Registered nurse and freelance medical producer, Linda Ciampa joined me in honor of heart health month. to share her top tips for staying healthy and well this winter! From eating right to how to prevent the cold and flu to proper skincare to even treating and combating stress, Linda has everything we need to feel great and live our best!
Candace Rose: What can parents do to keep their entire family healthy this winter?
Linda Ciampa: "You know, Candace, I think in order to take care of your family, you have to take care of yourself, that's where it starts. It's heart healthy month, and as you know we have a big problem with heart disease in this country, so I want to point out that high cholesterol levels are a risk factor for heart disease. You have to pay attention to your diet- plenty of fruits and vegetables. One of the healthiest fruits you can eat is the blueberry, and you want to eat them fresh, frozen or dried if you can. If you can't I've got a dietary supplement that can make getting the benefits of getting blueberries really easy; I want to tell you about that. I have them right here and they're called HeartBlu Healthy Heart Support. They're from BluScience and they contain pterostilbene, and pterostilbene is that powerful antioxidant in blueberries that helps keeps cholesterol within a normal, healthy range. And so, Candace it's really important to know what your cholesterol level is and if it's elevated, to work with your doctor to pull it down for the sake of your heart."
Candace Rose: What are some activities that promote a healthy lifestyle?
Linda Ciampa: "You know, there's really sort of that triangle of health that we talk about. Diet is important; exercise, physical activity, get moving; and also sleep. You can't neglect sleep; so diet, exercise. It's a nice time of the year, most parts of the country are in it right now. People can start walking their kids to school if you live close by, get everybody up after dinner and go for a walk. But also, something else is that you really do need to keep your environment clean, to keep your family healthy. I'm a nurse, I work in a hospital and there's one thing we do all day long in the hospital to prevent the spread of disease. Do you know what that might be Candace?"
Candace Rose: No.
Linda Ciampa: "Okay, well I'm going to tell you- it's washing our hands. It's a simple thing, we do it all day long, and also at home you need to wash your hands as well. And you need to teach your kids to wash their hands, and keep surfaces clean because bacteria and viruses can live on surfaces for days, sometimes for months. So I recently tried this new Pledge Multi Surface Antibacterial Cleaner, and Candace I want to hit you with a big number- this can kill 99.9% of germs if you use it as directed, including bacteria like E. coli and viruses like influenza. And I know that there's a big problem with the flu right now, especially in California, flu is wide spread. So you want to keep your surfaces clean, and what's amazing about this Pledge is it's designed to clean nearly any hard surface so that means stainless steel to finished wood. You can clean it all without harming it, and what I like about that is it simplifies cleaning, so I think I'm going to be cleaning a lot more knowing that it's a lot simpler to do."
Candace Rose: Absolutely. And what if we start to feel ill, what is the best way to treat it?
Linda Ciampa: "I think you really have to listen to your body. Our body tells us what we need a lot of the times, and a lot of times it's just sleep. If you're feeling rundown, you just need to sleep to build up your immune system, and really you do need seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night. Another thing you need to watch out for Candace, I want to talk about this time of year- a lot of people suffer from dry skin and eczema. In fact 35 million Americans suffer from eczema, which is a chronic skin disease that usually starts during infancy and can go right up through adulthood. And it can really cause a lot of physical and emotional distress, so I have a great new skincare line I wanted to tell you about. I have it right here with me today, this is Neosporin Eczema Essentials Daily Moisturizing Cream. It relieves dry, itchy skin and it helps to heal the underlying irritation. And best of all, Candace, it's clinically shown to restore visibly healthier skin in just three days. If you or anyone you know has eczema, it's hard to treat, it's hard to control. This is a great new line from Neosporin to look for, and has the stamp of approval from the National Eczema Association, so you know it's going to work; so I really recommend that."
Candace Rose: What are some healthy ways we can prevent and relieve stress?
Linda Ciampa: "You know, that's a good question I think the stress level in most households- in most people I know, and my own included- it's out the roof right now. Everybody's stressed out because it's been a tough few years. I think talking about problems really helps in a family, also getting everybody moving- physical activity really does bring down the stress level. So if you can walk your kids to school, do that. If you can take the steps, do that. If you can park a little bit further away from the mall, do that. Those little spurts of activity add up. Also, get into the habit of taking everybody for a walk after dinner every night if you can. I think it's a good time for families to get together, again to get moving and to bring the stress level down because that really can wear away at your health too when you're stressed out. It really does do a number. And it's something that this generation- our generation is dealing with more and more than when our parents were kids, when I was a baby. It's just more stressful."
Candace Rose: Are there any certain foods that you recommend to treat stress?
Linda Ciampa: "Honestly it's a healthy diet. All those B vitamins. The healthy diet I should say based on fruits and vegetables because those are loaded with antioxidants, and if you can base your diet on that. There's a really good trick that the folks at Harvard actually came up with- if you picture your plate, half your plate (every time you eat) should be filled- half the plate fruits and vegetables, and then you want lean meat, and a carb. So if you think about that, that's a really good picture to have in your mind every time you sit down. If you eat half of your plate filled with fruits and vegetables that's really going to get you going in the direction that you need to be to make your diet based on fruits and vegetables. If you do that you're getting the B vitamins that bring down stress and you're filling yourself up, you're burning the foods more slowly and it breaks down slowly when you have complex carbs inside of you. So as far as stress and diet, yeah just eat healthy, base it on fruits and vegetables. Like I said the blueberries are extremely healthy because they're loaded with antioxidants. And strawberries, and the cranberries- all those things really good to have in your house."
Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you'd like to share?
Linda Ciampa: "You know, the one thing a lot of times people ask me where they can find more information about these wonderful items that we talk about, so if you don't mind I'll run through that really quick. Starting with the blueberries- if you go to their website BluScience.com on Facebook, and BluScience is without the 'e' so BLUScience.com on Facebook, you can read more about their great item that they have. The Pledge folks, I love this cleaner. You can go to their website, it's really easy- Pledge.com, you can read about this. And also for the Neosporin, which I also really like- if you go to Neosporin Essentials, NeosporinEssentials.com, lots of good information about eczema. My tips on how to treat and handle eczema, and you can read more about their wonderful new skincare line that they just launched this month, and is out there and available."
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information on you, because you have the best tips!
Linda Ciampa: "Me? Well, you'd have to come to my hospital. I don't have a website, I work as a nurse in a hospital, so I don't have my own website. But I'll come back and talk to you anytime!"
Candace Ros: Oh good, I'd love that. Thank you so much!