It’s no great secret that obesity is a problem in America. A little research reveals why - our diet is rich, exceeding the recommended intake levels of fats, sugars, sodium, and refined grains while eating few fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and dairy. Nearly all Americans consume more sodium than is healthy, and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans reports that the number of fast food restaurants in the US has doubled since the 1970s. These are sobering statistics in and of themselves, and are made worse when one looks at the numbers on physical exercise. Over 80% of American adults do not get the recommended amount of weekly exercise (moderate aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes, or vigorous activity for 75 minutes, as well as muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week). Children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend roughly seven and a half hours a day in front of a TV or computer screen. We have a health crisis on our hands.
Fortunately, there are signs that Americans are taking an increased interest in their own health. Demand for whole or healthy foods has grown over the last decade, and most restaurants offer healthier options - even on fast food menus. And while it’s wonderful to see the industry respond to this initiative, there are some surprises in store. Many supposedly healthy food products are anything but, often containing little nutritional value, high caloric content, excess fat or sodium, or all of the above. Never fear—an informed consumer can navigate the dietary minefield and make good food choices. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge.
First, let’s talk about some of the surprises hidden in allegedly healthy foods. These include, but are sadly not limited to:
We’ve told you to “read the label” several times now, but what does that mean. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that all food products sold in the US be labeled using a standard format, which explains their caloric value, nutritional value, and ingredients, as well as the percentage daily value for a 2,000 to 2,500 calorie diet. These numbers are calculated for the recommended serving size, which is also clearly indicated on the label. Serving size is another number to watch out for—many seemingly single-serving products are labeled as containing two servings.
As more Americans take an active interest in their health, the demand for good nutrition will only grow. Savvy consumers can follow the guidelines presented here, do their own research, and make the best choices in an often confusing marketplace. Eating well doesn’t have to be difficult, but it might take a bit of know-how. The tips presented here can help you find a delicious way to a healthier you!
FastMed Urgent Care, the second largest urgent care network in the US, has been named the Triangle Adult Soccer League’s (TASL) Primary Summer Heat Sponsor for 2015.
FastMed is proud to work with TASL and provide players with access to urgent medical care 365 days a year. With over 11 locations throughout Wake County and 53 locations across North Carolina, FastMed offers TASL players access to walk-in treatment when they need it, evenings and weekends when games are played.
FastMed.com offers TASL players a convenient mobile website accessible from any smart phone to locate their nearest FastMed location, driving directions and phone number with just a click. And with FastMed’s online check-in system, ZipPass, players can let FastMed know they are coming to reduce their wait time.
TASL players have access to walk-in services at FastMed including x-rays, concussion evaluation, and treatment of sprains, strains, cuts, and bruises. This allows the players to get the treatment they need fast so they can recover and get back to playing soccer! Click here for more information on treatment services available at FastMed.
FastMed also offers TASL players access to community outreach programs including FastMed Keep Cooler Program, heat injury and illness prevention education, the FastMed Discount Program and sports physicals.
FastMed offers the following convenient care locations:
• Apex, NC - Creekside Landing Drive
• Cary, NC - Cornerstone Drive – (family practice also available)
• Cary, NC - Ten-Ten Road
• Chapel Hill, NC - East Franklin Street
• Durham, NC - Hope Valley Road
• Fuquay-Varina, NC - North Main Street
• Garner, NC – HWY US 70
• Garner, NC - NC Highway 42 West – (family practice also available)
• Holly Springs, NC - Bass Lake Road – (family practice also available)
• Raleigh, NC - Creedmoor Road
• Raleigh, NC - East Millbrook Road
• Raleigh - Glenwood Avenue (OPENING SOON)
• Wake Forest, NC - South Main Street
Triangle Adult Soccer League was formally established in 2003 with a mission to provide and promote soccer related programming as an amateur sport, for recreational purposes and educational development, for interested adult members of the community, and to promote safe and fair play on and off the field. TASL is the largest adult soccer league in NC and is a fully sanctioned league through the state, NCASA, and national, USASA, organizations.
FastMed Urgent Care is now offering discounted sports physicals through August 31, 2015 at the following North Carolina locations.
Click HERE to print and download the $15 sports physical voucher:
• Fayetteville at Ramsey St.
