Author Archives: Joe Hilbert

  1. Thriving Beyond 50: Strategies for Improving Women’s Health

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    As women age, their health needs change, and maintaining overall well-being becomes increasingly important. With advances in healthcare and a greater emphasis on preventive medicine, women can take proactive steps to enhance their health and quality of life well into their later years. Here are several key strategies for improving women’s health past the age of 50.

    1. Prioritize Regular Health Screenings: Regular health screenings are essential for detecting and preventing common age-related health conditions in women. Screenings such as mammograms, Pap smears, bone density tests, and colonoscopies can help detect early signs of breast cancer, cervical cancer, osteoporosis, and colorectal cancer, respectively. By staying up-to-date with recommended screenings, women can detect potential health issues early when they are most treatable.
    2. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle: Adopting a healthy lifestyle is crucial for promoting overall health and well-being as women age. This includes eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. It’s also important to stay hydrated, limit alcohol intake, and avoid smoking, which can increase the risk of various health problems, including heart disease, cancer, and respiratory conditions.
    3. Stay Active: Regular physical activity is key to maintaining muscle strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular health as women age. Engaging in activities such as walking, swimming, yoga, or strength training can help improve balance, reduce the risk of falls, and promote overall mobility. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity per week, along with muscle-strengthening exercises on two or more days per week.
    4. Manage Stress: Stress management is essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being as women navigate the challenges of aging. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and mindfulness can help reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Building a strong support network of friends, family, and community resources can also provide valuable emotional support during times of stress or transition.
    5. Prioritize Sleep: Quality sleep is vital for overall health and well-being, yet many women struggle with sleep disturbances as they age. Establishing a regular sleep routine, creating a comfortable sleep environment, and practicing relaxation techniques before bedtime can help improve sleep quality. If sleep problems persist, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional to identify underlying causes and explore treatment options.
    6. Focus on Heart Health: Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in many countries, highlighting the importance of prioritizing heart health as women age. Adopting heart-healthy habits such as maintaining a healthy weight, eating a balanced diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol, exercising regularly, and managing blood pressure and cholesterol levels can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall cardiovascular health.
    7. Stay Socially Connected: Maintaining social connections and engaging in meaningful activities can have a positive impact on mental and emotional well-being as women age. Spending time with friends and loved ones, participating in community groups or volunteer activities, and pursuing hobbies and interests can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Social interaction also helps reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can negatively impact health and quality of life.
    8. Seek Preventive Care: In addition to regular health screenings, preventive care plays a crucial role in maintaining women’s health past the age of 50. This includes receiving recommended vaccinations such as the flu vaccine, pneumococcal vaccine, and shingles vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. Women should also schedule regular check-ups with their healthcare provider to monitor overall health and address any concerns or changes in symptoms.

    In conclusion, women can take proactive steps to improve their health and well-being as they age. By prioritizing regular health screenings, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, staying physically active, managing stress, prioritizing sleep, focusing on heart health, staying socially connected, and seeking preventive care, women can promote longevity, vitality, and quality of life well into their later years. By embracing these strategies, women can thrive beyond 50 and enjoy a fulfilling and active lifestyle for years to come.

    The contents of this article have been reviewed by Dr. Nicole Leo, Family Medicine provider with Shore Physicians Group’s office in Marmora, located at 4 Roosevelt Boulevard in the Shop Rite Plaza. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Leo, call 609-814-9550.

  2. Finding Relief: Strategies to Alleviate Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

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    As the seasons change and flowers bloom, many individuals find themselves grappling with the uncomfortable symptoms of seasonal allergies. From sneezing and itching to congestion and watery eyes, allergies can make it challenging to enjoy the beauty of spring and summer. Fortunately, there are numerous strategies available to help alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms and improve overall quality of life. In this article, we will explore effective methods for finding relief from seasonal allergies and regaining control over your health and well-being.

