AAA Offers Interactive Map of COVID Restrictions In US and Canada

It’s Labor Day Weekend, and for many people, they are traveling for the first time in almost two years. Many families have not traveled since the start of the pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends not traveling if you are unvaccinated. Traveling is still risky, and the CDC has placed warnings on tourist destinations such as the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Aruba, and France. Travel is still tricky.

Most experts think that if you drive, you should educate yourself on community spread. Not only at your destination but also in the cities you’ll be passing through in case you need to make an unexpected stop.

Because COVID regulations and processes may differ depending on where you start and where you go, AAA has created an interactive map that outlines travel limitations within the United States and Canada to assist passengers in planning their journeys.


View the AAA Covid-19 Travel Restrictions map here.


AAA Covid Restrictions in US and Canada Map Features

This map displays the latest recent information about COVID-19-related travel restrictions inside the United States and Canada. It also includes Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 case count data by county and state. The data sources are WHO, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national, state, provincial, county, and local governments, and Departments of Transportation. AAA GIS Data Services at the National Office in Heathrow, FL, generated and maintained this map.

Roadway Travel Checkpoints

Checkpoints will be set up along important routes where officials will stop vehicles to inspect them for the origin of travel, destination, and signs of COVID-19. Restrictions differ by state, and extensive information is available on government websites.

Border Crossing Closures

To combat the spread of COVID-19, the borders between Canada and the United States and Mexico and the United States have been closed to all non-essential travel. However, the border is still open for necessary travel.

National Land Closures

National Parks, Monuments, and Memorials that have been closed as a result of COVID-19 concerns.

Citywide Travel Restrictions

Cities in which municipal governments have enacted COVID-19 measures that are more stringent than statewide restrictions.

Countywide Travel Restrictions

Counties where local governments have enacted COVID-19 directives that are more stringent than statewide requirements.

Statewide Travel Restrictions

States in which the governor has issued statewide directives. Restrictions differ by state, and extensive information is available on government websites.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Cases

Counties – The total number of confirmed cases in the United States and Canada, broken down by county. Johns Hopkins University collects and updates this data as new information becomes available.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Cases

Counties – Number of confirmed cases in the US and Canada totaled by state. Data collected by Johns Hopkins University and updated as information is available.

Final Thoughts on Covid-19 Restrictions

The COVID-19 pandemic is now well into its second year. While the survivability remains high, many of those who have had the virus are still coping with the long-term lingering effects of COVID. The best practice is to heed the advice of health professionals and your doctor.

Credits

The interactive map is attributed to AAA GIS Data Services, JHU CSSE. Automation Support: Esri Living Atlas team. Data sources: national, state, provincial, county, and city governments and Departments of Transportation; WHO, CDC, ECDC, NHC, and DXY.

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7 Simple Tips From a Doctor Who Survived COVID-19

(StatePoint) No matter how strictly you follow the rules, those with firsthand experience know that anyone can get COVID-19.

“Given my role helping shape COVID-19 policies and procedures since the pandemic surfaced, I know the rules better than most: wear a mask, limit social gatherings, stay six feet apart and so on,” says Dr. Gina Conflitti, chief medical officer for Medicare products at Cigna, one of the nation’s largest health care insurers. “Like many others, I did my best to follow the safety guidance. Yet, in late November 2020, I contracted the virus and faced months of recovery.”

While Dr. Conflitti hopes this doesn’t happen to others, she offers the following advice to those who do contract COVID-19:

#1 COVID-19 impacts everyone differently

Some cruise through COVID-19 with no symptoms, while others have mild symptoms. Some people literally fight for their lives. Don’t expect to have the same experience as others, and be sure to communicate with your doctor about the best treatment approach.

#2 Don’t get caught in the blame game

Once you contract COVID-19, there’s a tendency to blame yourself. Or you might blame others for infecting you. Many never find out how they were exposed. While contact tracing is important, don’t waste time blaming yourself or others. Save your energy for recovery.

#3 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

COVID-19 is humbling, and even active, independent people may suddenly need help with normal daily activities, like getting groceries and medicines. People want to help, so don’t hesitate to ask so you can concentrate on recovering.

#4 Take care of your mental health

COVID-19 is isolating and can cause depression and anxiety. Stay connected with friends and family safely via phone or video calls. Talk to a professional if things become too difficult to manage on your own. You may have access to behavioral health support through your medical insurance or Medicare plan.

