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JUNE 2013

LEISURE

>> HOW TO CHOOSE AN RV DEALER

FINANCE

<< HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT BANK

HEALTH

CHILD CARE HOW TO CHOOSE A ^^ DAYCARE CENTER

<< HOW TO CHOOSE A HOSPITAL


Choose a Hospital When suffering injury or sickness, It is quickly become a large expense. When important to choose the right hospital. choosing a hospital, your insurance coverage may be the top consideration. With many hospitals, standards of care are very much alike, but for different reasons It is worth considering what other options some hospitals offer better care than others. a hospital offers if location and insurance will When trying to choose the best hospital for you, those reasons need to be investigated. When identifying which hospital is best, where the hospital is located is an important consideration. In a time of an unforeseen emergency the reason for that is clear, as the only answer is the nearby hospital. For many people only one hospital is close by, so visiting one farther away would be a problem. For reasons of family and travel time, most people want to be treated in a hospital near their home. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, a hospital which is farther away but offers more specialized care may be a better choice. Quite often people will choose a hospital where their primary doctor has an affiliation. Many doctors have referred patients to the same hospital for years, as they are known there and can often see and perform surgery on patients quickly. Hospitals are categorized as preferred providers by medical insurance companies. Patients choosing a hospital that is not listed in their medical insurance plan will often pay higher fees than those which are recommended by their insurance company. Many medical procedures that are needed, such as surgery and convalescent care, can PAGE 2 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

Quite oen people will choose a hospital where their primary doctor has an affilia on. Many doctors have referred pa ents to the same hospital for years,

certification in areas such as quality and consistency are well worth considering. Another way of distinguishing excellence is the Magnet Program, which covers outstanding nursing work and other forms of patient care. It is awarded to select hospitals across the nation, so some are not certified. If you are able to enter a hospital that has achieved Magnet status, you can expect excellent patient care. Although it depends on what procedures must be done, selecting a hospital specializing in a particular surgical procedure may be essential.

All kinds of patients needing medical attention arrive at hospitals every day, but many hospitals will specialize in several can oen see and perform areas. Two hospitals within a city may offer similar services, for example, but one might surgery on pa ents quickly. specialize in gastroenterology while another supports an advanced cardiac unit. You not affect your decision. Many hospitals may should know which is which. offer different medical accreditations than others, such as the Joint Commission, or have To ensure quality care, hospitals may achieved high status in treating specialized transfer patients to a more suitable facility. medical procedures. Depending on the seriousness of an injury or illness, a hospital with more specialized care If a hospital is accredited by the Joint will receive the patient. Commission, certain areas of quality will To be sure of the best outcome when caring be followed in areas that cover storage management and nursing care practice. for an injury or illness, choosing the right When hospitals receive accreditation by hospital is important. That’s why you should the Joint Commission, they are subjected to know about the strengths of your local frequent evaluation of their standards and hospitals before the need for emergency care keep these standards continuously updated. arises.

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HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013 — PAGE 3


Choose a Dance Studio Culture cannot only be classified as an era in time, a historical landmark and site of the Mona Lisa. Culture is also obtained through expression in theatre and drama, as well as movement of the body with song and dance. Dance in itself has as many forms as the rainbow has colors, from our beloved classical ballet to our historical Irish Step Dance. When making a decision to enhance one’s dance training and/or theatre education, there are a few things to consider when choosing a performing arts studio. Just as the reputation of any college or university rests primarily on the caliber of professors who instruct there, so too does a top-notch performing arts studio. A quality studio will employ well-rounded and experienced instructors who have been performing and teaching movement for years. Teachers with experience will enjoy the opportunity to pass on their knowledge and love of dance and theatre through the students they teach. The best instructors have been performers themselves, and while perfectly capable of teaching recreational steps and body movement, are equally suited to preparing students for the rigors and pressures of auditions and major productions. Professional instructors know what’s required under the glare of the klieg lights because they’ve been there themselves. Of equal importance as tenure and performance experience, is the openmindedness of the instructors. The performing arts, in all its various forms, is not calculus or grammar; there is more than one way of doing things. The arts of dance, theatre and song are by definition the free physical expression of that art form, and any studio employing a “My way or the highway” mentality, with PAGE 4 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

instructors who are rigid and unyielding in terms of embracing new ideas, is probably not the best available choice. Moving beyond the essential characteristics of instructor quality, is the importance of remembering that “variety is the spice of life.”

Clean, spacious and well-lit dance spaces are essential, along with the appropriate changing and dressing facilities. Finer studios will offer state-of-the-art equipment and a wood sprung floor, in essence, a “floating” floor that minimizes impact and helps to reduce the wear, tear and injuries which are all too common in the dancing world.

Ideally, a quality studio will offer a variety of classes, i.e. tap, ballet, jazz, modern, hip-hop, lyrical dance and theatrical dance. At the risk of being spread too thin, some studios will offer adjunct classes beyond the discipline of dance itself. These are all forms of self-expression and culture that could potentially be offered at the proper venue. Any studio offering such a wide range of study taught by quality instructors is most definitely worth a serious look. Does the studio offer the opportunity to work with outside guest artists and master teachers? An experience instructor is well aware of the advantages a student will gain by studying with other mast teachers. The finer studio will not only encourage their students to study with other qualified instructors, but will provide the venue of study intensive workshops to broaden the education process

of students interested in furthering their artistic career. Beyond the caliber of instruction and variety of classes offered by a performing arts establishment, is the physical space and location of a studio. It is said that a child will flourish in an environment he or she is comfortable in. Clean, spacious and well-lit dance spaces are essential, along with the appropriate changing and dressing facilities. Finer studios will offer state-ofthe-art equipment and a wood sprung floor, in essence, a “floating” floor that minimizes impact and helps to reduce the wear, tear and injuries which are all too common in the dancing world. And lastly, it’s important to take into consideration the ultimate achievement level of former students and the instructors. While most budding artists take classes to foster healthy bodies and friendships with others who enjoy the same forms of expression, there is always a certain percentage who aspire to greater heights. Consideration would be given to the performance opportunities available to those who desire to pursue a career in the arts. The performance experience should exclude any envy or rivalry amongst the corps of performers. On the contrary, during competition performances, the sense of being the best you can be while striving to perform in unison with team members, builds a strong and lasting camaraderie and discipline of teamwork relationships. So too does performance, which incorporates other art forms, including musicians, actors and visual artists such as lighting technicians, build an understanding of confidence, self-esteem and the desire to strive for the best one can be in all aspects of life.


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Choose a Community Bank Selecting a bank seems like an easy assignment. Many times the bank we select is chosen because it’s closer to where we live or work. Convenience of location has always been the number one reason customers select a bank. Convenience is important and should be considered when making a banking decision on where to bank. Some banks today offer seven-day a week banking with expanded hours and are open most holidays. This gives you flexibility to do your banking when it is convenient to you. But, you should expect more from a bank than a good location and hours. Banks today are technologically superior and offer products that are key elements in selecting a financial institution. What do you need from your bank and what do you expect your bank to provide should be questions asked when making decisions to select a bank. Suddenly the “free” checking account with no services or options is not as important as being able to access an account and whether you feel comfortable and welcome when you enter or telephone your bank. Are you greeted with a familiar, smiling face? Do they call you by name, do you genuinely feel that the staff cares about you? Checking products and how they are marketed to customers is another important difference to compare when selecting a bank. Most banks offer checking products that range from “free” checking to club accounts. These two types of accounts are the extreme examples of relatively no service or features from a bank with a “free” account and an account with many features that are paid for on a monthly basis. PAGE 6 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

Overdraft fees and protection vary from bank to bank as well. No customer wants to be overdrawn, but it happens from time to time and a bank may charge from $15 to $30 dollars per item for an overdraft fee. Know what you’re getting into before you open the account. You may also want to know how to visit with a customer service or bookkeeping person to answer a question or solve a problem. Most community banks have local people handling your problems such as a lost or missing check or even help balance your checking account. If the customer service is available only through a 1-800 number, you might think twice before selecting this bank. Lending is another product that customers expect and need from banks. Most people need a loan for a car, business or home and rely on their bank to provide this service. All banks make loans, but their process of approving an application may differ. How they handle a customer may differ, if they keep the loan or sell it to another financial institution. These questions may not seem important when you open an account at a bank but when you need a loan it will matter. Most local banks make decisions locally and have continuity in their lending staff as officers move up through the ranks in the same bank. This allows you to keep the same loan officer as you grow with the bank. In a regional bank the decisions many times are made in the lending centers where applications are sent. They use formulas and credit scores to approve loans. The loan officer for a regional bank may work in the community for a few years and move to another community for a few years and move

to another community as they are promoted within the bank’s system. Comparing interest rates and fees are also important in deciding on a bank as banks may differ. This would include document preparation fees, late fees, extension fees, and other fees that might relate to the type of loan you are requesting. Rates and fees are disclosed and can be compared before designing a loan application. It’s good policy to always ask what the fees and rates on a loan are before applying. Bankers do like customers who are concerned about lower rates and fees as they feel the customer will pay the loan back. The location(s) of your bank is important. But also be sure to consider the technology the bank has installed and the products you might use such as banking with your personal computer, checking services, researching a problem, or just working with a loan officer to get a fair loan at a competitive interest rate with reasonable fees. These factors will help you to know your money is secure, and have access to it when it counts. Last, but not least, is community involvement. In today’s hectic and sometimes seemingly uncaring world, it is refreshing to see and know that a bank and its staff are involved in your community and care. Also it is good to know that your money is being invested in your community. Community reinvestment and support are crucial to most areas. Is the bank involved in your community; are they not only giving financial support, but seen actively working for and in the community?