    Understanding Seasonal Allergies: Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, occur when the immune system overreacts to airborne particles such as pollen, mold spores, or grasses. When exposed to these allergens, the body releases histamines and other chemicals, triggering a cascade of symptoms that can range from mild to severe. Common symptoms of seasonal allergies include:

    • Sneezing
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Itchy or watery eyes
    • Scratchy throat
    • Coughing
    • Fatigue
    • Headache

    While seasonal allergies can be bothersome, they are generally not life-threatening. However, they can significantly impact quality of life and may exacerbate underlying respiratory conditions such as asthma. Fortunately, there are many strategies available to help manage and alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms.

    • Minimize Exposure to Allergens: One of the most effective ways to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms is to minimize exposure to allergens. This may include staying indoors during peak pollen times, keeping windows closed, using air purifiers with HEPA filters, and regularly cleaning and dusting your home to remove allergens. When spending time outdoors, wearing sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat can help prevent pollen from coming into contact with your eyes and face.
    • Monitor Pollen Counts: Stay informed about pollen counts in your area by checking local weather forecasts or using online pollen tracking tools. On days when pollen levels are high, consider limiting outdoor activities or taking allergy medications before heading outside. Planning outdoor activities for times when pollen levels are lower, such as after a rainfall, can also help reduce exposure to allergens.
    • Use Over-the-Counter Medications: Over-the-counter allergy medications can provide fast and effective relief from seasonal allergy symptoms. Antihistamines such as loratadine, cetirizine, or fexofenadine can help alleviate sneezing, itching, and runny nose, while decongestants such as pseudoephedrine or phenylephrine can help relieve nasal congestion. Nasal sprays containing corticosteroids can also help reduce inflammation and congestion in the nasal passages.
    • Try Natural Remedies: Several natural remedies may provide relief from seasonal allergy symptoms without the side effects associated with medications. These include:
      • Saline nasal irrigation: Using a saline nasal rinse or neti pot can help flush out allergens and irritants from the nasal passages, reducing congestion and inflammation.
      • Local honey: Some people find relief from seasonal allergies by consuming locally produced honey, which may contain trace amounts of pollen that can help desensitize the immune system.
      • Quercetin: This natural antioxidant found in foods like apples, onions, and citrus fruits may help stabilize mast cells and reduce the release of histamines, potentially reducing allergy symptoms.
    • Consider Allergy Immunotherapy: For individuals with severe or persistent seasonal allergies, allergy immunotherapy may be a viable treatment option. This approach involves exposing the body to gradually increasing doses of allergens over time, either through allergy shots or sublingual tablets or drops. Immunotherapy can help desensitize the immune system to allergens and reduce the severity of allergy symptoms over time.

    Seasonal allergies can be a source of frustration and discomfort for many individuals, but they don’t have to disrupt your life. By taking proactive steps to minimize exposure to allergens, using over-the-counter medications, trying natural remedies, and considering allergy immunotherapy, you can effectively manage and alleviate seasonal allergy symptoms. Consult with a healthcare professional to determine the best approach for your individual needs and enjoy the beauty of the seasons with greater comfort and ease

    The contents of this article have been reviewed by Dr. Ahmed Nashat, Family Medicine provider with Shore Physicians Group. Dr. Nashat treats patients at Shore Physicians Group’s office located at 401 Bethel Road in Somers Point. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Nashat, call 609-365-6200.

  3. The Catch of the Day: Are High-Seafood Diets a Risk for Forever Chemicals?

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    As people seek healthier dietary choices, seafood often emerges as a favored option. Rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and essential vitamins and minerals, it seems like the perfect addition to a balanced diet. However, recent studies have raised concerns about the potential risks associated with consuming seafood: specifically, the exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), also known as “forever chemicals.” PFAS are often referred to as forever chemicals because they do not break down easily in the environment and can remain in the human body for years.

    PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals that are used in a variety of industrial and consumer products, including non-stick cookware, food packaging, and firefighting foam. These chemicals have been found to persist in the environment and accumulate in the food chain, including seafood, thus prompting questions about their safety for human consumption.

