Have a Safe & Happy Labor Day Weekend

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. Today Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers throughout the nation annually celebrating the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

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Throughout the year Close Range Safety Training Academy shares health and safety tips useful to our readers for all occasions.  Labor Day is, of course, no exception – so we’d like to send you some important refreshers on how to keep this holiday and any festive occasion both safe and fun for you and your loved ones!

If you’re celebrating outdoors, remember that it’s going to be a hot and sunny weekend so be sure to wear sunscreen and avoid heat related illness such as heatstroke. In our blog “Keep Summer Fun & Safe“, there are several tips to help you and your loved ones avoid the dangers of UV rays and our blog “Beat the Heat” discusses the dangers of exposure to extreme heat and how to play it safe!

Outdoor parties require planning to ensure a safe and good time is had by all! We shared the best way to plan your outdoor party in our blog “Backyard Bash Safety” at the beginning of this summer and we hope you have found it useful.  Even if you aren’t hosting a party, you can use the great tips in this blog as a guest too! And, it is even more important to keep safety in mind when there is a swimming pool on the property.  If youfamily-bbq2-768x512.jpg have a swimming pool or will be attending a party that has one, you want to be sure to read our blog “Swimming Safety for Children” and keep in mind that these rules can also apply to adults!

And before you fire up that grill, be sure you know the best ways to prepare your meat and grill by reading “Grilling Safety Tips” blog.

Sometimes, though, the best thing to do on a holiday weekend is to take a road trip or mini-vacation with your family! It’s a great time to bond, see and learn new things and enjoy your loved ones.  Statistics from the National Safety Council show that Labor Day Weekend is one of the busiest holidays on the freeways and highways of the US.

HERE ARE 5 IMPORTANT TIPS TO REMEMBER WHEN TAKING A ROAD TRIP:
CR-Cars-Hero-Road-tripping-families-Sienna-06-16.jpg1) Make sure your vehicle is in proper condition prior to hitting the road – check your lights, fluids, belts, hoses, breaks, and the condition of your tires and battery beforehand. If you are not sure what to check, seek professional help.
2) Plan your route ahead of time by checking weather and traffic conditions along your path. Be sure to bring a map because even though technology and GPS systems are very helpful there are occasions when the signal is lost or unavailable.
3) Follow the posted speed limits and remember congestion on the roads may mean you’ll have to travel below posted limits. Drive smart and avoid road rage and distracted driving.  If you encounter wet weather on your journey, use the tips in our blog “Driving in the Driving Rain” to stay safe.
4) Be sure you are well rested before going on a long drive and even if you want to push through, if your body tells you you are tired respect it and take a break!
5) Be prepared for emergencies by packing a first aid kit, water and medications in your vehicle.

And, if you do plan to get away for a few days, be sure to
Secure your home properly with these 5 important tips:
1) Avoid posting you will be/are away on social media – this is basically advertising your home is vacant.
2) Make sure all locks on doors and windows are secured before you exit.
3) Have someone you trust collect your mail and newspapers in your absence so these items do not pile up outside your home indicating you are away.
4) Have timers on your lights so that they turn off/on at the regular times you would use them – giving the impression you are there.
5) Never leave keys hidden outdoors for people to find or for your house-sitter to be seen accessing.

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Remember that Labor Day is not only a long weekend for you to enjoy, but also the time of year Americans celebrate the hard work that you and your fellow citizens do! Stay humble and stay grateful for your privilege to work in this great country we call home by treating those who serve you the way you want to be treated when you are at work!

Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend,
Your friends at Close Range Safety Training Academy

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Ergonomics: Important to your Work Day & Every day!

According to the US Department of Labor, musculoskeletal disorders or MSDs account for about one-third of all injury and illness costs of U.S. businesses. MSDs are health issues that affect our movement or musculoskeletal system (i.e. muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, discs, blood vessels, etc.) In recent years, research has focused on establishing the links between physical activity and health, largely overlooking the important distinction between sitting and physical activity. The opportunities for long term sitting in modern times, such as sitting in a car or sitting at a desk, are unavoidable. Statistics prove the average adult spends 50–70% of their day in seated positions.
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Here are some valuable tips to incorporate ergonomics into your workday:

