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10 Simple Healthy Living Life Hacks

Mar 31, 2014

It’s March and 2014 is in full swing. Don’t worry! There’s still tons of time to take control of your health and get it together. Whether you are home, at the office or at the gym, there are plenty of different ways to focus on your health and fitness. Take a look at these simple “life hacks” that can make all the difference to your health over time:

  1. Always use the stairs, instead of riding the elevator.
  2. Take a walk instead of eating when you’re stressed.
  3. Do crunches or push-ups during commercial breaks.
  4. Breathe clean air by using air purifiers in your home.
  5. Order water whenever you dine out.
  6. Skip ‘Happy Hour’ to cut back on alcohol
  7. Don’t eat at your computer or in front of your TV
  8. Read food labels – Just because it looks healthy, doesn’t mean it actually is.
  9. Focus on improving your posture
  10. Cut sugar from your coffee-drinking habits

Even though these are just small changes, they will make a big difference in the long run. Remember, good things come with time. Embrace your new healthy lifestyle and start your year out right!

* The information contained herein or through linkages to other sites should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Source:

Dealing with Your Child’s Allergies

Dealing with Your Child’s Allergies

Mar 13, 2014

Allergies are abnormal reactions in the immune system to certain substances. The body's immune system mistakenly believes these substances to be harmful, and produces immunoglobulin E antibodies to protect the body. They come in two forms.

The first is organ related, which can be as mild as a skin rash, a runny nose, or frequent sneezing and coughing. It can also be as intense as vomiting or asthma attacks.

The second type is the more fatal generalized reaction, where several of the body's organs fail to function. Often caused by food allergies, a generalized reaction is characterized by swelling of the lips, tongue, throat, or other parts of the body, difficulty in breathing and swallowing, and loss of consciousness. That's why even if allergies are common, it's best for parents to be vigilant and seek medical help as soon as they suspect an allergic reaction.

Causes of Allergies in Your Child

Allergic reactions are usually triggered by environmental factors and genetic predisposition. A person doesn't inherit a particular allergy - just the likelihood of developing allergies. For example, if both parents have allergies, their child has a 50% to 70% chance of developing an allergy. Even with no family history of allergies, a child still has up to 15% chance of developing one.

Allergens are substances that cause allergic reactions. They can be inhalants (minute particles in the air), ingestants (food, medicine), or contactants (chemicals that skin comes into contact with).

The Most Common Allergens

  • Dust & dust mites. Dust mites are tiny bugs that live in house dust, feather dusters and rags. They breed in damp environments, such as air-conditioned and carpeted rooms. Their droppings may cause mild allergic reactions. Find out the best ways to reduce dust in your home.
  • Molds. These are microscopic fungi that are found in humid areas. They send out small spores that can invade the respiratory tract, causing allergic rhinitis. Thousands of mold variants exist, but only a few are significant allergens. Learn more about how mold can affect your health.
  • Pollen. Pollen, born through the air, are released from plants to fertilize other plants. But some pollen accidentally land inside human noses and mouths.
  • Milk. Most infants who are allergic to cow's milk also react unfavorably to goat's milk and soymilk. Milk allergy, which is different from lactose intolerance, usually disappears between ages 2 and 4. Some children never outgrow it, though.
  • Crustaceans. Crustaceans such as shrimp or crab and scaly fish such as mackerel, sardines and tuna are the most common seafood allergens.

In treating allergic reactions, doctors can prescribe anti-histamines and oral or topical steroids to relieve certain discomforts like itchiness. Other ways to help with allergies would include putting air sanitizers or air purifiers in your child’s bedroom and throughout the home.

Having a child with allergies is sometimes difficult to deal with and we hope you learned more about the causes of allergies as well as some helpful ideas about how to deal with them.

* The information contained herein or through linkages to other sites should not be construed as medical advice. It is not a substitute for medical or professional care, and you should not use the information in place of the advice of your physician or other healthcare provider. Source: .

The Best Ways to Reduce Dust in Your Home

The Best Ways to Reduce Dust in Your Home

Feb 26, 2014

What’s the big deal if you sweep one little dust bunny under the rug? Turns out, a lot! Most of the time, when there’s one, more will follow. So, the best thing to do is to get a handle on things before it gets out of control. The question is – how do you get rid of something that keeps coming back? The answer is: PREVENTION. Below are handy tips that you can utilize to prevent dust build-up in your house.

Minimize Dust-Gathering Knickknacks

This would be recommended for rooms where you spend a lot of time such as the living areas and bedrooms. The less things there are for dust mites to latch onto, the less dust you will have to deal with.

Mattresses & Pillow Allergen-Reducing Covers

If you’re allergic to dust mites or wake up with a stuffy nose more often than not, consider buying allergen-reducing covers for your mattresses and pillows. These are zippered in and keep dust mites at bay – just wash the covers in hot water twice a year!

Heavy Duty Doormats

Place heavy-duty commercial-style doormats (tight weave, rubber backs) outside of every door used to enter the house. This helps prevent dust and dirt from being tracked into your home on a daily basis.