    The Connection Between Seafood and PFAS

    Studies have highlighted the connection between high-seafood diets and increased exposure to PFAS. A recent study from Dartmouth College found that individuals who consume a high-seafood diet may face increased exposure to PFAS. The study analyzed the levels of PFAS in seafood samples from various locations and species. Results showed that some types of fish and shellfish, particularly those sourced from contaminated waters or species higher up the food chain, contained higher concentrations of PFAS. These findings suggest a potential risk for individuals with high-seafood diets, emphasizing the need for consumers to be mindful of the types of seafood they consume and the sources from which they are obtained.

    Who Is Most at Risk?

    People who consume large amounts of seafood, particularly from potentially contaminated areas, are at the greatest risk of PFAS exposure. This includes individuals who rely on seafood as a primary source of protein, such as coastal communities or certain cultural groups with traditional seafood-based diets.

    Pregnant women, nursing mothers, and young children are particularly vulnerable to the effects of PFAS exposure. These chemicals have been linked to various health issues, including hormone disruption, an increased risk of certain cancers, immune system impairments, and developmental problems in infants and children.

    What Can Be Done?

    To mitigate the risk of exposure to PFAS from seafood, individuals can take several steps:

    1. Diversify Seafood Choices: Avoid relying too heavily on a specific type of seafood. Instead, consume a variety of fish and shellfish from different regions to reduce the risk of PFAS accumulation.
    2. Check for Advisories: Stay informed about local fishing advisories, which may include warnings about PFAS contamination. Many state and local health departments provide guidelines on safe seafood consumption.
    3. Choose Low-Risk Species: Some fish species have lower levels of PFAS accumulation. Opt for options like salmon, sardines, or anchovies, which are generally lower in PFAS compared to larger predatory fish such as tuna or swordfish.
    4. Consider Organic and Farmed Seafood: While farmed seafood may not be completely free of PFAS, it may have lower levels compared to wild-caught species in certain areas.
    5. Advocate for Regulation and Transparency: Support efforts to regulate PFAS emissions and increase transparency in the seafood industry. This can help reduce contamination and provide safer seafood options for everyone.

    Seafood remains a valuable part of a healthy diet, offering numerous health benefits. However, it is essential to remain vigilant about the potential risks associated with ‘forever chemicals.’ By making informed choices about the types and sources of seafood, individuals can enjoy the benefits of a high-seafood diet while minimizing their exposure to PFAS. Stay savvy about your seafood options, and you can continue to reel in a diet rich in nutrition and free of unnecessary risks.

    The contents of this article have been reviewed by Dr. Gregory Herman, Family Medicine provider with Shore Physicians Group. Dr. Herman, who has a care philosophy of moderation in everything and variety is the key to life, treats patients at Shore Physicians Group’s office in Marmora, located at 4 Roosevelt Boulevard in the Shop Rite Plaza. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Herman, call 609-814-9550.

  4. Don’t Ignore Shooting Pain or Numbness in your Arms or Legs

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    By Francis Kralick, DO, FACP
    Neurosurgeon, Shore Physicians Group

    As a neurosurgeon, I’ve encountered numerous patients whose lives have been disrupted by shooting pains, numbness, and weakness in their arms and legs. These symptoms often stem from underlying spinal conditions, which, when left untreated, can lead to significant complications – including permanent nerve damage. In this article, I explain common conditions that can cause such symptoms, the potential dangers of neglecting treatment, and the neurosurgical interventions that offer hope for relief and recovery.

    Possible Causes

    Shooting pains, numbness, and weakness in the extremities are often indicators of spinal nerve compression or irritation. Common conditions that can give rise to these symptoms include:

    Herniated Discs: When the gel-like material inside a spinal disc protrudes and presses on nearby nerves, it can result in shooting pains, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs.

    Spinal Stenosis: This narrowing of the spinal canal, often caused by osteoarthritis, can exert pressure on the spinal cord or nerve roots, leading to shooting pains, numbness, or difficulty walking.