#5 Listen to your body

There’s no good time to get sick. Nevertheless, it’s important to listen to your body before returning to work, school, and daily activities. Don’t rush it. Prepare by eating healthy, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, taking vitamins or supplements if your doctor recommends, and reducing stress.

#6 Pay it forward

Even with all the bad things COVID-19 brings, it’s also revealed some of the best aspects of humanity. Pay kindness forward by showing gratitude to clinicians, teachers, restaurant and grocery store workers, and others who courageously give their best, so our lives are better during this pandemic.

#7 Get the vaccine

Take control of your health by getting vaccinated. Follow your local health department news, and get your COVID-19 vaccination as soon as medically approved. It’s available at no cost and critical to ensuring your safety and the safety of others.

For Cigna’s COVID-19 resources, visit cigna.com/coronavirus.

“It’s been a difficult time for all of us, but I’m confident the most challenging days are behind us. Stay safe, follow safety procedures, and get vaccinated. The only way we can move forward is if we do it together,” says Dr. Conflitti.

Related Reading for Survived Covid-19 on The Two Verbs Project

6 Months of Pain – A Covid Long-Hauler Medical Journey

Editors Note It’s been reported that those who contracted Covid-19 have a 98% survival rate. However, what is lost in that conversation is the extremely high rate of lingering symptoms weeks if not months after recovery. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control from March thru September of 2020 found 35% had not fully recovered even after 2–3 weeks after positive outpatient test results. Among persons aged 18–34 years with no chronic medical conditions, one in five had not returned to their usual state of health. The following is a story of the experience of a 27-year-old man who had been in otherwise perfect health until taken with a mild case of Covid-19.


I was tested positive for Covid-19 at the end of October 2020. I am now at a point where doctors are actually trying to figure out the solution to my chronic chest pain and shortness of breath. In the beginning, I sat at my apartment for 14 days, slowly getting worse pains in my chest. I wasn’t well enough to go back to work, and I wanted to see a doctor.

Because I did not return right back to work, Amazon fired me. So now unemployed I needed to figure out my physical health. Meanwhile, my mental health was falling. I was afraid, I was irritated by the pain, I thought Covid-19 was going to kill me. I stopped caring about my diet and physical fitness as I was constantly in pain and had zero motivation.

I made an appointment with my Doctor. She did an x-ray of my lungs. They saw no pneumonia in my lungs. They told me I’ll start feeling better within a week if not to make a pulmonary appointment. A week passed and my chest pain didn’t leave. I made an appointment for a pulmonary that was weeks away. They tested my breathing and listened to my lungs. Again they saw nothing alerting them. So I was told again, within a month that I should start feeling better. Instead of getting better, it got worse.
My chest hurt so much, I couldn’t sleep due to shortness of breath. I went into the emergency room close by. They checked my heart, lungs, urine, and blood. All came back negative of anything concerning. They gave me a shot for pain and after 30 minutes or more they told me I was probably just experiencing inflammation and that it should get better in time.

The Covid Long-Hauler Feelings of Dread

I kept around the same amount of pain until I dog-sat for a family friend. I had terrible pains that were also due to acid reflux. I had thoughts of dread that I had to ignore. A voice in my head was telling me that I was laying on my death bed. I was so afraid. I ended up seeing the pulmonary again to which they scheduled me a CT scan of my lungs and also gave me another inhaler.

It’s hard to gauge when I had appointments and when everything happened. I remember after playing games with my friends online and the pain in my chest was so intense that putting pressure on my chest gave me pain. I sat up and my heart pulsed hard. I thought that it could be my heart that’s the issue.

I was so concerned that I went to the emergency room again. They checked my heart and told me what I was experiencing was musculoskeletal inflammation. Basically, my muscles were so inflamed that they would push against my cartilage and bones in my chest. After thinking that they were right and being given Naproxen, I started getting stomach pains too. I saw my primary care doctor which after doing the usual check-up, she referred me to a post-Covid-19 specialist. That doctor told me that I could get or have an ulcer that could be causing the chest pains.

The specialist told me to stop taking Naproxen because it could be hurting my stomach. He also told me to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist. After getting my upper GI scope check, I was told my stomach and esophagus were inflamed. The physician told me to avoid certain things in my diet, such as coffee or tomato-based sauces, for four weeks.