Air Purifiers

Place air purifiers in your most-used rooms to help suck up dust before it settles down. Here at Guardian Technologies, we have many different product options available, including the AC4100 3-in1 Table Top HEPA Filter Air Purifier which fits into small spaces and is aesthetically pleasing, and the AC4825 3-in-1 Air Cleaning System which is a 3-in-1 air cleaning system perfect for allergy sufferers.

Stay Away from Cheap Furnace / Air Conditioning Filters

Cheap filters for your furnace or air conditioner do little to prevent dust. You should choose pleated filters with a higher MERV rating (mean efficiency reporting value), but don’t exceed your furnace’s abilities. Ask a furnace technician for suggestions if you’re unsure.

Stay Away from Drapes

Wood, metal or plastic blinds are easier to clean than drapes. All you have to do is wipe them down with a microfiber cloth or an electrostatic duster. If you have drapes, dust or vacuum rods or valances first, then clean the length with your vacuum’s brush or upholstery tool on lower suction.

Hopefully if you take the steps above, you will be on your way to being dust-free in no time at all!

Best Ways to Deal with Allergies

Best Ways to Deal with Allergies

Feb 11, 2014

Sneezing, wheezing, coughing, itching, watering, and runny noses – too many of us know these symptoms far too well throughout the year. Allergies spell misery for about 50 million Americans according to the AAFA, or the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. Whether it’s a dramatic change in the weather outside, the growth and flying of new pollens or coming in contact with something that your body is just hypersensitive to, all sufferers have their kryptonite. However, according to an article published by WebMD, there are ways to manage allergies instead of letting them constantly interfere with your life.

Identify What You Are Allergic To

Most people suffer from environmental allergens including animal dander, dust mites, molds and pollen. Sometimes people are even allergic to more than one. Process of elimination helps some people figure out what their allergen is, but it is not always so easy. A simple skin test at the doctor’s office can pinpoint exact allergens and your reaction to them so that you know what you are fighting against.

Control Your Allergen

Once you know what you are allergic to, the next step is to find ways to either control your exposure to the allergen or find a way to eliminate it.

For people that suffer from animal dander allergens, it can be very difficult to keep a pet. The allergens lie in the animal’s saliva, dandruff and in the urine – which can settle into floors and around the house. For most people, not having a dog or cat when there is an allergy is the best solution. However, if parting with a pet is impossible, it is suggested to keep at least one “safe room” in the house where the animal cannot enter. It is also suggested to brush the animal regularly outside to get rid of dead skin cells and to get leather furniture over fabric furniture since it is easier to clean.

For dust mite allergies, cleanliness and blockading the microscopic allergen are key. Dust mites feed on house dust and skin cells and their fecal matter is what produces the allergen. The bedroom is the number one spot to consider when controlling dust mites, as bedding is their favorite habitat. Hypo-allergen covers for pillows, mattresses and other furniture helps create a barrier that prevents the mites from digging down into our mattress. It is also suggested to wash bedding in hot water to kill the mites that are clinging to it. The suggested washing temperature is 130 F, so some water heater adjustment might be needed. The AAFA also suggests avoiding wall-to-wall carpeting, upholstered furniture, wool blankets and down-filled bedding.

Don’t forget about the air you breathe. Purchasing a HEPA air purifier or UV air sanitizer will help clean the air of the toxins you breathe in on a daily basis.

Pollen counts at the turn of a new season are of high interest to many people who suffer outdoor allergies. Pollen count is the amount of plant pollen found in one cubic meter of air in a 24-hour period. Plants and trees release it when they pollinate and it can travel great distances. Trees pollinate in late winter and spring while plants pollinate in late spring and summer. Since the pollen is outdoors and we cannot control the environment, it is suggested to limit outdoor activity during high pollen count periods. It can be helpful to use websites such as The National Allergy Bureau and – they track pollen counts throughout the country. You can also keep windows shut and use air conditioning on “recirculation” to keep pollen out of your indoor air.

Outdoor mold is much like pollen except for that it is a fungus and that the allergen is found in the spores that become airborne. Mold allergies flare up most frequently in the summer and are highly affected by humidity levels. Knowing your mold allergen’s spore releasing conditions can help you decide what outdoor conditions to avoid. Indoor mold is easier to spot and can be eliminated by a simple cleaning solution of 5% bleach and a small amount of detergent.

Find Good Allergy Treatment

Allergies cannot be cured, but there are treatment solutions to help in coping with symptoms. Antihistamines and decongestants are popular for itchy and runny noses. Nasal steroid sprays are a prescription treatment that helps lower inflammation of your mucus membrane. They can be highly effective in controlling symptoms when they are used on a consistent basis. For the person that does not want to have to do a daily treatment, allergy shots are also a good option. The shots, or immunotherapy, are good options for people with severe allergies that are hard to control with basic treatments. People who start immunotherapy typically start out with two a week, but eventually taper off to only needing one once every four weeks.