    Spondylolisthesis/Slipped Vertebrae: Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition where one of the vertebrae slips out of place onto the vertebra below it, often due to degenerative changes or injury. This can result in shooting pain, numbness, stiffness or weakness in the legs, as well as back pain.

    Sciatica: Sciatic nerve compression, often caused by a herniated disc or spinal stenosis, manifests as shooting pain that radiates from the lower back down one leg, accompanied by numbness and weakness.

    What is Feels Like

    The best way to describe what concerning shooting pains feel like is to imagine striking your funny bone. The pain you feel is nerve pain from pressure placed on the nerve in the elbow. Sometimes it is also accompanied by tingling sensations and motor weakness. These symptoms can vary in intensity and duration, but they often interfere with daily activities and diminish quality of life. Additionally, numbness may develop, making it challenging to sense touch or distinguish hot from cold. Without intervention, these symptoms can worsen over time, leading to chronic pain, loss of function, and even permanent nerve damage.

    The Dangers of Delayed Treatment

    Neglecting treatment for spinal conditions can have serious consequences, including:

    Nerve Damage: Prolonged nerve compression can result in irreversible damage, leading to chronic pain, weakness, or sensory loss in the affected limbs.

    Functional Impairment: Spinal conditions can limit mobility and impair daily activities, affecting independence and overall well-being.

    Progression of Symptoms: Untreated spinal conditions may worsen over time, resulting in increased pain, neurological deficits, and diminished treatment options.

    How Surgery can Help

    Neurosurgery offers effective treatment options for spinal conditions causing shooting pains and related symptoms:

    • Decompression Surgery: Procedures such as discectomy or laminectomy aim to relieve pressure on compressed nerves, alleviating shooting pains and restoring function.
    • Spinal Fusion: In cases of spinal instability or severe degeneration, spinal fusion surgery may be performed to stabilize the spine and prevent further nerve compression.
    • Minimally Invasive Techniques: Advances in neurosurgical techniques allow for minimally invasive procedures, resulting in smaller incisions, less post-operative pain, and faster recovery times.

    Shore Medical Center: Your Path to Recovery

    Shore Medical Center offers outstanding neurosurgical care right in your community. Unlike larger teaching hospitals where residents may conduct surgeries, at Shore, you’ll always be in the capable hands of highly skilled neurosurgeons known for our expertise and patient outcomes. Shore’s neurosurgeons excel in navigating the spine’s delicate anatomy, with or without the latest Brainlab spinal navigation system, which provides an added layer of precision, especially in complex cases, ensuring optimal outcomes.

    Supported by Shore’s Advanced Spine and Orthopedic Institute (ASOI) nursing staff, patients receive exceptional care and education, often returning home the day after surgery. With the comfort of staying close to home, Shore patients benefit from the convenience of having loved ones nearby to support them through their journey.

    Dr. Francis Kralick, a Penn Affiliated Surgeon with Shore Physicians Group since 2016, brings over two decades of neurosurgical expertise to our Neurosurgery Division. Board Certified with a subspecialty in complex spinal surgery, Dr. Kralick trained under the esteemed Dr. Fred Simeone, former chairman of Jefferson University’s Department of Neurosurgery and holds a special distinction as a Fellow of the American College of Osteopathic Surgeons (FACOS). With a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics/Biomedical Engineering from The Ohio State University and a Doctor of Osteopathy from Nova Southeastern University, Dr. Kralick combines his engineering background with medical acumen to navigate the complexities of the spine. His commitment to patient well-being is evident through thorough assessments, honest communication, and a mantra of “Back to Life,” emphasizing personalized care and innovative treatments to restore patients’ quality of life. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Kralick, please call 609-365-6239. Click here to learn more about Dr. Kralick and read patient reviews.

  5. Family Medicine Physician Dr. Gregory Herman joins Shore Physicians Group’s Marmora Primary Care Practice

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    Shore Physicians Group welcomes Board Certified Family Medicine Physician Gregory Herman, MD, CPE, to its Marmora Primary Care practice, located at 4 Roosevelt Boulevard in the Shop Rite Plaza. Dr. Herman joins Family Medicine Physician Nicole Leo, DO, at the SPG Marmora office.

