June 2013 - Advanced Physical Medicine
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What are these bumps on my Foot? Bug Bites and Other Summer Skin Issues

Summer weather can bring on changes to the skin on our feet.  Athlete's foot, which is caused by fungus, can cause scaling and blisters on our feet with itching.  Typically, creams and gels that kill the fungus can improve this condition along with keeping the feet dry during the warmer months.

However, other less common issues can arise during the summer months.  Bug bites can cause single or multiple areas of redness on our skin, sometimes with itching and warmth around them.  These areas can get infected easily, so if the condition worsens, it is essential to see a doctor immediately.  Antibiotics to fight infection may be necessary.  It is important to protect the skin while outside by using bug spray or keeping exposed skin covered with clothes.

Additionally, the skin can become irritated by various plants or weeds during the warm weather when gardening, mowing the lawn, or hiking.  It is important to wear socks that protect the feet and legs when around these plants along with closed toe shoegear.  It is never a good idea to mow the lawn or garden with sandals because the feet are exposed to dangerous things in the plants and soil and also with the lawn mower itself.  If your skin becomes red and itchy after outdoor activities, you may have contact dermatitis, which will require a cream to treat the area.  As with bug bites, the skin can also get infected with this condition (usually from itching), and antibiotics may be needed.

 

Dr. Bender is a foot and ankle specialist with Advanced Physical Medicine.  She has been in practice since 2001 and treats all conditions of the foot and ankle.  Dr. Bender lives in Oak Park and has two young children that keep her busy after work!  For your appointment, call 708-763-0580 (Oak Park) or 773-776-3166 (Chicago/63rd).

5 Healthy BBQ Recipes For a Lean Summer

There is no better time than summer to go outside, get a healthy dose of sunshine, and fire up the grill. Whether it’s a large gathering or just a family affair, barbecuing can be a fantastic (and fantastically tasty) change of pace. But there's a problem!  The traditional barbecue fare tends to be lined with fat and dripping with grease, and eating right is a big part of staying healthy and active for the summer.

Well have no fear, here are some no hassle recipes to help you stay healthy without giving up the mouth-watering goodness that comes with summer barbeques.

 

Grilled Chicken with Basil Dressing

Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cups extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice + ¼ cup
  • 1 tsp grated lemon peel
  • 1 ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup lightly packed basil leaves
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 3 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs + 3 bone-in skin-on chicken breasts

Marinade:

  • Whisk ⅓ cup olive oil, 3 tbsp lemon juice, crushed fennel seeds, ¾ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper in a resealable plastic bag.
  • Add chicken and massage in the marinade.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 min. or up to one day turning occasionally.

Dressing:

  • Blend basil, garlic, lemon peel, ¼ cup lemon juice, ¾ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper in a blender until smooth.
  • Gradually blend in ⅓ cup olive oil and season to taste.
  • Remove chicken from bag and grill until cooked, flipping halfway through. Top with dressing and enjoy.

Bobby Deen’s Special Thick-Cut Garlic Pork Chops with Bourbon Glaze

Ingredients:

Pork Chop w/ Apricot White Wine Reduction Sauce

  • 2 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp bourbon
  • 1 garlic clove halved
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 ¾ -1 lb center cut bone-in pork chop

Glaze:

  • mix together the bourbon, brown sugar and dijon mustard and set aside

Directions:

  • rub pork chops with garlic, salt and pepper
  • brush with glaze
  • Grill until slightly charred and cooked through (approx. 10 min each side). Some pink will remain in the center.
  • Brush with glaze before serving.

Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

bacon wrapped asparagus

Ingredients:

  • 10 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 5 lean bacon strips, halved lengthwise (the more fat on the bacon, the less evenly everything will cook. The dripping grease will affect the flame level.)

Directions:

  • Place asparagus on a sheet of waxed paper; coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle with pepper; turn to coat.
  • Wrap a bacon piece around each spear; secure ends with toothpicks.
  • Grill, uncovered, over medium heat for 4-6 minutes on each side or until bacon is crisp. Discard toothpicks.
Originally published as Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus in Quick Cooking March/April 2005, p24

Flame Licked Chili Flank Steak

Ingredients:

Grill marks

  • 2 tbsp red chili paste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 tbsp cumin seed, crushed
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 lbs flank steak

Directions:

  • Mix red chili paste, oil, peppercorns, cumin seed and sea salt in small bowl.
  • Coat steak evenly on both sides with mixture.
  • Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer for extra flavor.
  • Grill steak over medium-high heat 6 to 8 minutes per side or until done.
  • Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices.
Recipe courtesy of Thai Kitchen.

