Stretch Yourself: The Benefits of Stretching at Work

Stretch Yourself: The Benefits of Stretching at Work

Healthy Living 

Americans spend huge portions of their lives at the office. But since we’re so busy working, most of us don’t think of our desks – or our cubicles – as ideal places for working out. Given the increasing demands, stress levels, and repetitive requirements of many of our jobs, however, it is essential to our physical and mental health to keep active during the day, stretching ourselves beyond the regular rigors of spreadsheets and paperwork.

Whether you realize it or not, sitting in an office chair hour after hour is one of the worst things you can do for your body, particularly your back and neck. Couple that with extended hours of repetitive motion tasks like typing or answering the phone, and you’re setting yourself up for chronic pain and stress-related issues. According to an article posted by WebMD, employees who maintain sedentary positions at their jobs – with narrow ranges of motion – are more likely to suffer long-term injuries, chronic stress, and weight gain. One of the best ways to protect our joints, bones and muscles, however, is to take regular, stress-relieving stretch breaks throughout the day.

Some of the stretching exercises we can perform at work include shoulder shrugs, torso twists, back hugs, leg hugs, leg extensions, and hand and finger extensions. Standing up and sitting down at regular intervals (without help from our hands) can also make us more alert, energetic and flexible. And if we have the option, replacing our office chair with an exercise ball is an excellent way to improve our balance and strengthen our lower backs, reducing the risk of spinal stress and accompanying vertebral injuries.

As an added bonus, frequent stretching can also make us more refreshed and productive in our jobs. As reported by Shape magazine, these mini-breaks help clear our minds for the tasks ahead, and release us, at least temporarily, from the stresses of our day.

For optimal results, schedule your stretch time every hour, or every bathroom break, to fully integrate these changes (and benefits!) into your daily work routine.

-Jean Bowick

YMCA of Greater Birmingham, www.ymcabham.org 

Read more healthy information from the YMCA at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Health

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The Proven Cure for the Drug Epidemic

The Proven Cure for the Drug Epidemic

Special Feature

Presented by Alabama Teen Challenge Adult Men’s and Women’s Centers

Phil Cook in 1977 after completing the Alabama Teen Challenge program and today serving as Senior Pastor at Rich Valley Church, Valrico, Fla.

1977 Alabama Teen Challenge graduate, Phil Cook, came to Alabama Teen Challenge as a teenager and now 40 years later he is sharing the life-saving message that saved him. A supporter of Teen Challenge and senior pastor of Rich Valley Church, Valrico, Fla., Cook testifies to the longevity and continued success of Alabama Teen Challenge:

“In 1977, at the age of 15, living in NYC, doing drugs and rebellious- I got deep into trouble and I was interviewed for Teen Challenge at the Brooklyn NYC Teen Challenge on Clinton Ave. –My parents didn’t know what to do with me, my dad was from Alabama and I had family there, so I ended up going to B’ham Alabama Teen Challenge-within two weeks I asked Christ into my heart and was born again and baptized in the Holy Spirit. I stayed at the induction center for the whole year- the director even moved me into his own home for the last 6 months. I went on to Southeastern University, met my wife, have 3 children, 3 grandchildren and even went to grad school. I was ordained and in 1986 we started the South Florida Teen Challenge- I have also started two churches -Calvary Church & Rich Valley Church- these ministries are all thriving! None of this would have been possible without the beautiful mercy and grace of God…….and the ministry of Teen Challenge!” Pastor Phil Cook, ’77 Alabama Teen Challenge Graduate

 

Alabama Teen Challenge, Adult Men’s and Women’s Centers

205-763-0909, P.O. Box 270, Lincoln, AL 35096, www.alatc.org 

“Too many young people have already lost their lives, and too many others have suffered serious injury for us to ignore the problems. Programs such as Teen Challenge work to change people’s lives by changing their hearts. Let us bring to all Americans who struggle with drug addiction this hope: The miracle of recovery is possible, and it could be you.”  President George W. Bush

 

“I saw the humble beginnings of Dave’s ministry in New York City and it was a dangerous setting with all the violence in the gangs. It’s beyond calculation, the lives that have been touched and changed, who in turn have touched and changed many more. The impact is enormous. Really, it’s God’s work.” Pat Robertson/Pres. The 700 Club 

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The Advantages of Online Therapy

The Advantages of Online Therapy

Healthy Living

While you might be aware that some psychologists perform psychotherapy sessions online, you might not be aware of the advantages that this mode provides.