    With a strong background in family medicine and extensive experience in both clinical practice and medical leadership, Dr. Herman is a welcome addition to Shore Physicians Group and the Marmora community. As a Family Medicine physician, Dr. Herman provides comprehensive primary care to people age 3 and up.

    Dr. Herman earned his Doctor of Medicine from Jefferson Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA, following his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN. He completed his residency in Family Practice at Silas B. Hayes Army Community Hospital in Fort Ord, CA.

    Prior to joining Shore Physicians Group, Dr. Herman served as a family medicine provider at Inspira Health Network for 25 years. Additionally, he held the role of Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) at Inspira, where he played a pivotal role in leveraging technology to enhance patient care, streamline operations, and improve clinical outcomes.

    As a Clinical Assistant Professor in Family Medicine for Jefferson Medical College, Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, and American Association for Physician Leadership, Dr. Herman is deeply committed to medical education and training the next generation of healthcare professionals.

    Dr. Herman’s career began with distinguished service in the United States Army as a Family Physician in Germany and West Point, NY. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the American Board of Family Practice. Additionally, Dr. Herman is an FMCSA DOT Certified Medical Examiner, qualified to provide commercial driver medical exams. He was named Family Physician of the Year in 2009 by the NJ Academy of Family Physicians and he has received numerous recognitions from his military service, including a National Defense Service Ribbon, an Army Commendation Medal, and an Armed Forces Expeditionary Award.

    In describing his patient care philosophy, Dr. Herman says, “I believe that patients are in charge of their health care decisions, and I want my patients to see me as a trusted advisor and someone who brings value to them. I believe in shared decision making, and I provide the best possible options, factoring in what is right for them culturally, environmentally, and financially. Being engaged with someone at that level means a lot to me. I treasure the relationships I have with my patients – they are the reason I chose Family Medicine. Some of my patients are the children of those whom I delivered. To be a part of someone’s life so long is truly a blessing.”

    To schedule an appointment with Dr. Herman, please call 609-814-9550.

  6. Shore Physicians Group Presents “Be Well Connected: Women’s Health” – A Free Community Breakfast Event on May 16

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    Shore Physicians Group will host a free community education breakfast on women’s health as part of its “Be Well Connected” series. The event will take place Thursday, May 16, 2024 from 10 am to noon at Linwood Country Club, 500 Shore Road, Linwood, NJ, and will feature presentations by three esteemed health experts. Guests will enjoy a buffet breakfast. To RSVP, email your full name and any guests to wellness@shoremedicalcenter.org by May 8. For more information, call 609-365-5257.

    First, Alexandra Buford, DO, primary care physician with Shore Physicians Group, will discuss menopause management and how related hormonal changes can impact hair and skin. She will share how your doctor can help you manage menopause and its symptoms to enhance your health and quality of life.

    Next, Clinical Exercise Specialist Debbie Best from Greate Bay Racquet & Fitness will provide exercise recommendations and demonstrations. Best possesses a deep understanding of optimizing movement patterns for enhanced performance and injury prevention. She focuses on helping seniors with balance, strength, and weight training, and tailors exercises for people with breast cancer, osteoporosis and osteopenia.

    Finally, Agnes Lau, MD, general surgeon with Shore Physicians Group Surgeons, a Penn Medicine Surgery Affiliate, will discuss when to seek medical treatment for lumps, bumps, and soft tissue conditions that can be treated by general surgery, and how the robotic surgery program at Shore helps provide a better experience for patients.

    Guests are encouraged to arrive promptly to allow for time before the presentations to visit health education tables for information and screenings, including glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure screenings; nutrition discussion with a Shore dietitian; Advanced Shore Imaging; Greate Bay’s Silver Sneakers Program; and Shore’s Auxiliary and Volunteering programs.

    This event will provide an excellent opportunity for participants to engage with the speakers and ask questions during Q&A sessions after each presentation. Guests will also have the chance to network and interact with fellow attendees, fostering a supportive and educational environment.