Things felt better until my shortness of breath came back. I saw a doctor who did a normal check-up, to which she found nothing. She told me to talk to my pulmonologist. I finally, while seeing another pulmonology doctor, I was told of a possible solution. I told him about still having chest pain for six months. After some questions, he left to talk to a doctor, to which they both came in. They pulled up my old CT scan that was done. They told me something no one told me about for six months. They told me that the white streaks in my lungs could potentially be an infection or fungus growing in my lungs. I had to get another CT scan of my lungs. Depending on if they find anything, I’ll have to get my lungs examined. They’ll collect a sample of the gunk in my lungs. Analyze it, and if it’s an infection, I’ll get antibiotics. If it’s just inflammation, then I’ll be prescribed a steroid.

The End of My Time As Covid Long-Hauler May Be In Sight

I thanked them for finally telling me a solution instead of saying, “It’ll be better with time.” after seeing doctors time and time again. I was able to feel a bit better about my situation. There’s seemingly an end in sight. I hope I get a proper diagnosis and the right medicine soon and start feeling better ASAP. Because I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. The chronic pain and discomfort were unbearable and crippling at times.

To finally hear these two possible solutions gave me great relief and restored my faith in doctors. Some come out of nowhere that can actually help you instead of listing you off. Especially after having Covid-19 and still feeling symptoms.

To any Covid long-hauler people out there. DON’T STOP! If you are in pain, get answers. Doctors don’t know as much as they should about Covid-19. So much is unknown about this disease. But with perseverance, you too can hopefully get answers to your problems; if you need to tell someone this, then does it. People need to have hope more than anything these days.

Thank you for reading this story. It’s been one of the biggest struggles in my life. But I am not alone in this fight. If this article can even help one person who is having a tough time, then I’d be thrilled. I’m sorry you are not feeling like your normal self, and you may have thoughts like, “Will I ever feel better again?” Don’t ever quit. Never stop fighting. Don’t lose hope, and always look forward!

Ed Note: If you experiencing long term symptoms after recovering from Covid-19 there are support groups available. One is group is Michiganders Surviving Covid-19 Together

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9 Exceptional Window Safety Tips for Families With Children

(StatePoint) Windows let in light and fresh air and can provide breathtaking views, but it’s vital to observe window safety, especially when young children are in the home, say experts.

“If you’ve seen my shows or follow my blog, you’d know I’m a designer who loves light, bright, and function-meets-fabulous aesthetic. You’d also know, I am a single, southern California mom of two young kids,” says interior designer, home improvement TV personality, and lifestyle blogger Breegan Jane. “So, it’s probably no surprise that one of the things I think about when I’m redoing a place (which is great timing, as I’m currently remodeling my own home) is the windows. How they function, how they bring the outdoors in, how they change the light in the room, and how they can help keep my family safe.”

National Safety Council’s Window Safety Week, April 4-10, 2021, coincides with spring arrival when homeowners naturally want to open windows and bask in the warmer weather. Unfortunately, without appropriate precautions, open windows can bring potential hazards.

“I have two very active young boys, so I know firsthand that kids can see the world’s wonder before they may see its dangers,” says Jane.

The LookOut for Kids program, brought to you by Renewal by Andersen — the full-service replacement division of Andersen Corporation — is geared toward teaching families key points of window and door safety in a fun, engaging way. Jane is sharing the program’s top tips to help families prevent window and door-related injuries:

9 Tips for Window Safety

  1. Be mindful of furniture placement in a child’s room. Avoid blocking windows with dressers or similar items, as furniture could impede a swift exit in an emergency. Don’t place beds, chairs or toy chests under windows in children’s bedrooms, as it could entice curious kids to climb and potentially fall through an open window.
  2. When young children are in the home, keep their play in the center of the room and away from open windows, doors and balconies.
  3. Don’t allow children to jump on beds or other furniture to help reduce potential falls.
  4. For greater safety, keep windows closed and locked when not in use for ventilation.
  5. When opening a window for ventilation, use only those located out of a child’s reach. For example, if you have double-hung windows with two moveable sashes, close the bottom sash and open the upper sash when ventilation is desired. Or, use upper windows, like clerestory windows, to allow ventilation without the risk of accidental falls.
  6. Remember that insect screens are meant to keep insects out, not to prevent falls from windows.
  7. Install ASTM F2090-compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open, or window guards (with quick-release mechanisms in case of fire or other emergency) to help prevent a fall. This means, for any windows that are 6 feet or higher from the ground, install window stops or guards that meet ASTM standards – limiting windows to opening less than 4 inches. For a double-hung window on an upper floor, install a window guard or stop that keeps children from pushing the bottom window open.
  8. Lessen the potential impact of injury from a fall through strategic landscaping. Install wood chips, grass, or shrubs beneath windows.
  9. Teach your child how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency, such as a fire.