Light and Lemony Grilled Lobster

Ingredients:
Grilled lobster tails and asparagus AGAIN.

  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp melted butter (or butter substitute)
  • 1 tbsp minced or crushed garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 lobster tails

Sauce:
  • Whisk together all ingredients except butter.
  • Let sit 1 hour (or more).
  • Add butter and microwave 1 minute or until butter is melted. Whisk or stir to combine.

Lobster Tails:

  • Rinse tails in cool water.
  • With a large, sharp knife, “butterfly” the tails (cut the flesh down the middle, lengthwise, keeping the tail intact).
    • If needed, use kitchen shears to cut through the shell down the same line as your butterfly cut.
  • Baste generously, let sit 5-10 minutes.Lay tails, flesh side down, grill 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Flip over. Pour rest of baste on top and close grill lid.
  • Grill 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove and serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Kelly Anderson, Certified Chef & Culinary Consultant. 
Owner of lunchbunchbistro.com, a resource for fun, healthy recipes for families.

AttributionShare Alike

Red fruits

There are other foods you can grill,Share Alike some unexpected, for a healthy side or snack. Here are some ideas.

  • Avocado: Slice in half, remove pit, and grill for 2-3 min. to create a mini bowl for salsa, addition to a summer salad or just a great side.
  • Summer Squash: Slice in half the long way, clear out the seeds, brush on some olive oil mixed with fresh herbs and seasonings, and grill face down until grill marks appear.
  • Zucchini: Prepared and grilled in the same way as the summer squash.
  • Peaches: Slice in half, remove pit, and grill face down for 5-8 min. Top with a dab of yogurt or cinnamon for desert.
  • Apples: Remove core and slice into eighths and grill, flipping once, for 4-5 min.

AttributionHealth Conscious Tips:

  • Not healthy enough? Replace the olive or vegetable oil in your recipes with coconut oil. Coconut oil is considered a good saturated fat, and is a heart healthy replacement for other cooking oils or butters.
  • Keep your grill clean, all of that charred mess that builds up may add a certain flavor to your food, but it also contains carcinogens that are potentially harmful to your health. (Coconut oil is also a great way to clean your grill as well. Seriously, get some.)
  • Marinade your Meat. Meat marinades insure that the meat you are grilling retains its full protein power. The marinade acts as a slight barrier protecting the goods and sealing in that juicy flavor.
  • Consciously chose your ingredients. Instead of the ground beef stacked up in the freezer section, grab a lean brisket and use it for your burgers. The meat is leaner, and you know exactly what's in it unlike pre-packaged hamburger meat.

 

For more healthy recipes and fitness tips, come visit our Chicago Health and Wellness page.

10 Activities That Don’t Feel Like a Workout

There are people that can go to the gym and enjoy exercising just for exercise sake. If you are not one of those people, dragging extra clothes around and altering your schedule just to end up running in place or climbing stairs to nowhere, may not your idea of a good time. Treadmills and ellipticals are not engaging. Even when there are little TVs attached to everything, how long can you expect someone to watch the Kardashians before jumping head first off the equipment?

We aren’t lazy, just bored with the lack of stimulation available when it comes to a traditional workout. So here’s a thought, lets ditch the mind-numbing stairs to nowhere and actually have fun. How? I’m glad you asked.

1.The simplest thing you can do is ditch your car.

Walking or grabbing your bike and getting out, exercises something other than your right foot on the gas pedal. Plus, it’s probably beautiful out and your vehicle is blocking the view. A fifteen minute walk to work in the morning will get your blood pumping and metabolism started for the day.

If you absolutely need your ride, stop looking for the closest parking spot. You don’t need it. When you go out to lunch, take the longer way around the block. Also, ignore the crowded elevator and make taking the stairs a habit.

Get active without exercise

2. Spend quality time.

Dogs are so much fun to get out and be active with. There is no one more appreciative than your k9 friend when he gets the chance to play with his favorite person. Grab a frisbee or a favorite ball and hit the park. You will both wear yourselves out and benefit from the activity.

3. Explore.

Find a hiking trail nearby, or pack a picnic, grab a friend and head to the nearest wooded area. Spending time getting to the top of a hill or the end of a hiking trail is more of a shared adventure than monotonous exercise. You’ll be too busy enjoying the company and nature around you to notice the effort.

4. Spend some time in the water.

Get in the water for exercise

The resistance water provides gives your entire body a low impact workout. Hit the pool or focus on your upper body and core by renting a kayak or going river rafting. Check out the wildlife (getting this close is not recommended. Otters like to try and climb aboard not realizing they could hurt you or vice versa). You’ll have fun, stay cool, and definitely feel the results later on.