• Winston-Salem at Old Country Club Rd.
• Winston-Salem at Stratford Rd.
• Winston-Salem at University Parkway
Click HERE to print and download the $10 sports physical voucher:
Don’t get caught waiting until the last minute! You can walk-in any time, 365 days a year, during extended clinic hours to get your sports physical. Come on in today, tomorrow or this weekend. Sports physicals can be used for youth and adult sports organizations and are valid for one full year.
FastMed is the official urgent care partner of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. Every FastMed clinic uses the official NCHSAA sports participation examination form.
Remember to bring the following to expedite your sports physical:
• Current immunization records - Immunization record card with most recent vaccines, dates given, and provider
• Family health history – Any chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, heart arrhythmia or murmurs, epilepsy, kidney problems, or seizures that may impact sports participation
• Injury history - Prior personal injuries including surgeries or hospitalization, concussions, fractured or broken bones, repeated swelling joints or dislocations
• Medications list – Any current medications
• Corrective lenses – Corrective lenses for eyes
• Exam form - A copy of the official North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) Pre-participation Sports Physical Medical Examination Form. To download the form, click here.
This July 4th weekend, have fun, be safe, and remember FastMed is here for you.
With walk-in personal care in your neighborhood that is just around the corner and open 365 days a year including July 4th, enjoy your July 4th weekend knowing FastMed has you and your family covered, from insect bites, hives and scrapes to indigestion, sunburn and anything else your fun weekend throws your way!
P.S – If your on a road trip, waiting for the fireworks to start or sipping a cool beverage with friends and family, check out this American Summer video from FastMed Urgent Care, we hope you will be in stitches (laughing), otherwise you may need to visit us! And here are some FastMed fireworks safety tips to help keep you safe when you celebrate!
Kale. Açai. Flaxseed. Chia. While these may sound like recent celebrity baby names, they’re actually just a few of the latest foods to be declared ‘superfoods’ by the media and some health experts. But before you go out to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s and stock up on whatever happens to be the food of the moment this week, take a look at FastMed’s review of some of the superfood trends we’ve seen lately.
There’s no doubt about it – kale packs a nutritional punch. Kale has essential antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help prevent common vision problems like macular degeneration. You’ll get more vitamin C in a cup of kale than you will in an orange, and it also has over 100% of your daily vitamin A needs. One cup of raw kale is only 33 calories, including almost 3 grams of protein and 2.5 grams of fiber. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that women get 25 grams of fiber and men get 38 grams of fiber per day. A large kale salad can certainly help get you there! Plus, fiber makes you feel fuller, longer.
So what’s the problem? Some don’t like kale’s bitter taste, and the Environmental Working Group found that kale is commonly treated with poisonous insecticides, so you may want to go organic. Also, too many cruciferous vegetables in your diet can cause hypothyroidism, so eat it in moderation. Bottom line? Kale’s a superfood, but it’s not irreplaceable. If you don’t like the taste of kale, try mustard greens instead. Mustard greens have even more vitamin C, calcium, and folate, but fewer carbohydrates.
The first thing to know about this little berry is how to pronounce it: ah-sigh-EE. And you’ll want to know how to say it, because açai is everywhere these days. Smoothies! Breakfast bowls! Juices! People claim the berry has helped them lose weight, get rid of arthritis, regulate cholesterol levels, and even cure erectile dysfunction! So why aren’t we all eating this wonder berry?
Because science doesn’t support the vast majority of these claims, açai berries are certainly good for you. They’re rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, which give the berry its vivid color. They also have more unsaturated fats than other berries, so they can be a good source of omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids for vegetarians. Unfortunately, acai berries can be expensive and difficult to find, so try another dark berry like blueberries or grapes. You’ll get a similar dose of antioxidants and fiber, without the price tag.
You can buy ground or whole flaxseeds, or you can get flaxseed oil; both have been called ‘superfoods.’ In fact, in the 8th century, King Charlemagne actually passed laws requiring people to eat it! So what’s so super about flaxseed? It can lower blood pressure, help protect against prostate cancer, and contains omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease triglyceride levels and slow the buildup of plaque in your arteries. But flaxseed earns a guaranteed spot on the superfood list because it’s the king of lignans.