  7. Are you an SPG Patient? Now There’s an App for That!

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    Shore Physicians Group’s app, (athenaPatients), gives SPG patients easy access to their patient portal on their mobile device. The app offers quick and convenient log-in, the ability to view test results and health history, send secure messages to your provider, request prescription refills and the ability to pay/view your bills on line.

    Starting May 6, you will also be able to schedule and view primary care appointments though this app.

    The free athenaPatient app is available in the Apple App Store or Google Play Store

    Stay Connected with the Shore Physicians Group App!

  8. Shore Now Offers TCAR Procedure to Treat Carotid Artery Disease & Prevent Stroke

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    Shore Medical Center now offers Transcarotid Artery Revascularization (TCAR), an FDA-cleared procedure to treat carotid artery disease and prevent stroke, with over 70,000 cases performed worldwide. Clinical trials demonstrate TCAR’s superiority, with a remarkably low periprocedural stroke rate of 1.4% in standard surgical risk, compared to 2.3% for carotid endarterectomy (CEA) and 4.1% for trans-femoral carotid artery stenting (TFCAS).

    Moreover, TCAR reduces the relative risk of in-hospital and one-year stroke and death by nearly 50% compared to TFCAS. It’s availability at a hospital is associated with a 10% reduction in major adverse cardiovascular events at 30 days post-revascularization, whether TCAR or CEA.

    Studies consistently show TCAR’s advantages over CEA, including lower risks of myocardial infarction and cranial nerve injury, shorter operating room and hospital stays, reduced clamp time, and the option for local anesthesia.

    If you have patients with high-grade carotid stenosis, consider referring them for evaluation and potential TCAR intervention with Shore Physicians Group Vascular Surgeon Dr. Matthew Lawrence at Shore Medical Center. For more information contact Shore Physicians Group Division of General & Vascular Surgery at 609-365-6239. To learn more about TCAR, visit https://silkroadmed.com/healthcare-professionals/.

  9. 5 ways to improve your health in 2024

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    A New Year brings a chance for a new beginning. It’s a time to start something new to improve our bodies, minds and spirits. Dr. Megan Mahon McQuarrie, M.D., C.A.Q.S.M. of Shore Physicians Group’s Ocean City practice who specializes in Family and Sports Medicine offers important advice for getting, and staying, healthy in 2024.

    Be Realistic

    “My best advice for setting a health and wellness goal in 2024 is to be realistic. Do not set an expectation so high that they cannot be reached,” said McQuarrie. “This will only lead to frustration and a sense of failure when the expectation is not met”

    Dr. McQuarrie recommends that people start by focusing on one thing, and then building on their success. “Rather than planning on restructuring your entire diet, focus on one thing such as replacing soda with a flavored seltzer. This can be very difficult for someone who has been a soda drinker for years, but when the health results start to show from the reduction of sugar intake, it can create a sense of accomplishment and lead to a subsequent dietary change.”

    Prior to setting any exercise goals, Dr. McQuarrie strongly recommends having a discussion with a healthcare provider. “If someone has been sedentary, they need to check with their doctor about a safe plan to start exercising again. I also recommend that before jumping in with both feet and buying a year-long gym membership, you begin with walking, and establishing a routine.”

    Do Not Set the Bar Too Low

    While it is important to be realistic and listen to our bodies, we have to make sure we are challenging ourselves if we want to achieve results. One of the ways in which you can measure effective cardiovascular activity is through heart rate, defined as the number of times your heart beats per minute. Dr. McQuarrie explains, “Take your age and subtract it from the number 220. That is your maximum heart rate. Generally speaking, you should aim for a heart rate of 60% – 80% of your maximum heart rate to be considered a moderate intensity exercise.”

    Dr. McQuarrie also believes that accountability is key when setting your goals and keeping them. “There are many fitness APs and smart watches available to help you measure your progress and keep on track,” she said. “But one of the most effective ways of making sure you stick to your routine is to get a workout buddy. You can push each other to keep on schedule and reach your goals, and it also adds a fun, social element to healthy activities.”

