meal plan, and buy fruits and veggies that are in season from your local farmers market.

 

  1. Use coupons.

We know what you’re thinking—coupons, really? Do coupons save you money? Yes! You just need to know how to find the right ones. Your local grocery store probably has digital coupons through their app. And there are about a million different cash-back apps out there too. They give you rebates for buying a certain brand of orange juice or tomato sauce. Then after you rack up enough rebates, you can cash them out. It’s a pretty good gig.

You can even use coupons at your favorite restaurants and fast-food joints too! Look out for 10% off coupons, kids eat free nights and buy one entrée, get one free deals. Download your favorite restaurant’s app to save even more! Don’t forget sites like Groupon and Living Social that offer you a $20 gift card for only $10 bucks. Using coupons like this can really add up.

At the end of the day, there’s still no denying that some of the best coupons come from the weekly ads in the Sunday newspaper (you know, the pile of stuff you usually toss out). So take a second and see what they’re offering before you pitch it in the garbage.

 

  1. Save $200–300 by packing your lunch.

Making your own meals is usually healthier and way cheaper than dining out, especially in the summer when fresh fruits and vegetables are everywhere (you could even grow you own!). Instead of going out to eat every day with your buddies, try making your own lunch two or three times a week. You could save $20–30 each week, which adds up to $200–300 over the course of the summer.

 

  1. Skip the professional repairs and do it yourself.

Plenty of online tutorials teach you the basics of do-it-yourself jobs. Before you pick up the phone and call the professionals, give it a shot and see if you can solve the problem yourself. You’ll save money and maybe even learn something new! That’s a win-win for anyone.

 

  1. Stock up on dollar store snacks before a road trip and save $25–50.

Road trips might look a little different this summer. But no matter where you’re headed for whatever reason, you can still save some money. If you normally stop for snacks while on the road, buying them at the dollar store ahead of time will help you not buy overpriced treats from a convenience store or gas station. Grab a plastic shoebox while you’re there so you can keep all the goodies organized for the road trip (yeah, even if it’s just a Sunday drive out in the country).

 

  1. Look for discounts on your rental car.

Another thing that might look different for you this summer? Renting a car. Don’t pay full price for a car rental this summer! Be on the lookout for deep discounts from rental companies trying to get you to hit the open road.

Install a coupon finder like Honey onto your web browser so it can automatically look for coupons based on the car rental website you’re on. You could score a savings of 5–10%! And it’s time to kick the clunky process of renting a car with your debit card to the curb. Check out how Dollar Car Rental makes renting a car with your debit card easier than ever.

 

  1. Keep your blinds and curtains closed during the day.

Yeah, you might feel like a vampire blocking out any shred of light creeping in, but the payoff could be worth it. The U.S. Department of Energy says that 76% of sunlight that hits standard double-pane windows enters to become heat.3 And that means your A/C unit will be cranking to try to produce the cool air in your house—which is bad news for your electric bill. If you still want to let natural light in (and we don’t blame you), open the curtains or blinds that don’t let direct sunlight in.

 

  1. Wash your clothes in cold water.

Guess what? You can wash your clothes in cold water and they’ll still get clean. The U.S. Department of Energy says two of the best ways to cut down on the amount of energy your home eats up is by using less water and using a cooler water temperature. Just moving that temperature setting on the washer from hot to warm could cut each load’s energy use in half!4

 

  1. Shut the doors!

It might sound weird, but keeping the doors closed to rooms you aren’t using could save you a bundle! Your A/C won’t have to keep pumping air to those closed rooms, which means it’ll have less square footage to cool off and it’ll work more efficiently doing it. Simple fixes like this can impact your energy bill in a big way.

 

  1. Save $400–500 by pausing your gym membership.

Since gyms have been closed this spring, you’ve probably already discovered you can break a sweat without ever having to step into a fitness center. Take advantage of the warm weather and keep doing your workouts outside. Jog around your neighborhood, do yoga in the backyard, or even do a fitness class on YouTube. If you just suspend your gym membership during the warmer months of April–October, you could save about $400–500!

 

  1. Find vacation discounts.

Alright, if you do want to give traveling a go this summer, you’re bound to find some great deals. Hotels, airlines and tourist hotspots are going to be doing all they can to try to seek out summer travelers. This means if you’re comfortable with traveling, you’re bound to save some major money. Search sites like Travelocity, Airbnb and Kayak to see how much you can save!

And don’t forget the beauty of a staycation. After being stuck in your house for weeks on end, it might be nice to hang out in your own neck of the woods for a while and explore your town again. Hit the park (remember those?) and kick back with a good read, like a book from our $10 Sale.

 

  1. Save $700 by shopping for insurance with the help of an independent insurance agent.

You didn’t see that one coming, did you? This is one of Dave’s most popular money-saving tips because it’s so easy to do. Maybe you’ve outgrown your current coverage or you qualify for new discounts. An independent insurance agent can research all the options to find the best deal that’s right for you.

Most people save an average of $700 when they shop around for insurance with one of the agents Dave recommends. That’s nuts! Kick-start your summer savings by making sure you’re getting the best deal on insurance! Get a free quote from an insurance Endorsed Local Provider (ELP) today!

Source https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/summer-cash-savings-plan


Fireworks Eye Safety

What to Do for a Fireworks Eye Injury

Fireworks-related eye injuries can combine blunt force trauma, heat burns and chemical exposure. If an eye injury from fireworks occurs, it should be considered a medical emergency.

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Do not rinse your eyes.
  • Do not apply pressure.
  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
  • Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen unless directed by a doctor.

Fireworks Safety Tips

The best way to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional, public fireworks show rather than purchasing fireworks for home use.

If you attend or live near a professional fireworks show:

  • Respect safety barriers, follow all safety instructions and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
  • Do not touch unexploded fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

For those who decide to purchase and use consumer fireworks in states where they are legal (PDF), follow these safety tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

  • Do not allow young children to play with fireworks. Sparklers, a firework often considered by many to be the ideal “safe” device for the young, burn at very high temperatures and should be not be handled by young children. Children may not understand the danger involved with fireworks and may not act appropriately while using the devices or in case of emergency.
  • Older children should be permitted to use fireworks only under close adult supervision.
  • Do not allow any running or horseplay.
  • Set off fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from houses, dry leaves, or grass and other flammable materials.
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that fail to ignite or explode.
  • Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning or “dud” fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
  • Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
  • Never light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
  • Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Check instructions for special storage directions.
  • Observe local laws.
  • Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.

Sourcehttps://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/injuries-fireworks-eye-safety