Practical Advantages

  • The client can participate in the session from any location that allows for privacy and an Internet connection. When Internet connectivity is not good, the session can occur via a phone call.
  • Therapy is accessible to those who reside far from a good-fit therapist.
  • A person who has difficulty leaving home due to a disability or due to a lack of transportation can participate.
  • Avoiding a drive to and from a professional office means avoiding stressful and dangerous traffic conditions.
  • A client might not have to take leave from work in order to attend an appointment.
  • The contagion of a head cold would not prevent the therapy session from occurring.
  • Clients who have children are not limited by the availability of babysitters. A marriage therapy couple might be able to leave their school-aged children in the next room for an hour in the evening in order to engage in marriage therapy.
  • Clients who frequently travel are able to keep their therapy sessions.
  • In marriage therapy or family therapy, if one family member is away, the session may be held with multi-user videoconferencing.

Therapeutic Advantages.

  • A client who is uncomfortable disclosing personal matters might find it easier to disclose when the therapist is not sitting in the same room.
  • A client might feel more relaxed at home, making it easier to engage in therapy.

The Session Format. In my practice, at the appointment time, the client and I each connect to the meeting through the user-friendly website of a company that is a major provider of videoconferencing services. That company’s videoconferencing service is certified as HIPAA-compliant, which means that the transmissions meet high standards for security. For about an hour, we engage in discussion of the client’s concerns and issues. Typically, the session ends with a plan for the client to take certain actions before the next session, which will typically be one or two weeks afterwards.  My approach tends to be solution-oriented with an emphasis on skill development.

To explore the opportunities to participate in online therapy in our faith-based practice, please visit our website at www.crosswalknow.com, call our office at 334-744-3694, or email us at office@crosswalknow.com.

-Dr. Thomas Maple

Dr. Maple is an Alabama-licensed psychologist and the founder of Crosswalk Psychological Services, LLC.  His clinical background includes work in private practice and in university clinics. Born and raised in the Birmingham area, he now resides in Auburn with his wife and his two daughters.

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A Halloween Trick?  An Unexpected Slip & Fall

A Halloween Trick? An Unexpected Slip & Fall

Legal Matters

presented by: Frank S. Buck, P.C., Personal Injury

Imagine you are with your kids at a business trick or treating when suddenly your shoe gets caught on a broken tile on the floor and you fall breaking your ankle, what do you do? Alabama law requires businesses to keep their premises in a reasonably safe condition, free of defects, dangers and hazardous conditions. Businesses are also required to warn the public if there is a hazardous condition which could cause injury to customers and visitors who enter their premises. If a slip and fall occurs which causes you injury, it is important to let a manager or other employee of the store know so that an incident report can be made at the time of the fall. Furthermore, you should seek medical treatment immediately so that a doctor can assess your injuries. In the example of the broken tile, the store should have repaired the broken tile which was obviously dangerous to customers and was a defect on the premises. On the other hand, it is important that you use care and pay attention to where you are walking when you are at a business. Alabama law protects businesses from slip and falls if you are simply clumsy or fall over something that you should have noticed. In this case, the business could not have prevented the fall and did nothing wrong.

When a restaurant, grocery store, spa, gym, convenience store, bank or any other business where a customer would enter looking for a product or service where they intend to spend money causes an injury to a customer because they left a spill on the floor or failed to repair a dangerous area on their property, they can be held responsible under the law to compensate the injured person for their injuries, pain and suffering. If a person slips on a puddle of coffee that has been on the floor and the manager had prior notice of the spill but failed to clean it up, there is legal liability on the part of the business. It is the duty and responsibility of the owners or managers to extend utmost care and diligence to keep visitors from harm. If you have an injury that was caused by someone else, whether it be a wreck, a wrongful death, wrongful prescription, slip and fall or any other injury please do not hesitate to contact us. We have made it our life work to help injured people.

Frank S. Buck, P.C., Attorneys at Law have been offering professional legal services and serving Alabama citizens for over 40 years.  We have experienced trial attorneys who have over 89 years of combined trial experience.  You can reach us 24 hours a day at (205) 933-7533.  Please call us for a free consultation.

Read more from Frank Buck at www.BirminghamChristian.com. Click on News/Family/Legal Matters.