  • Make sure that the weight of your arms is supported at all times. If your arms are not supported, the muscles of your neck and shoulders will suffer
  • Manage your head position by keeping the weight of your head directly above its base of support (neck). Don’t “crane” your head and neck forward.
  • Slouching puts more pressure on the discs and vertebrae of your back. Use the lumbar support of your chair and use good posture while seated to balance your body weight evenly. Move your chair as close to your work as possible to avoid leaning and reaching.
  • Your computer monitor should be placed directly in front of you, with the top edge of the screen at your eye level. The keyboard should be directly in front of the monitor so you don’t have to frequently turn your head and neck. Because lap top computers do not allow to arrange the keyboard and monitor this way, try to avoid using a lap top for an extended period. Also, be sure to rest your eyes periodically for several seconds by looking away from computer screens to view objects at a distance.
  • Do not crunch a phone between your neck and shoulder! Try to use a headset or speaker phone if need your hands free for other activities while on a call. Repeating the abnormal position of tilting your head toward your should can do permanent damage to your neck as well as creating other uncomfortable issues.
  • Your feet should not be dangling when you are seated. If your feet don’t comfortably reach the floor or there is pressure on the backs of your legs, use a footrest or lower your chair.
  • Stay hydrated and active throughout the day by drinking the daily allowance for your weight in water and taking breaks form long term sitting (and repetitive activities) by doing some ergonomic stretching activities.getty_rf_photo_of_office_workers_doing_stretches_at_night.jpgRemember to stay healthy outside of the office as well by staying active on your time off with continued stretching activities, staying hydrated and enjoying your free time.  Apply more ergonomic tips to your household chores and other activities to keep your body fit!

 

☠⚠️ Toxic Cleaning Supplies: What to Avoid to Stay Safe ⚠️☠

We assume they are safe. But in fact, many popular household cleaners are dangerously toxic. Let’s learn about the scariest substances hiding under your kitchen sink…

Manufacturers argue that in small amounts these toxic ingredients aren’t likely to be a problem, but when we’re exposed to them routinely, and in combinations that haven’t been studied, it’s impossible to accurately gauge the risks. While a few products cause immediate reactions from acute exposure (headaches from fumes, skin burns from accidental contact), different problems arise with repeated contact. Chronic exposure adds to the body’s “toxic burden” — the number of chemicals stored in its tissues at a given time.

The average household contains about 62 toxic chemicals, say environmental experts. We’re exposed to them routinely — from the phthalates in synthetic fragrances to the noxious fumes in oven cleaners. Ingredients in common household products have been linked to asthma, cancer, reproductive disorders, hormone disruption and neurotoxicity

No one can avoid exposure to toxic chemicals altogether, but it is possible to reduce it significantly. 

Know Your Hazards:

Chlorine bleach is commonly used to treat drinking water, sanitize swimming pools and to whiten laundry, and is a strong eye, skin, and respiratory irritant. Mixing chlorine bleach with other cleaners like ammonia can release dangerous chlorine gas. Exposure to chlorine gas can cause coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, or other symptoms.

Ammonia is often included in glass cleaners and other hard-surface cleaners, and can be irritating to the skin, eyes, throat, and lungs. Ammonia can burn your skin, and can damage your eyes (including blindness) upon contact.

Triclosan and Triclocarban are commonly added to household cleaning products such as hand soap and dish soap as well as a broad range of other products from toothpaste to socks. These chemicals are persistent in the environment, and are linked to hormone imbalance, and potential increased risk of breast cancer.

Ammonium quaternary compounds (“quats”) are found in household cleaning products like disinfectant sprays and toilet cleaners, and some have been identified as a known inducer of occupational asthma. Certain quats have also been linked to decreased fertility and birth defects in mice.

Nano-silver can be incorporated into textiles, plastics, soaps, packaging, and other materials, giving each the natural antibacterial property of silver metal. Nano-silver particles can penetrate deep into your body and have been shown to be toxic to the liver and brain.

OK, maybe you don’t have straight ammonia or bleach sitting under your kitchen cabinet, but what about all the other cleaners that you have at home? Many of them contain the ingredients listed above…ALWAYS BE SURE TO CHECK THE LABELS.

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For more info on toxic household cleaners please visit: the Organic Consumers Association or the EWG.

 

 

Valentine Tips for a Healthy Heart 💗

Here are 7 ways to honor your heart and return the love to your heart that it gives you every day…

🍎 EAT HEALTHY 🍎

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Eat Healthy! Vegetables and fruits are good sources of vitamins and minerals, also low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Both contain substances found in plants that may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating more fresh fruits and vegetables may help you eat less high-fat foods, such as meat, cheese and snack foods. Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. You can increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet by making simple substitutions for refined grain products.

⚖️ CONTROL YOUR CHOLESTEROL ⚖️

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The best way to reduce saturated and trans fats in your diet is to limit the amount of solid fats — butter, margarine and shortening — you add to food when cooking and serving. When you do use fats, choose monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil or canola oil. The American Heart Association offers these guidelines for how much fat and cholesterol to include in a heart-healthy diet.