Lignans are phytoestrogens – they mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. Plant lignans are the building blocks of cell walls, and they have a ton of positive effects. They’re antioxidants that can lower blood cholesterol in men, decrease liver disease risk factors, promote a healthy weight, and help decrease the incidence of several chronic diseases. Don’t like flaxseed? Sorry, there’s no substitute here. Flaxseed is the richest source of these lignans – it contains far more lignans than any other plant food.
We all remember the ch-ch-ch-chia pets of the 80s. Turns out you could actually eat those seeds! Chia seeds are touted as a ‘superfood’ that helps with weight loss. When you put chia seeds in water, the seeds expand and become like a gel. The claim is that once you eat the seeds, they’ll expand in your stomach and you’ll feel fuller, causing you to eat less, and lose weight!
Unfortunately, none of the studies have borne out this myth, but don’t rule chia seeds out yet! Although they don’t help with weight loss, they do have plenty of soluble fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, potassium, and antioxidants. They even pack four grams of protein in each ounce. And chia seeds are easy to add to your diet, as they have a very mild taste with little flavor. Sprinkle some on your oatmeal, add it to a salad, or make our Green Monster Smoothie for a one-two punch of superfoods, with both chia and kale!
At FastMed, we don’t want you to buy into the hype surrounding certain superfoods. There will always be a new superfood advertised by the media, but healthy choices don’t change based on fads or trends. Do your own research, or talk to a dietitian or visit your nearest FastMed Urgent Care if you want to improve your diet and health. We’ll support you every step of the way – no hype necessary.
The entrance of the Apple Watch into the wearable gadget market has generated a lot of buzz about how we can use technology to track our fitness. There’s no shortage of fitness trackers out there on the market, and choosing a personal fitness-tracking device can be pretty overwhelming. FastMed reviews the features of fitness trackers, so you can wade through the confusion and get moving!
You don’t want to have to spend hours after your workout trying to figure out what all the data means. Any fitness-tracking device you purchase should deliver the results of your workout or daily activities in an easy-to-read format. You’ll want to see your heart rate during a workout, the number of steps you’ve taken, and the calories you’ve burned. The best fitness trackers will allow you to access these graphs and charts via your phone, computer, and the device itself.
Some fitness trackers let you set goals, and show you how close you are to reaching them throughout the day. This can be especially motivating; instead of just seeing how many steps you’ve taken, you can see if you’ve almost met your goal – or if you need to ‘step it up!’
GPS and Accelerometer
If you’re a runner, biker, or cardio buff of any kind, look for a fitness tracker with a GPS. There’s no more reliable way to track your distances. Many GPS’s can suck the battery life out of fitness trackers, so check reviews online to choose a device that has a lot of juice, even when the GPS is turned on. An accelerometer is a fun tool to have, as well. This will measure your speed, so you can tell how swiftly you’re moving. It’s not a substitute for a GPS, but it enhances its capabilities.
Alarms, warnings, congratulatory bells and whistles…how on top of things do you want your wearable fitness tracker to be? One of the most useful features for people who work at a desk all day is a movement reminder. If the fitness tracker thinks you haven’t moved in a certain amount of time – say, thirty minutes or an hour – it will vibrate to let you know that it’s time to stand up and take a quick break. Prolonged periods of inactivity are linked to all kinds of health problems, including heart disease, which the American Heart Association reports is the leading cause of death worldwide. And these effects are seen even if you exercise for several hours a day. So look for a fitness tracker that will give you a gentle nudge when you’ve been vegging for too long, and pay attention to these alerts.
Heart Rate Sensor
If you want to accurately track how many calories you’re burning, a heart rate monitor is a must. There are a few different ways to use a heart rate monitor with a wearable fitness tracker. Some devices don’t have a built-in monitor, so you’ll have to purchase an external monitor that wirelessly syncs with your device. The monitor fits like a belt that you wear just below your chest.
External monitors are the most accurate way to measure heart rate, but if you find the band uncomfortable or restrictive, buy a fitness tracker with a built-in heart rate sensor. These trackers use light to measure the frequency with which your blood pumps through the veins in your wrist. Avoid watches that require you to touch your finger to a pad to analyze your pulse; although they are more accurate, it interrupts your workout. Heart-rate monitors aren’t reviewed by the FDA, so do some thorough research and read reviews about the model you’re interested in before you purchase.