To learn more to download the LookOut for Kids activity book to color with your family, visit: RenewalWindowSafety.com.

This Window Safety Week and beyond, be smart and be safe.

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I Managed Surviving Covid 19, But It’s Still Affecting Me Six Months Later

Editors Note It’s been reported that those who contracted Covid-19 have a 98% survival rate. However, what is lost in that conversation is the extremely high rate of lingering symptoms weeks if not months after recovery. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control from March thru September of 2020 found 35% had not fully recovered even after 2–3 weeks after positive outpatient test results. Among persons aged 18–34 years with no chronic medical conditions, one in five had not returned to their usual state of health. The following is a story of the experience of a 27-year-old man who had been in otherwise perfect health until taken with a mild case of Covid-19.

Working Delivery During The Pandemic

I was one of the many delivery drivers who was contracted to deliver packages for Amazon. Since the pandemic started in March, I was continuously working and drove all over Southeast Michigan. I did little else. The crisis shut down restaurants, and other than an occasional family visit, I only worked. I was off for a few days because of a twisted ankle and returned to my delivery route. I worked for about two days when my world started to change in a way I never thought would happen. I felt off. More tired than usual. What threw me off was the taste of my water. It tasted salty and almost metallic, like drinking water from aluminum. The Gatorade tasted funny too. I had shortness of breath and was coughing a lot. After telling the dispatch about my symptoms, I was instructed to take back the packages I had yet to deliver and leave. That was it. No interaction with the people and I went home. 

The Covid-19 Test

The next day I drove half an hour away to get a rapid results text. It was a hundred dollars for that test. After getting my nose probed, they told me I was positive and to go home and take it easy. A wave of shock and panic hit me hard. I was already feeling sick, and it must have just started. I went home and tried not to have a breakdown.

That day feels so long ago, yet it’s only been six months since I tested positive for Covid-19. The first thing I remember experiencing was shortness of breath. It was as if I had something sitting on my chest, just making it a little harder to breathe. Then it was the body pains. I felt a mixed arrangement of pain, radiating from my back to my neck to my stomach and chest. As time went on, I noticed more chest pain. It felt like my insides were ripping or tearing. Sometimes it pinched; sometimes, it felt like a bruise. 

So, After 14 Days I Should Be OK, Right?

I waited for the 14th day to feel better, but I didn’t. The symptoms, in some regards, were getting worse. I notified my boss where I was working that I was still experiencing symptoms. I indicated that I wanted to see my doctor before I would return to work. As a result, they fired me. Only because I haven’t been working long enough to be put on medical leave, and they couldn’t have me on the financial books. They told me I could try to get rehired, but I know that’s just a way to cover their tracks. I was still feeling bad from Covid, which I’m sure resulted from my job, then I’m fired for not getting better within this arbitrary 14-day window. It was a perfect storm of terrible misfortune. 

The Real Aftermath of Surviving Covid-19

I was unemployed and still suffering both physically and mentally. Then I started losing my hair. Every day I would find a large clump of hair that would partially block the drain in my shower. I was exhausted. I would sleep multiple times a day. I would take numerous showers and baths to feel a little bit of relief. The amount of stress I was dealing with was crippling. I thought if I didn’t get better now that I wouldn’t be getting better at all. I thought I was over. A gloom descended over me, and I began eating and doing whatever I wanted. I stopped caring and lived for the now. 

My chest pain was so concerning that I went to the emergency room thought I would keel over any minute. The ER doctors ordered some tests and X-rays. I was told my lungs were satisfactory and sent back home. But it was not over, and I kept feeling worse. My mental health was at an all-time low. I kept having an inside voice telling me that I was going to die. I had thoughts of dread that I wouldn’t make it to the New Year or see my older brother’s baby. I considered the idea that I wasn’t going to make it to the age of 28. That it was over, and there was nothing I could do about it.