⚖️  MANAGE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE ⚖️

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High Blood Pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. When your blood pressure stays within healthy ranges, you reduce the strain on your heart, arteries, and kidneys. To manage your blood pressure you should eat a heart healthy diet, reduce sodium intake, get regular exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and avoid tobacco smoke. For more information on maintaining your blood pressure, Cholesterol levels and general heart health click here.

🔻 REDUCE BLOOD SUGAR 🔻

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Most of the food we eat is turned into glucose (or blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy. Your body makes a hormone called insulin that acts like a carrier to take your food energy into your cells. If your fasting blood sugar level is below 100, you are in the healthy range. If not, your results could indicate diabetes or pre-diabetes. Begin your healthy diet by reducing consumption of simple sugars that are found in soda, candy and sugary desserts. Also take your medications regularly if prescribed and get your exercise!

💪 GET PHYSICAL 🚵

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The first step is to talk to your doctor and get recommendations of what would work best for you on a personal level based on your medical history. Moderate exercise can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses as well as improve your endurance, strength and flexibility. Here are four simple ways you can get physical and be on your way to a healthier heart:
🚶 Brisk Walking is a natural way to improve your fitness.                                                   🏃 Running: If you are a beginner to running, start out with a brisk walk and add 1 to 2 minutes of running every 5 minutes of walking. As you get more fit, you can increase the minutes you run until you don’t need to walk in between.
🏊 Swimming laps or even participating in water fitness classes will not only raise your heart rate and improve your heart health, the water provides multi-directional resistance that will improve your muscular strength and tone. 
🚲 Cycling is a low-impact exercise that you can do solo in the gym, in a spin class, or outside on the road or trails.

🔻 REDUCE STRESS 🔻  

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Reducing Stress: When you are faced with stress, the ways you cope with it play a huge roll in either compounding it or truly eliminating it. Don’t look to escapes like drugs or alcohol, junk food, over sleeping, zoning out completely or taking it out on those around you.  Some of the best ways to deal with stress are to, try meditation, avoid people and situations that create stress in your life whenever possible AND get more rest! Check out these great tips on reducing stress from Web MD.

🚭 QUIT SMOKING 🚭

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Cigarette smokers have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. If you smoke, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health. Smoking damages your entire circulatory system, and increases your risk for coronary heart disease, hardened arteries, aneurysm and blood clots. Blood clots and hardened arteries increase your risks for heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease. Smoking can also reduce your good cholesterol (HDL) and your lung capacity, making it harder to get the physical activity you need for better health. Whatever it takes for you to stop smoking, it is worth it! Visit the American Heart Association’s Quit Smoking website for tools and resources.

Close Range Safety Training Academy wants YOU to be our Valentine for many years to come! Subscribe to our blog for safety tips, wellness tips and more to keep you informed, healthy and happy.

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✍️☑️ Your New Years Resolution Solution! Tips to Beat the Stats in 2017…✍️☑️

A little more than half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, but roughly 8% actually succeed in meeting their goals.

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Come the first of January, hoards of enthusiastic resolutioners account for the spiking sales of gym memberships, smoking cessation programs, diet programs and many other self-help programs. By the second week of February, some 80 percent of those resolutioners are facing remorse and disappointment in themselves for falling out of line. Why is it that such good intentions seem so elusive?

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Changing your behavior, whether it’s eating less, exercising more, quitting smoking, etc., is very difficult. Research has repeatedly proven the ways in which exhaustion depletes our willpower and generates an unavoidable state of stress. A well-rested person will have a much easier time resisting that cookie than a sleepy one. And studies have also shown that people who don’t get enough sleep aren’t just more tired, but are also more distracted.

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With this in mind, here are 5 other useful tips to help you create, maintain, and succeed with your New Year’s Resolutions:

  1. It’s about you! Make it something you actually want, not something you should want or what everyone tells you it should be.
  2. Get proper rest! Without a good night’s sleep, the next day is challenging enough on it’s own without the added challenge of self control when you’re feeling week. 
  3. Cultivate optimism. Positivity may be blocked by habitual pessimism, but if you are determined to stop complaining (to yourself and others) you can prevail. Pessimism is an instinctive habit most of us have and should be considered when making your resolution as a by-product of your resolution. 
  4. Keep spirits high. Sometimes it feels impossible to cultivate optimism.  At those times, try a different approach.  Do something that makes you happy like watching your favorite movie, listening to your favorite song or doing something creative. 
  5. Account and reward. Don’t focus on the goals as much as the achievements.  For instance, by quitting smoking you can save an average of $35 per week or cutting back on meals may save you an average of $80 per week.  This adds up. 