Some fitness trackers act as phones, too. You may be able to get notifications of calls or messages via Bluetooth if your phone is compatible with the tracking device. Of course, if you’re working out, you should really put your heart, soul, and muscle into it – not worry about the latest Facebook updates. But some people have to be connected for work or family, so they may want a tracker that works with their phone. Wireless syncing is also a very handy feature. Plugging your device into your computer each time you work out can be annoying, and who wants to deal with extra cords?
So, there you have it: fitness tracking features to help you reach your movement and exercise goals. Even if you aren’t an intense athlete, or the only time you run is if you are running late, a fitness tracker can help keep you aware of how much you’re walking around and moving each day. At FastMed, we see patients every day who have diabetes, aching joints, or low energy because they’re overweight. Be proactive with your health. You’ve only got one body in this life, so take good care of it!
FastMed Urgent Care is the official 2015 urgent care provider and sponsor of Piedmont Youth Football & Cheer League (PYFCL). This American Youth Football organization has 12 associations with several individual teams accounting for over 1,600 total participants.
The partnership means FastMed will offer PYFCL participants access to affordable sports physicals and support the young player’s needs for urgent medical treatment and injury prevention education on concussions and other sports related injuries. Participants will have access to walk-in medical treatment at all FastMed locations.
In addition, FastMed will be providing five-gallon coolers to each individual association as part of the FastMed Keep Cooler Program. The program reminds youth athletes of the dangers of heat injuries and the importance of staying hydrated while playing sports. Learn more about the Keep Cooler Program here.
FastMed is committed to supporting local sports organizations in our communities to promote a healthy, active lifestyle. The mission of PYFCL is to enable children to benefit from participation in team sports and activities in a safe and structured environment. Through this active participation, American Youth Football & Cheer Programs teach fundamental values, skills, and knowledge that children will use throughout their lives. FastMed is looking forward to a great partnership and valuable relationship with PYFCL.
To learn more about PYFCL, please visit their website www.pyfcl.com.
Summer is a time to be outside having fun in the sun. We’re talking road trips, the beach, outdoor sports, the pool, camping…every great summer activity loved across America. However, the summer heat and humidity bring extra moisture to the air and can make us sweat, creating an ideal setting for fungal infections to develop. A fungal infection can hold you back from your favorite summer pursuits, so you should know what they are and how to treat them. Here are five common summer fungal infections to watch out for.
Athlete’s foot is, as you may have guessed, a fungal infection on the foot. This common infection causes peeling, redness, itching, blisters, and sometimes soreness of the infected area. It thrives in warm, moist environments such as shoes, socks, swimming pools, locker rooms, and public showers. Summer is a top season for this infection.
Symptoms of athlete’s foot include:
- Peeling, cracking, or scaling of the feet
- Redness or blisters
- Itching and/or burning sensation
Athlete’s foot is typically treated with an over-the-counter antifungal medication that’s placed directly on the skin. Feet must be kept clean and dry during the treatment process. You should consult a health care provider if the infected area does not improve after a few weeks of treatment, if you get a fever, notice excess swelling or redness, or if you have diabetes.
Ringworm is a fungal infection (not a worm!) that develops on the top of your skin, causing a red circular rash. It is a contagious disease that can be contracted from humans, animals, objects, and soil. Those unsightly circles could ruin your beach body, so it’s important to understand ringworm’s symptoms and treatments.
Ringworm begins with a flat, scaly area on the skin, which may be itchy. The patch then develops a slightly raised border, forming a circular ring (although it doesn’t have to be a perfect circle!). The inner section of the ring can be clear, scaly, or have red bumps. You may even develop multiple rings. Sometimes the ring can occur on your scalp or in an area that isn’t immediately noticeable, so if you’re constantly itchy and can’t figure out why, you may want to see a doctor.
Ringworm is typically treated with over-the-counter antifungal lotion or cream. If the rash doesn’t begin to improve within two weeks, see at provider at FastMed Urgent Care!
Fungi that cause valley fever live in the soil of the southwestern United States. When soil in this region is disrupted by something like construction, farming, or wind, the fungi’s spores can be launched into the air. The fungi can be breathed into the lungs, causing valley fever.