5. Dance.

Going out and dancing is often just as good as taking a class at the gym. You’re body is constantly moving and burning off calories while you finally develop a social life by spending time with your friends or partner.

6. Join a team.

Adult sports leagues are everywhere. Indulge your competitive spirit and get involved in a kickball or softball league. Look online for a local organization near you, it’s not just for the kids anymore.

7. Volunteer.

Parks, animal shelters, Habitat for Humanity and many others are always looking for help. Picking up trash at the park, planting a few trees, or building a home will not only work up a sweat and burn calories, it will improve the world around you.

8. Get off the couch and go garden.

If you’re stuck at home, stop snacking because you’re bored. Spending an hour pulling weeds, mowing the lawn, or planting new flowers counts as being active. You are using your body, and burning calories while improving your yard.

9. Clean.

The house probably needs it, and cleaning is a whole body activity. Sweeping, mopping, and organizing your mess wears you out. Why? Because all that lifting, pushing and scrubbing is engaging your body in its own personalized workout.

10. Bring out the Wii.

Whether you are bowling, boxing or playing tennis you are making an effort to win. Involve your kids and friends to make it an event. Just 30 minutes of Wii boxing can burn over 200 calories.

No matter what you do, the point is to get up and do something. The more you’re moving around the healthier you’ll be. Spending time at the gym isn’t necessary, in fact many gyms promote getting outside and provide ideas and excursions for their members. Discover the opportunities available and take advantage of them. Engage your mind and body together for a happier you.

For more helpful tips and suggestions, come visit us at Advanced Physical Medicine.

3 Beach Exercises For Everyone

It’s beach season, and most of us have been pretending to prepare ourselves both physically and mentally for stepping out onto the sand and not flashing back to the extra slice/ entire pumpkin pie we ate last winter.

Even if you haven’t met your goals, the beach is a great place to keep reaching for and maintaining your ideal fitness level this the summer. No matter your desired intensity, there are a variety of beach friendly exercises to suit your personal needs. Here are three exercises that benefit from this beautiful location.

Running

Running in soft sad expends 1.5 times the energy it takes to run on a road or path. Due to the sinking of every step, more effort is required to propel you forward. It also promotes increased stability and overall strengthening in the lower half of your body.

Variations:

  • To utilize sometimes neglected inner and outer thigh muscles, run in an extended zigzag pattern on the beach. Running at angles and slightly changing directions will challenge your body. Plus, it won’t get boring.
  • If running in the soft sand becomes too much for you, alternate between soft sand and hard wet sand to give yourself a break while keeping your heart rate up.
  • If you have problems with weak ankles be sure to wear shoes that meet your support needs. Otherwise, kick off those shoes and get going. Running barefoot will strengthen your ankle stability and engage the muscles in your feet.

best beach exercises

Circuit Training

Circuit training is also another great way to take advantage of what’s around you.

  • Develop a series of exercises that keep you moving.

For example:

10 walking lunges: 10 pushups: 10 walking lunges: 10 crunches/situps: 10 plyo lunges (jumping in place between individual lunges: plank hold for 30 seconds and rest. Repeat in other direction.

  • Use what’s around you. Do you see a bench, a hill, some stairs. These are great tools to integrate into your workout.

 

Pilates

Pilates is a great no hassle way to work out on the beach. Promoting body awareness and control, pilates creates a lean strong body through basic conscious movement and controlled breathing (exhale with effort, inhale on return) while engaging your core. Pilates’ exercises are meant to be modified to fit the fitness level of an individual, so work at your own pace.

Some basic exercises to build on:

  • Beginning on your back with legs bent and feet in line with your sits bones, place your hands behind your head (elbows wide) to support it. Keeping a neutral pelvis, exhale and use your stomach muscles to pull your belly button in and raise your shoulder blades off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and release. Rest a moment and Repeat.

  • Exhale again lifting your shoulder blades, keeping your shoulder blades off the ground, pulse 10 times with small contractions of your stomach muscles and release. Rest and Repeat.
  • After release, keep your back neutral, raise your legs and bend them 90 degrees. With arms out for stability
    only, keeping yourshoulder blades on the ground and legs together, move your legs from side to side
    while engaging your abs 10 times and return to neutral. Rest andRepeat.
  • From the same relaxed position on your back, bring your feet together and raise your hips off the floorcreating a straight
    line between shoulders and knees and hold for 10 seconds.From here you can straighten one leg at a time keeping your
    thighs together 5 times each leg. Rest and Repeat.