More Doctors, More Tests, No Clues

I had to push aside these thoughts and kept going. I had a lot of downs and another trip to the emergency room. Again only to find out that my heart and lung function was fine. But what I was experiencing was significant chest inflammation.

I had visions of dread and felt tortured by my subconscious. I saw many doctors until one told me that I could check something else out. The doctor ordered an examination esophagus and stomach with a test procedure called a UGI. It turned out the post-Covid pain I was experiencing resulted from inflammation of the lungs, stomach, and esophagus. I was given instructions for a new diet and was told not to consume chocolate, coffee, or drink alcohol. Since that procedure and change of diet, I’ve been doing much better and feeling better. I try to eat right, drink tea and water, try to get outside, and exercise whenever possible. I think I’m starting to get closer to recovery. It’s been six months, and I still have lasting symptoms from Covid. Hopefully, I can start feeling like usual soon and can have a day without pain. I know there are others out there that feel the same.

We are Long-Haul Covid-19 Survivers

If you are reading this and feel the same or know someone who is a long hauler, know this. It can get better, and it’s easier when you have a good positive mental attitude. But it also really helps to have support. To all that didn’t know about long haulers or don’t believe that covid is a severe disease, think again. I survived, but I’m still battling every day. Also, if you had covid and hardly got any symptoms, you should consider yourself lucky.

How To Reach Out For Help

The things I went through I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies. It’s that crippling and disheartening. If this article helps someone in any way, then I’ve done my job. Everyone is going through something on their own, but that doesn’t mean they’re doing it alone. There are support groups for Covid-19 survivors. If you have never talked to a therapist or need help with mental health issues, never feel ashamed to ask for help. Never feel helpless and alone. If you do feel like life is over, stop. Call the crisis hotline. It’s never too late. You matter. Life can and will get better.

Survivor Corps: https://www.survivorcorps.com/

Crisis hotline: Call (855) 968-0965

To those who helped me get through the most challenging time of my life, thank you. I don’t know how I could have done it without you! I love my family and friends so much and will never forget the love I’ve been given. Thank you!

More to Come with Surviving Covid-19

Ethan is considered a Long Haul Survivor of Covid-19 Infection. While he beat the virus, the illness has affected him for more than six months later. He will be posting future articles with hints and tips on mitigating the symptoms and retaining a positive mental outlook. 

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4 Weight Loss Tips From a Woman Who Lost 140 Pounds

(NewsUSA) – Losing weight and getting healthy doesn’t have to be a struggle. Just ask Alexis Freed. At a peak weight of 285 pounds, Alexis’s health was declining, she was pre-diabetic and suffered from sleep apnea. Her doctor and loved ones were worried and she knew she had to regain control. That’s when she decided to commit to a weight-loss journey with Nutrisystem. “It was so convenient and I could take it on the go. It was easy for me to take with me to school and I immediately started seeing results, which gave me the motivation to keep going,” says Alexis. Now, two years later and 140 pounds lighter, Alexis shares four simple tips for those looking to achieve their weight-loss goals.

Tip 1: Find a Plan That Fits Your Lifestyle

Finding a plan that fits with your lifestyle is a key to success. While it’s a great way to ensure you’re eating well, making meals from scratch can be time-consuming. Also, feeling compelled to remove certain foods from your diet can be equally daunting. “I started to cut out fast food and junk food, but couldn’t see myself sticking to a strict diet. I would always revert back to unhealthy eating habits.” says Freed.With a plan, such as Nutrisystem, you get the convenience of having delicious, ready-to-eat food delivered to your door while also being confident that you’re eating the right foods in the right portions. Plus, you can eat the foods you love – such as pizza and pasta – and still lose weight.

Tip 2: Take Exercise Easy

Exercising plays an important role in weight loss. However, you may want to hold off on any strenuous activity or new workout at first so that your body can adjust. “As the weight fell off, I began exercising and started gaining more and more confidence. I was so excited to be able to shop for new clothes and look and feel stylish,” adds Freed. So when you do jump into exercise, take it slow and aim for 30 minutes per day.

Tip 3: Commit to Learning New Habits

Reaching and staying at your ideal weight is not a sprint that’s over when you cross a finish line. It’s a lifelong commitment to eating healthy and staying active. With weight-loss programs, you build healthy habits such as choosing the most nourishing foods, learning how to cook healthy meals and practicing regular exercise.”Nutrisystem changed the way I approach food altogether. It taught me what portions should look like. It taught me that I didn’t have to completely cut the yummy stuff out to see results,” says Freed. “My plate looks totally different with the addition of healthy carbs, fruits and vegetables.”