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Perfection is unattainable. Remember that minor missteps when reaching your goals are completely normal and OK. Don’t give up! Everyone has ups and downs. Resolve to recover from your mistakes, get back on track and make 2017 your year!

Lack of Energy? Trouble Keeping Your Eyes Open? Supplements, Wellness Tips and More…

You stumble through the day and night, your brain slow, your body tired, your body aching; you’re tired, you’re groggy, and everything feels awful. Sound Familiar? 

Fatigue isn’t just tiredness, lack of energy and motivation can sometimes be a symptom of serious issues like depression, anemia, or thyroid problems. But in many cases fatigue is simply the result of bad habits. If you’ve ruled out any medical issue and developed better habit,s but are continuing to struggle with fatigue, it may be time to try supplements. 

Note: This article is not intended to serve as medical advice. If you have questions about taking supplements, consult a medical professional. 

Feeling tired is a normal and natural signal that tells you it’s time for sleep, and getting a full night’s rest may be all that is needed for relieving any fatigue that may be plaguing you. A chronic state of fatigue, however, represents a much bigger issue. Considering that energy is a cellular function dependent on the vitamins and minerals you consume each day, consistent low energy levels typically indicates a cellular imbalance. When cells are receiving the energy they need, you in turn feel energized. When cells struggle to produce energy, they suffer damage or die, leaving you drained.

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10 Supplements That May Increase Energy

Your morning latte or black coffee does have certain health benefits, but it does nothing for improving energy. Yes, caffeine stimulates, but it also stresses the adrenal glands and endocrine system. Energy drinks rely heavily on sugar and other short-term stimulants, like caffeine. Similarly to the effects of sugar in candy, cereal, and other nutritionally-deficient snacks, chronic caffeine consumption results in energy crashes and dependence. Constant energy relies on three key factors: sleep, exercise, and eating healthy food. For a bigger boost, you may want to try any one of the following supplements.

  1. Iodine

Hormones regulate metabolism and initiate the release of the many biochemicals associated with energy creation. The thyroid uses iodine to form triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), the two hormones which regulate all other hormones. The best dietary sources of iodine include seafood, sea vegetables (dulse seaweed, arame, kombu, and wakame), and dark leafy greens. Iodine supplements can also be taken. The best and most bioavailable supplements are colloidal or nascent iodine.

  1. Vitamin B12

Every cell in the human body requires B12 for energy metabolism. In fact, the entire cellular energy creation, known as the Citric Acid cycle or Kreb’s cycle, depends on it. Unfortunately, the human body cannot create B12 on its own, requiring it from dietary sources. Clams, mussels, red meat, and dairy are the best natural sources of B12. Supplementing with B12 is safe as no side effects or upper dietary limit exists. 

  1. Melatonin

Individuals with inadequate melatonin levels suffer from fatigue and accelerated brain aging. Research indicates sleeping with lights on disrupts melatonin production. If sleep is inconsistent, a melatonin imbalance may occur which can disrupt energy levels, blood sugar, and even weight.

  1. Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo has long-been known for its powerful antioxidant activity and for improving blood flow. A recent review also suggests that it improves mitochondrial respiration and ATP (cellular energy) production in brain cells. This normalizes metabolic activity at the cellular level, protecting the cells and promoting health and longevity. 

  1. CoQ10 

Coenzyme Q10 plays a vital role in the process of cellular energy creation. Every cell in the body contains CoQ10, although organs like the heart, kidneys, and liver have higher concentrations. Still, a deficiency can result. As an electron transfer molecule in cellular metabolism, it neutralizes free radicals, reducing its availability to assist with energy creation. Fatigue is one of the top symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency, although high blood pressure, stomach ulcers, and blood sugar imbalance may also appear. 

  1. Androtrex® and Female Fuzion™

Hormone imbalances lead to fatigue and exhaustion. In today’s world of environmental toxins and poor dietary options, balancing hormones is becoming more or less a juggling act. Herbs such as Tribulus terrestris, ashwagandha, tongkat ali, and muira puama support endocrine organs such as the ovaries, testes, thyroid, pancreas, and adrenal glands. Each of these herbs can be found as individual supplements; however, the complementary effect each has makes herbal blends such as Androtrex® (for men) and Female Fuzion® an ideal supplement choice.

  1. Acetyl L-carnitine

Another biochemical necessary for energy metabolism, L-carnitine transports fatty acids into the mitochondria for conversion into energy. Acetyl groups also play an integral role in mitochondrial energy creation. While the body naturally creates acetyl L-carnitine, also called ALCAR, the body will use this biochemical to support and protect the brain. Supplementing with ALCAR ensures the body has enough acetyl groups for energy metabolism and neural health.