Another fantastic thing to do, especially if you have trouble with motivation or need a little guidance, is to join a class. There are tons of groups that meet out on the beach for runs, circuit training, pilates, and much more. Look up what’s going on locally and find a class that’s right for you.

Tips For Beach Workouts

  • Avoid peak hours. Do your workouts in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is not at its hottest. Anywhere between 11am and 2pm can be dangerous when it comes to dehydration and exhaustion.
  • Bring a water bottle. You will be sweating if you’re doing it right, replenishing your body with water will keep you from feeling awful or getting sick. Make sure you’re drinking every 10 to 15 minutes to keep up. Plus you can use it as extra weight in your workout activities. Crunches anyone?
  • Wear sunscreen. Exposure to the sun can be incredibly harmful to your body. We do need the vitamin D it gives us, but we don’t want damaged leathery skin that can turn cancerous later on. The tan is just not worth it.
  • Warm up before anything else. Take a short walk to get your muscles warm and stretch them out to avoid strain or injury.

Now you have no excuse. Beaches are not just for tanning and light reading anymore. Get active, take care of yourself and have fun!

 

For more great exercises and fitness tips visit Advanced Physical Medicine.

3 Most Ridiculous Summer Myths

Summer is in the air! Finally. With summer comes opportunity for health and wellness. Ever since you were a kid you’ve probably heard ‘wives’ tales’ of summer. Today we’re debunking three ridiculous summer myths.

1. Farmer’s markets are expensive.

Farmers Market Costs
The truth is that farmer’s markets are CHEAPER than most grocery stores. It’s really a simple business model. Cut out the middleman, and there are fewer people to take a cut of the profits. Plus, customers travel further and often on specific days of the week to find farmer’s markets, cutting down on the costs it takes to run a brick and mortar grocery store every few miles. That being said, there are ways you can cut down your costs even further when visiting your local farmer’s market. Here are three:

Try something new - The concept of supply and demand remains relevant at farmer’s markets. So, if everyone is looking for the typical salad bland, I mean blend, of romaine lettuce, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers, chances are the prices will be higher. Instead grab something unusual like romanesco or dandelion greens.

Think outside the ‘cash’ box - Farming is older than cash. And some farmers are still open to the idea of bartering. If you build websites, do taxes or are a handyman, your local farmer might need your services. Why not strike up a conversation and offer a trade?

Purchase in quantity - Buying in bulk during peak season means plenty of bounty during off season. For example, nabbing a couple cases of tomatoes doesn’t have to mean Caprese salads for every meal. Whip up some simple marinara, can or freeze it and have it for use all winter long.

2. Pee on your friend’s jellyfish sting.

What is a jellyfish sting, anyway? Let’s examine the biology of a jellyfish. First, there are certain kinds of cells on the surface of their tentacles called ‘cnidocytes’. Within each cell is a tube filled with venom. Attached to each cell is a microscopic hair that, when disturbed, triggers the release of the venom. This venom lands on the skin of prey, or an unfortunate ocean vacationer.

Peeing on the wound can actually make things worse. Most likely, when the sting occurred, there were a few tentacles left on the victim’s skin. The first thing to do is get rid of these as to not make things worse. That doesn’t mean use your fingers to pick them off; you’ll only get stung on your hand too! And that certainly doesn’t mean urinating on the wound, the salt content in your excretion can cause the undisturbed venom to release. And sure, once that process is over, a super-concentrated urine concoction could (maybe) help (a little bit). But unless the urinator is severely dehydrated, it’s not going to do any good. Instead, keep a small bottle of white vinegar in your beach bag. That’ll help curb the pain if things go awry at the beach. If no vinegar is available, splash some seawater on the wound and skip the golden shower.

3. Poison ivy rashes are contagious.

You’d have to be VERY intentional to spread a poison ivy rash to another person. That is, you’d have to immediately, upon coming into contact with the poison ivy oil, furiously rub the oil from your skin on to theirs. Sounds far-fetched, and it is. In fact, the rash doesn’t typically show up until two to three days after exposure. So, the infectious oils are most likely washed clean by that point. That delayed reaction is what spurs this summer myth. The illusion that the rash is spreading lends to the theory that the rash is also contagious. Take a shower. Wash your clothes. You’ll get over it eventually.

There is no ‘cure’ for poison ivy aside from your body’s natural healing process. But there are some home remedies that may help ease the pain. Lemon juice, baking soda, tea and oatmeal can all help relieve the relentless itching you’ll encounter in the several days following a poison ivy encounter.

Stay fit, healthy and happy this summer. Enjoy your fun in the sun.

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