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Estate Planning for Individuals with Disabilities

Estate Planning for Individuals with Disabilities

Legal Matters

presented by: Bradford & Holliman, Estate Planning

Why Everyone Should Have a Special Needs Trust in Their Plan

Estate plans should include planning for a loved one’s financial and physical protection in the event of a disability. This is often overlooked by individuals that do not currently have disabled loved ones because they do not see such planning as applicable to their situation. Family members that have disabled loved ones are often so consumed with living day-to-day that they never get around to planning. If they do make plans, it often is in response to incorrect information received from non-legal sources.

Why Should I Include Disability Planning in my Estate Plan when no one in my Immediate Family is Disabled? The simple answer is that you never know when something will happen in the future to a loved one that will require disability planning. Having provisions in your Will or Revocable Living Trust that provide instructions on what happens if someone becomes disabled allows you to protect family members in the event of tragic accidents or illnesses that are unforeseen.

What do you mean by a “Disability Plan?” Individuals with disabilities may need someone to manage their newly inherited assets so no one takes advantage of them and squanders the assets. Financially eligible individuals with disabilities may qualify for government benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. To protect your beneficiaries, your estate plan must include provisions that address the oversight of the assets and the government regulations surrounding these benefits.

How do I Prevent a Beneficiary from being Ineligible or Losing Benefits? Your Will or Revocable Living Trust should have provisions for a “supplemental needs trust,” also called a “special needs trust” in the event a loved one is disabled at the time you pass away. The language used in this type of trust is compliant with specific federal and state requirements that allow the assets to be used for the beneficiary’s benefit without being counted as assets that can cause the beneficiary to lose benefits or otherwise be ineligible.

Your attorney should help you determine the type of plan you need and prepare the supplemental needs trust for you.

Melanie Bradford Holliman 

Partner, Bradford & Holliman, LLC

Practice focuses on estate planning, elder law and special needs trust.

2491 Pelham Parkway, Pelham, Ala. 35124

205-663-0281, www.bradfordholliman.com

This article is for educational purposes and is not intended for specific legal advice.

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VETBHAM: New Initiative to Help Area Veterans

VETBHAM: New Initiative to Help Area Veterans

Special Feature

Danny Noles of Penn Mutual Alabama and Al Wood of Still Serving Veterans are leading the charge in establishing VETBHAM.

Modeled after VETLANTA, Al Wood, the Regional Director of the non-profit Still Serving Veterans, recently founded VETBHAM to strengthen the community of Birmingham through empowering veterans and recognizing their individual and collective skills.  As the Atlanta club has done, VETBHAM will focus on fostering collaboration among Birmingham area businesses to support veteran-orientated initiatives.  “The design is to support with ideas, actions, and the influence of our Birmingham area businesses,” explains Woods. “There are no member financial obligations. VETBHAM is just a venue to leverage influence to help Veterans, and it’s good for business – a way to enhance a company’s Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) factors.”

VETLANTA began three years ago, when Atlanta based Fortune 100 companies formed the club to collaborate and share best practices in assisting Veterans. Once established, they realized a broader participant base was eager to participate, including small and medium companies, veteran affiliated nonprofits, government agencies, academia and transitioning veterans.

Woods began in February to establish an initial core of VETBHAM businesses. The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) and the Birmingham Business Journal endorsed the initiative and support the effort and last month Danny Noles, Managing Partner of Penn Mutual Alabama, stepped up as VETBHAM President. He and Woods are seeking to appoint an Executive Committee and fill six Executive Team Pillars (Employment, Healthcare, Housing, Education, Community, and Business). For more information or to become a part of VETBHAM, contact Al Wood, awood@ssv.org, 334-695-6731. †

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Flu & Your Pet

Flu & Your Pet

Two by 2

Although there few confirmed reports of canine influenza (canine flu or dog flu) in Alabama, many states in the Southeast have reported dozens of cases, with at least 6 being fatal. Valleydale Animal Clinic wants you to be aware of symptoms of canine flu disease and how you can protect your pet.

How is Canine Flu Spread? Canine influenza is spread via respiratory secretions (via coughing, barking and sneezing) and contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes) and people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. The canine flu virus can remain alive and able to infect on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours and on hands for 12 hours. Strands of canine influenza have been reported to infect cats (dog to cat or cat to cat) and there is some evidence that guinea pigs and ferrets can become infected.