    Listen to your body

    Human are not built like sports cars. They are not meant to go from 0-60 at a moment’s notice. If you are doing something that does not feel right, then it might be time to try something else. “The important thing to remember is that not everyone fits in a box,” said McQuarrie. “Some people like to walk or jog, while others may find it to be boring. If that’s the case, then try something else, like dancing or taking a Zumba class. If you are the type of person who isn’t comfortable working out around other people, then try some home exercise equipment or body weight exercises outdoors. Finding something you enjoy will make the process of establishing a long-lasting exercise routine much easier.”

    Feed Your Mind

    Dr. McQuarrie believes that it is important to stay active physically as well as mentally. She recommends reading a book and setting a goal of learning something new. “Just as it is necessary for the body to be challenged through exercise, it is just as important for us to make sure our minds are stimulated. Listen to your mind when engaging in learning activities, much the same as listening to your body. If you enjoy reading books, then there is an endless world at your fingertips. If you enjoy learning how to fix or build something, then go in that direction. If you like to travel, take a trip and explore new places.”

    See Your Doctor

    If you have not been to the doctor in a while, the new year is the perfect time to get on track, by having your vitals checked and be sure you are up to date on your screenings. There are many health screenings necessary, depending on age and other factors, but below are some common ones. These screening recommendations are for people with average risk. Family history and other risk factors may call for recommendations for earlier screenings.

    • Anxiety Disorders in Adults Screenings: Adults 64 years or younger, who do not have a diagnosed mental disorder, including pregnant and postpartum women
    • Breast Cancer Screening: Beginning at age 40
    • Cervical Cancer Screening: Beginning at age 21.
    • Colorectal Cancer Screening: Adults ages 45+
    • Lung Cancer Screenings: Adults ages 50-80 years who have a 20 pack per year smoking history.
    • Hypertension in Adults:18 years or older without known hypertension
    • Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes: Adults ages 35 to 70 who are overweight or obese.
    • Prostate Cancer: Men ages 55 to 69 should discuss with their healthcare provider.
    • A complete list of screenings is available at www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org.

    Dr. Megan Mahon McQuarrie, M.D., C.A.Q.S.M. practices primary care at Shore Physicians Group’s Ocean City office, located at 1645 Haven Avenue, Suite C. To schedule an appointment, call 609-365-6200.

  10. It’s Soup Season – Let’s Keep it Healthy!

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    By Tiffany Rios, RD, CDE, Shore Physicians Group
    Soup is a great nutritional choice during the winter months. Studies have shown that after eating soup, people experience increased satiety and reduced hunger. This is because soup has a high concentration of fluid, and when we’re adequately hydrated, our body senses fullness.

    Many bean-rich soups are high in fibers which support diversity of the microbiota (gut bacteria), improve satiety, and stabilize blood sugar. Your microbiota includes bacteria that support digestion, absorption of vitamins and minerals, and even production of serotonin.

    From a nutritional standpoint, I recommend lentil soups, bone broth soups, and vegetable-based soups. Not only are these options good for you, but they also fill you up and can help curb your appetite. For example, lentils can have 12 to 14 grams of fiber which improves a feeling of fullness while offering modest calories.

    Things to look out for

    • Canned/Packaged Soups: Watch for a high sodium content in packaged and canned soup varieties. Rather try choose reduced sodium options or make simple soups from scratch.
    • Creamy/high saturated fat soups: Heavier cream-based soups like chowders and bisques are less aligned with weight management but can be enjoyed in moderation.

    There are some wonderful recipes available on line for healthy homemade soups, many of which are gluten free and vegan. One of my personal favorites is “COOKIE + Kate, Celebrating Whole Foods.”

    They have easy-to-prepare recipe for

    Tiffany Rios is a registered dietitian (RD) and certified diabetes educator (CDE) with Shore Physicians Group. She practices at SPG’s Endocrinology Division located at 18 West New York Avenue in Somers Point. For more information call 609-365-5300.