  1. Magnesium

Low magnesium levels have been linked to low energy and an increased struggle to complete basic physical tasks. The highest dietary sources of magnesium include raw spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sesame seeds, beans, avocados, and quinoa. Supplementation can also help raise magnesium levels.

  1. Ginseng

A recent chronic fatigue study found that taking the ginseng significantly greater improvement in cognitive function and had lower levels of toxins and free radicals in their blood. Overall, the patients experienced increased energy. 

  1. Whole Food Supplements

While taking a multivitamin may help a little, many of the minerals supplied do not have the necessary phytonutrients to facilitate digestion. The most bioavailable mineral supplements will have digestible mineral forms in combination with plant biochemicals. A supplement like IntraMAX® and other whole food suppliments provides an all-in-one formulas with over 65 organic trace minerals, phytochemicals, and superfoods.

Supplements shouldn’t be the first step to fix fatigue. It’s most important to examine your stress management skills, nutrition, and sleeping habits. Seek out the opinion of a medical professional, if necessary, and then make the healthy lifestyle changes. But if you’ve eliminated unhealthy habits, ruled out underlying disorders, and are still struggling with fatigue, then supplementation may be effective in helping you get back the energy you need.

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Ready, Get Set, Go!!! Energy Boosting Tips:

Find 35 foods to help you stay energized here.

Find 5 foods that make you sleepy here.

Find daily habits that increase tiredness here.

Find daily habits to increase your energy here.

❄😔Holiday Blues got You Down? Try These Prevention & Survival Tips for a Happier & Healthier Winter Season😔❄

Holiday blues are a pretty common problem despite the fact that as a society, we see the holidays as a joyous time,” says Rakesh Jain, MD, director of psychiatric drug research at the R/D Clinical Research Center in Lake Jackson, Texas. “Many people feel depressed, which can be due to the increased stress that comes with the need to shop and the decreased time to exercise which gets put on the back burner during the holidays.”

While people with clinical depression should seek professional help, those with a touch of the holiday blues can try these strategies recommended by experts to assure a merry holiday and a happy new year:

  • Avoid setting up unrealistic expectations for yourself such as taking on hosting responsibilities for events or trying to be the peace keeper in family conflicts.
  • Plan ahead by creating prevention routines for yourself and doing your best to follow your schedule. Set up a calendar of to do lists for positive actions for yourself.
  • Remember it’s ok to grieve. If you’ve suffered a loss and this season is a painful reminder of that, don’t be ashamed to grieve that loss. Feelings are a sign that you’re human and reflect where you are in your healing process.
  • Don’t rob yourself of proper rest! Sleep and rest are important to everyone. Studies have proven that sleep deprivation is directly connected to depression. Do not cut back on your sleep in order to get more done during this busy season. Create a sleep schedule and stick to it.
  • Avoid binging on food and alcohol. What feels good at the moment will have you facing regrets later on. Know your limits and stick to them at all times. In the moment binging may seem like a solution, but in actuality it creates more problems.

If your feelings of sadness during the holidays are accompanied by suicidal thoughts, do one of the following immediately: 1. Call 911  2. Go immediately to a hospital emergency room. 3. Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).


Could I be Suffering from Depression?

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Here are some symptoms to help identify depression in yourself or in a loved one:

  • Prolonged sadness or unexplained crying spells
  • Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Struggling with concentrating
  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Overwhelming and uncontrollable negative thoughts
  • Loss of appetite or significant increase in appetite
  • Escalating irritability, aggression, or anger
  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities previously enjoyed
  • Developing an increase in alcohol consumption or reckless (acting out) behavior
  • Thoughts that your life is not worth living or thoughts of death or suicide
  • Fatigue, exhaustion, lack of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Pessimism, indifference
  • Unexplained aches and pains

If you are experiencing these symptoms you should seek professional help immediately. If you observe these symptoms in a loved one, gently encourage them to consider professional help.

For a listing of depression support groups, please visit the DBSA online


For Family and Friends

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Keep in mind that a mood disorder such as Depression is a physical, treatable illness that effects a person’s brain. It is a real illness, as real as diabetes or asthma. It is not a character flaw or personal weakness, and it is not caused by anything you or your loved one did.

A “tough love” approach is widely considered  unhelpful in terms of aiding someone with depression.


What to do in Crisis Situation

If you believe your loved one is at an immediate risk for suicide, do NOT leave the person alone.

In the U.S., dial 911 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK