I’ve mentioned before about how much I love to volunteer in my community. I believe that volunteering is a mandatory part of life and it is something that I hope to do forever in some shape or form.
When I was offered to be part of the New York blogger program for the Ronald McDonald house I didn’t hesitate as it would fuse two separate yet important parts of my life–blogging and volunteering.
A couple of weeks ago, I was able to tour the Ronald McDonald house on the upper east side. Complete disclosure: I didn’t know much about the Ronald McDonald House except they had little donation boxes in front of the cashiers at the restaurant. I learned on that day there is so much I didn’t know and so much that the world needs to know about this amazing place.
What does the Ronald McDonald House do?
The Ronald McDonald House is absolutely beautiful. Everything from the kitchens to the dining area to the playroom is top of the line and state of the art. While the families go through the unimaginable task of caring for their very sick children and loved ones, the Ronald McDonald House takes complete care of them. The rooms are beautifully designed, and the playroom is extremely fancy with the latest toys, books, instruments and video game consoles.
They make the patients a priority and that is what tugged at my heart the most. The more I toured and saw what a great facility it was, I knew that I not only wanted to work with them to get the word out about their amazing service to sick children, but it was also the perfect fit for me. I felt at home there, like it was always home.
The grounds were very beautiful. I think my favorite spot other than the playroom would be the outdoor terrace that had a gigantic grill, inspirational words on the floors and of course Ronald McDonald himself :).
Despite the challenging circumstances the Ronald McDonald House has a great deal of positive energy. It is one big family and they really all take care of each other, whether it’s the staff, guests or simply a visitor like me–there was a warmth about the House that couldn’t be denied.
I am so looking forward to working with the Ronald McDonald House in the future and I am honored to be a small part of something so amazing.
Did you know all of the amazing things the Ronald McDonald House does? What is your favorite charity?
A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending a lunch to promote the awareness of the benefits of exercise on the Parkinson’s disease. The event was hosted by the wonderful Carol Walton and Amy Lemen who are excellent advocates for the disease. Parkinsons is becoming an increasingly prevalent disease, more and more people are being diagnosed daily and it’s important that we start talking about it.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
It’s a progressive disease of the nervous system marked by tremor, muscular rigidity, and slow, imprecise movement, chiefly affecting middle-aged and elderly people. It is associated with degeneration of the basal ganglia of the brain and a deficiency of the neurotransmitter dopamine.
There are four major symptoms of Parkinson’s disease:
- Postural instability
The cause is the combination of genetics and environment. Although there are people of all ages with the disease, the single biggest risk is age. Carol said something during her presentation that struck me:
“Parkinsons is a disease, that if you don’t take care of it, it will take care of you”
This will be the 20th anniversary of the walk, the first walk was held in 1994 and last year 11k walkers and/or donors participated. This is the largest grassroots organization for Parkinson’s in the country!
How Exercise affects Parkinson’s
There are many medications and treatments for Parkinson’s disease but the least expensive and most effective therapy? Exercise! (I personally am not surprised as I use exercise as my own personal daily therapy:))
Doctors are now prescribing exercise as a part of the routine with medication. Here are some of the benefits of exercise for Parkinson’s Disease:
- Helps to relieve depression & anxiety
- Improved cognition
- Mood management
There are even specific exercise centers in Brooklyn and NYC that provide lots of exercise classes including yoga, Tai chi, dance and more!
How much exercise should Parkinson’s patients be doing?
The best exercise is the one you love doing. Patients are generally recommended to do 30-40 minutes a day/5 times a week (which exactly how much all of us should be doing!). A really perfect way to show your support for Parkinson’s Disease AND exercise is to participate in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk held in NYC every spring! You can donate, form a team and/or walk! Keep in mind that 100% of all funds go to Parkinson’s research!
Saturday, April 26, 2014
(Rain or Shine)
72nd Street Bandshell
Central Park, New York, NY
1.4 mile walk followed by fun, interactive activities with sponsor representatives
Do you know anyone with Parkinson’s Disease? Do you use exercise as therapy too?
This cold and flu season has been pretty mild on my family so far, but we all know that the danger zone is usually in the colder winter months. A few months ago, I was able to meet Dr. Tanya Altman to discuss some of the signs we should be concerned about with our children.
When I was a first time mommy, I really didn’t know the ins and outs of a basic cold. When my son had fevers I would go crazy googling whether or not I should be waiting it out, or rushing him to a doctor or an ER.
The makers of Tylenol worked with Dr. Altman to create a simple infographic that you can refer to in times of need just in case your child is sick. Today I am sharing it with you!
Feel free to pin and share for later use, as we will inevitably need to refer to this in the future!!
Are you prepared for the cold and flu season? Did you know all the facts on this infographic?
How to Help Someone Having A Seizure
We interrupt today’s normal Friday Fitness Check-In to discuss a scary situation that occured in my group fitness class yesterday.
Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?
I arrived at my normal thursday afternoon Zumba class and I took a position near the front. Usually I am a front row diva, but today all the spots were taken. We began following the instructor (who is also a mentor to me in the game) and during the fourth song I saw her facial expression change. She is usually super smiley and focused so when I saw her looking in the mirror towards the back of the room with concern I knew something was up.
By the time I looked around there was a woman lying on the floor shaking uncontrollably.
I didn’t know it right away but she was having a seizure.
Immediately two women ran over to her and put her on her side, she was still shaking uncontrollably and her eyes were closed.
I heard a lot of yelling but I couldn’t comprehend any of it. That’s when I ran to the music system and cut it off so we could get directions.
By that time someone had run upstairs to get help and almost all of us were trying to call 911 but because we were in the basement we had shotty service.
Finally, management came down and let us know that the paramedics were on their way. Since we were all standing around her helplessly they told us to go.
The seizure was timed by the nurse and it was around 4 and a half minutes. It took even longer before she could tell us her name and what day it was. She had no clue what happened.
Scariest part? This had never happened to her before. She has no history of seizures.
Seeing this happen made me super aware of how easily this could happen in my class, in any class, or even to someone sitting next to me on the train.
Having those skilled women in my class gave me a great first hand lesson on how to take proper care of a person having a seizure.
I did some research and found this graphic on how to handle a person who is having a seizure. If you don’t know it already burn it into your brain until you do. You never know when you will need this information and its better to be prepared than sorry.
This is also a really great reminder to make sure your in case of emergency contacts are listed in your phone by indicating (ICE) next to designated contacts. It’s really super important to be CPR certified as well.
Have you ever known someone with/witnessed a seizure? Do you know how to handle it?