Tip 4: Find a Sense of Routine

Starting a weight-loss program is a great time to create new routines and solidify new, healthy habits of your own. “My best advice to anyone struggling during this time would be to find a sense of routine and order as best you can. If you can fit in a 30-minute walk around your neighborhood after dinner, try doing so. If you can choose healthier grocery options to be delivered, do that instead of takeout. Stay hydrated, drink more water. Just don’t give up on yourself or disregard what your body ultimately needs to stay healthy,” concludes Freed.For more great tips and other inspiring stories, visit leaf.nutrisystem.com.Original Source

Nurse Educators Combat COVID-19 Vaccine Myths

(NewsUSA) – Distribution and administration of vaccines to combat the COVID-19 virus continues to expand, but myths and disinformation about the vaccine and its safety and benefits persist. According to a recent article in the journal Health Affairs, effective vaccination requires four elements: generating demand for the vaccine, allocating the vaccine, distributing the vaccine, and verifying coverage. The National League for Nursing, the premier organization for nursing education leaders, emphasizes the importance of educating health professionals and the public about the vaccine. Vaccines in general work by encouraging the body to generate antibodies to protect against an invading infection. The risks of these mild symptoms, however, such as pain at the site of injection or symptoms resembling a mild case of the flu, are greatly outweighed by the protection offered by the vaccine.

Making Vaccine Administration Safe

The COVID-19 vaccines are becoming available from multiple pharmaceutical companies. Some require two doses to be fully effective, but other vaccines in development require only one dose. The safety of the public is a top priority, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have developed v-safe, a smartphone-based tool that uses text messages and online surveys to follow individuals after they are vaccinated. The tool allows users to report symptoms and side effects quickly and easily, and to receive guidance on what to do for any side effects that occur.

Vaccine for Underserved Communities

The National League for Nursing also emphasizes the importance of vaccine uptake in Black, Latino, and Native American communities, many of which are medically underserved in the best of times. Nurses and nurse educators can do their part to increase trust and vaccine acceptance in these communities, “Efforts to promote vaccine uptake in the Black community must directly confront and address the deep historical traumas that have created high levels of distrust in the COVID-19 vaccine, and the government and healthcare system overall,” according to a survey on COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Black and Latino communities conducted by Langer Research Associates. Latino communities have experienced an especially high burden of COVID-19 infections but the survey data suggest that resistance to vaccination is lower in these communities compared to Black communities. Overall, equity and access are key to protecting the public, and messaging about the importance of getting a vaccine as soon as it is available should be “open, honest, and comprehensive,” according to the National League for Nursing. For more information about how nurses and nurse educators are taking the lead in educating the public about the safety and importance of COVID-19 vaccination, visit NLN.org.Original Source

Related Health Reading About Vaccine Myths

Why Motorcycle Riding Relieves Stress – Infographic

(NewsUSA) – Turns out motorcyclists may get more than a glorious sense of freedom from riding. Motorcycle riding relieves stress!

A pioneering new study conducted by researchers at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior found that motorcycling can also provide a number of mental and physical benefits. Stress-related hormonal biomarkers decreased by 28 percent among participating riders, to name one thing. And motoring along on the open road for just 20 minutes increased their heart rates an average of 11 percent and their adrenaline levels by 27 percent – similar to light exercise, though a lot more fun – to name another.

Stress-Free Motorcycle Riding

Come to think of it, with stress levels on the rise – especially among young adults – anyone looking for that same “glorious sense of freedom” might want to check out the New Rider Course offered at select Harley-Davidson dealers.

Harley Davidson’s New Rider Class

Although designed for beginners, any rider will benefit from this course. Gain basic skills and knowledge to earn your endorsement/license. In-class and on-range sessions. Motorcycle provided; personal gear required.

Related Reading Motorcycle Riding Relieves Stress

Flu Season During COVID: Advice for Older Adults

(NewsUSA) – With COVID-19 still looming this fall, the upcoming flu season will be more challenging and complicated than in years past. Flu vaccine manufacturers recently projected they would provide as many as 198 million doses this year, surpassing the record set by last winter’s flu season (175 million doses).