How Do I Know if My Dog or Cat Has Canine Flu? Dogs. Two clinical syndromes have been seen in dogs infected with canine influenza virus. Mild form: Soft, moist cough that persists for 10 to 30 days, loss of appetite, lethargy, fever, sneezing, discharge from the eyes, and a thick nasal discharge. Severe form: High fevers (104ºF to 106ºF) and have clinical signs of pneumonia, such as increased respiratory rates and effort, aside from the symptoms of the mild form. Cats. Upper respiratory illness, such as runny nose, congestion, lip smacking, excessive salivation, lethargy, fever, and anorexia.

Please watch for any of these symptoms of flu and alert your veterinarian or Valleydale Animal Clinic if you witness any immediately. Valleydale Animal Clinic has canine influenza vaccines and anyone is welcome to have their dog vaccinated. The dog flu vaccine does require a booster vaccine 3 weeks after the first dose and then annually.

Jeff Falone, DVM 

Valleydale Animal Clinic

205-991-5416

 www.valleydaleanimalclinic.com

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Mission Malawi: Henderson and Walton’s Lisa Franklin, MD

Mission Malawi: Henderson and Walton’s Lisa Franklin, MD

Mission Makers

presented by Henderson Walton Women’s Center

Henderson & Walton’s Women’s Center physician, Lisa Franklin, MD, serving as a medical missionary in Malawi with e3 Partners, a ministry that “exists to make the local church accessible to everyone, everywhere.”

As a part of Birmingham based E3 Partners Ministries (www.e3partners.org), Henderson and Walton Women’s Center’s Lisa Franklin, MD and her family recently joined a team of 24 on a mission to spread Good News in one of the poorest countries in the world. The team was divided into three groups: medical, veterinary, and evangelism and spent a week in the trenches of Malawi to meet both the practical and spiritual needs of the people.

Dr. Franklin, an Ob-Gyn physician with Henderson & Walton, worked 5 clinical days seeing men, women, and children of all ages with a variety of health issues while her husband Robert and their two daughters worked on the evangelism team. This was Franklin’s second trip to serve in Malawi. She says this particular trip required a very deep level of flexibility. The medical team did not know exactly what they would be doing until they arrived and at one point, the plan was for them to work under a tree. “Every set up is different. You have to use what you’ve got,” explains Dr. Franklin. What the missions team may have lacked in equipment, they made up for with skill, determination, and adaptability. For instance, two Malawi doctors provided Dr. Franklin background information on some of the patients so even though she did not have complete medical records for those she served or polished, clean floors to work from, she was still able to help.

Dr. Franklin noted that the children she treated seemed so content with what they had. They came with homemade toys and played with plastic water bottles. The children were adaptable and flexible to the environment in which they were born. Dr. Franklin added that these people who live in such poverty were eager to receive aid. There were no suspicions about religion or skin color. There were only people—to care and be cared for.

-Abby Holcombe

 

The physicians of Henderson & Walton Women’s Center, P.C. are accepting new patients in their Birmingham, Alabaster, Chelsea, Cullman, Gadsden, Jasper and Tuscaloosa locations. Call 1-800-264-1075 to make your appointment. Visit www.hwwc.net to learn more about the practice, physicians, and services offered and why they have been voted BEST PRACTICE for the 4th consecutive time!

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Samford & St. Vincent’s Partner in Nursing Education

Samford & St. Vincent’s Partner in Nursing Education

Education Extra

View of new state of the art classroom at Samford University being used to train new nursing hires.

As students return to Samford University this fall, they have the benefit of the new state-of-the-art Ascension St. Vincent’s Education Center which includes a skills lab, medication room, and classroom, as well as two simulation and debriefing rooms for nurses to receive hands-on training in real-life scenarios. In addition to training St. Vincent’s nurses, Samford College of Health Sciences students have access to the center, as well as the latest in electronic health record system technology. “We are excited to provide this advanced training offering to our new nurses,” said Jason Alexander, Sr. V.P. and Birmingham ministry market executive, Ascension Healthcare; president and CEO, St. Vincent’s Health System. “Providing our patient’s with the highest level of quality care is our top priority, and this new training center only allows us to enhance the skills and knowledge of our new nursing staff. These nurses will have the opportunity from day one to have hands-on training on the standard of care and technology that sets St. Vincent’s and Ascension apart.” The center is Ascension’s third nursing onboarding center to go live across the country, www.stvhs.com.

 

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