Symptoms of valley fever include:
- Chest pain
- Night sweats
- Joint aches
- A red, spotty rash
Valley fever is often treated like a cold or flu, with rest and fluids. If this does not help, a health care provider may prescribe you antifungal medication. While anyone can get valley fever, African Americans, Filipinos, and Hispanics are at higher risk for a severe form of the disease, so people of these ethnic backgrounds should be extra cautious.
Tinea versicolor, though it doesn’t have a colloquial name, is almost as common as other, more well-known fungal infections of the skin. The fungus affects skin’s pigmentation, creating light or dark patches on the shoulders or midsection. If, like most people, your skin tends to get darker with sun exposure, the spots will be easier to see as they do not tan with the rest of your body.
The symptoms of tinea versicolor include:
- Patches of skin discoloration on the back, chest, shoulders or upper arms
- Mild itching
The treatment consists of antifungal skin products such as shampoos, creams, and foams. If your skin doesn’t improve with self-help measures, the infection goes away and returns, or if the patches cover large areas of your body, see a medical professional.
Jock itch is no fun. This annoying fungal infection is actually a type of ringworm, and it thrives in warm, moist environments like the inner thighs, genitals, and buttocks. It appears as a red, itchy rash. That isn’t good for enjoying the sun in comfort!
The symptoms of jock itch include:
- Itching, chafing or burning sensations on the inner groin or thigh
- A circular, red rash with elevated edges
- Redness of the groin or thigh
- Flaking, peeling, or cracking skin
The typical treatment for jock itch is applying topical antifungal medication and keeping the infected area clean and dry.
Summer is no fun if you have to deal with a fungal infection. If you experience any of the above symptoms, get it taken care of quickly at your local FastMed. We can treat your condition fast at the location nearest you!
From June 11 through August 31, 2015, all FastMed Urgent Care locations are providing pre-participation physical exams at a discount with a FastMed voucher.
Pre-participation physical exams, or sports physicals, can be used for both youth and adults sports organizations and are good for one year. Many organizations will prohibit any school sports or recreational sports participation without sports physical performed.
$25 Sports Physical Voucher
All FastMed Urgent Care locations in Arizona will accept the official FastMed $25 Sports Physical Voucher. Click HERE to find your nearest FastMed location.
Click HERE to download and print.
$20 Sports Physical Voucher
The following FastMed locations are offering a FastMed $20 Sports Physical Voucher through August 31, 2015:
|FastMed Clinics Offering $20 PEs with a Voucher|
|Chandler, AZ - South Arizona Avenue|
|Scottsdale, AZ - East Shea Boulevard|
|Phoenix, AZ - East Thunderbird Road|
|Tucson, AZ - North Wilmot|
Click HERE to download and print.
$10 Sports Physical Voucher
The following FastMed locations are offering a FastMed $10 Sports Physical Voucher through August 31, 2015:
|FastMed Clinics Offering $10 PEs with a Voucher|
|Tucson, AZ - North Wilmot|
Click HERE to download and print.
What to Bring
Remember to bring the following to expedite your sports physical:
- Current immunization records - Immunization record card with most recent vaccines, dates given, and provider
- Family health history – Any chronic medical illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, heart arrhythmia or murmurs, epilepsy, kidney problems, or seizures that may impact sports participation
- Injury history - Prior personal injuries including surgeries or hospitalization, concussions, fractured or broken bones, repeated swelling joints or dislocations
- Medications list – Any current medications
- Corrective lenses – Corrective lenses for eyes
- Exam form - A copy of the official Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) Pre-participation Sports Physical Medical Examination Form. To download the form, click here
- A parent - Minors must be accompanied by an adult chaperone or guardian and have parental/guardian permission
Here for Your Physical, and All Your Orthopedic and Urgent Care Needs
FastMed has 35 state-of-the-art full service urgent care centers, open 365 days a year for walk-in sports physicals or urgent care treatment. All FastMed clinics have integrated electronic medical records, onsite digital x-rays, onsite labs and accept all major insurance plans.
FastMed Sports Medicine is available by appointment at select locations for:
- Sprains, strains, and spasms (including joint sprains and muscle strains/spasms)
- Fracture management
- Concussion treatment
- Rehabilitation coordination
- Sport injury stabilization
Click HERE to find your nearest FastMed location.