“While questions remain about exactly what this year’s flu season will look like, one thing is obvious: Older adults are particularly vulnerable and more at risk for related complications that could lead to hospitalization,” says LaNita Knoke, a registered nurse and health care strategist at Home Instead Senior Care. “Whether you are a member of the aging population or you care for someone who falls into that category, it is critical to take every necessary precaution this year to protect yourself from flu.”

Like COVID-19, influenza presents serious health concerns for individuals 65 years and older, especially those with preexisting conditions such as asthma, diabetes, COPD, and heart disease. Older adults need to take preventive measures and understand the flu’s key symptoms and how they differ from COVID-19.

Steps to Prep for Flu Season

Knoke encourages older adults and their families to prepare for flu season with the following suggestions:

1. Get the flu shot.

A simple precaution can be a great act of love for not only yourself but your community. Get the flu shot as early as possible this year to help reduce the strain on health care systems grappling with COVID-19. Not only can it protect you and others from preventable disease and its potentially serious complications — it can lessen the severity of symptoms should you contract the flu. Contact your health care provider, local urgent care clinic, or pharmacy to see if they are administering the vaccine and consider making an appointment to avoid long wait times.

2. Prepare your immune system.

It’s no surprise that our immune defense systems become weaker as we age. However, there are simple, proactive ways to strengthen our immune systems today to give ourselves the best chance of staying healthy tomorrow. Staying active with daily walks or yoga can help our bodies ward off illnesses such as COVID-19 and influenza.

3. Get a good night’s sleep.

Lack of sleep decreases one’s ability to fight off viruses. Consider adding a humidifier to your indoor environment during the winter months and peak flu season. By increasing water vapor in the air, you can reduce the potential for flu symptoms, speed up recovery, and ward off future illnesses. Give your body proper time to rest in the right environment, and you’ll see positive returns for your overall health.

4. Maintain a healthy diet.

Consider making your own smoothies from fresh ingredients.

Eating nutrient-rich meals is another way to protect your immune system against common illnesses. Fuel your body with nutritious foods that contain a high number of vitamins and antioxidants, such as broccoli, tomatoes, and strawberries. Consider speaking with your general practitioner or meeting with a dietitian to help build a meal plan that’s right for you.

5. Know the difference.

While both influenza and COVID-19 are contagious respiratory illnesses that share many of the same symptoms (such as fever, cough, body aches, or fatigue), there are a few key differences to keep in mind. Symptoms for the coronavirus appear two to 14 days after exposure, whereas flu symptoms come on suddenly. Many people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 report a change or loss of taste and smell. Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and chest pain are warning signs for both illnesses that require immediate medical attention.

For more information on staying healthy this flu season, visit www.preventseniorhospitalizations.com.

Consumers Demanding Action For Seafood Safety

(NewsUSA) – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, foodborne illnesses send 1,000 Americans to the hospital each day. Another 5,000 Americans die from foodborne illnesses every year.

Americans shouldn’t have to worry about food safety – the government needs to revamp its policies to ensure public safety. Twelve federal agencies regulate food, causing confusion and turf battles. Funding and staff shortages lead to further “loose ends” – the FDA inspects less than 1 percent of all the food shipments that enter U.S. ports.

Consumers should feel especially concerned about seafood safety. The U.S. imports nearly 85 percent of the seafood it consumes. Seafood is also one of the nation’s leading causes of food poisoning.

One company, Global Food Technologies, has responded to consumer concerns by contracting a food safety program with foreign seafood processors in countries like China, Chile, and Vietnam. Global Food Technologies claims that its program, the iPura seal, represents the highest standard in food safety.

The iPura seals protect consumers from pathogens and other contaminants at the source of food production. The company Global Food Technologies company has also pioneered a daily on-site service for food processors that unites green technologies and safety controls with a unique “boots on the ground” approach.

Our iPura food safety program builds in safety from the start with our patented ‘organic lean-step’ processes and our iPura food safety teams that include on-site microbiologists, system operators, technicians, and quality-control personnel.” says company CEO, Keith Meeks. “We go well beyond minimum standards to a level unmatched in the industry and because of these extraordinary safety controls, iPura-labeled products are insured against regulatory intervention and product recall.”

Such efforts may be well rewarded as stakeholders seek protection from the health and financial risks of imported food. According to the U.S. Food Policy Center at Michigan State University, nine out of 10 consumers want more food safety information on the label, and more than eight in 10 would be willing to pay a premium to lower their health risk.

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