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Choose a RV When you’re ready to buy a recreational vehicle, there are going to be a lot of questions running through your mind. A little research will go a long way toward making sure you get the best deal for your money, as well as making sure your RV is functional for years to come. A good resource when you’re getting ready for your first RV is other RV owners. If you have friends or family who are RV owners, ask to see their vehicles. Walk around and get a feel for what your money will buy you, which brands stand the test of time and which don’t, as well as what issues RV owners of today seem to have problems with. Also, it’s a good idea to research on the Internet. RV message boards are a dime a dozen as the nomadic lifestyle becomes more popular, and by reading up on brands and styles, you’ll save yourself a lot of wondering at the lot. Much like used cars, RVs are available previously owned from both dealers and private parties. These can range from affordable trailers or campers which fit on the back of a truck, to ultra-luxury “land yachts” with features such as plasma TVs and full-service kitchens. Knowing what you want out of your RV experience is important. Ask yourself questions about what you want out of your RV. What kind of size, style, or brand are you looking for? How much are you willing to spend? Are you intent on the idea of a new RV or are you willing to buy a used one? What level of service fits you best? Answering these questions, as well as any others you can think of, will put you on the salesman’s level when you reach the lot, and you’ll be able to converse confidently without becoming confused. PAGE 8 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

Size is an important issue with RVs as well. Will you be living out of your vehicle for an extended period of time while you tour the country, or will you be using it for one or two vacations a year? How many people will typically be traveling with you? Some RV parks have restrictions on size, so which RV’s are more widely accepted than others?

Ask yourself questions about what you want out of your RV. What kind of size, style, or brand are you looking for? How much are you willing to spend? Are you intent on the idea of a new RV or are you willing to buy a used one? What level of service fits you best?

If you’re buying from a dealer, you’ll want to be sure that they offer a factory warranty, as well as a vehicle report if you’re buying used. These reports are common in the car industry, but pitiful few potential RV buyers ever request one. There’s a bevy of damaged and repaired vehicles on both the used and new RV markets, and requesting a Carfax report, or a report from a similar service, is essential to making your new RV didn’t spend a month underwater before you bought it. Checking with the Better Business Bureau and the state attorney general’s office will help you find dealers who garner a large number of complaints, or even lawsuits. By studying the data from these sources, you won’t be able to find a reputable dealer, but it will help rule out

the sellers you want to avoid. Many dealers will also provide incentives to buy from them, such as free upgrades or excellent terms of finance. While these add-ons can rope you in, always be skeptical of whether or not you’re getting a good deal, or if you’re just being suckered into a bad one. Once again, education on the subject comes in handy here. It’s a good idea to take an RV owner with you to the lot, if possible. Most RV owners will be able to share their experiences and assure that you don’t get snowed under by special deals designed to rid the lot of faulty merchandise or overpriced vehicles. If you need a bit more out of your RV, consider a made-to-order model. Many manufacturers will gladly build a particular model to customer specification if the features you want are not available. Some dealers will even make an effort to retro-fit existing models, both used and new, with features you desire. Make sure your dealer has an on-site service department, or at the very least a contract with a reputable RV repair shop. RV repairs are very specialized and different from regular vehicles, and the last thing you want is to have an awesome warranty on your RV that is backed up by a subpar service shop. With a little bit of research, you can make a wise choice in your RV, and probably get an excellent deal to boot. Browse many lots, many Web sites, and talk to RV owners to see what they say about particular models or manufacturers. Read magazines with reviews on RVs, especially the type you’re looking for. By educating yourself, you’ll ensure that you get the most out your RV for years to come.


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How to Choose a Handgun Choosing a handgun, whether for home defense or concealed carry, is a decision which takes a lot of consideration, a lot of shopping, and if you’re new to the market, probably a lot of talking to merchants and other gun owners.

enough caliber to put a stop to any threat you for a beginner, but there are good automatics for might face. Smaller calibers will work better for novices as well. novice shooters and those who need a smaller weapon outright. It is more important to have a gun with pointand-shoot accuracy instead of sighted accuracy when it comes to self-defense. If you are being Being properly informed is your first step on assaulted, you are probably not going to have Being properly informed is the road to responsible gun ownership. the need to draw a bead on your attacker, nor will you have the time. When you’re shooting your first step on the road to SIZE AND CALIBER for self-defense, you’re usually firing fast and responsible gun ownership. Whatever your level of ability, there is usually instinctively, so it’s good to have a gun that a handgun on the market that will fit your needs, reflects your firing style. both technically and physically. It’s a good idea to always make sure you physically shop for a WARNINGS handgun at some point, regardless of how you OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER As with any weapon, be familiar with the intend to buy it. There are a few other important decisions to use and care of your gun before you attempt make when it comes to choosing your handgun to deploy it in a self-defense maneuver. Spend Pistols comes in many shapes, sizes and calibers, to make sure you’re buying the correct weapon. plenty of time with your weapon at the firing and the choice might seem a bit overwhelming. First off, you should be able to operate the range and become familiar with the limitations The first thing you should consider is size. If you weapon easily and without complication. Take of your weapon. aren’t going to be carrying the pistol on your time to learn about the gun you choose, and person, a larger framed pistol will serve you just make sure you know about loading, firing and Responsible gun ownership starts with gun fine. You’ll be able to hold more ammunition in switching the safety on and off before you safety. Always make sure you are handling your the magazine, and your recoil and sighting will be attempt to use the weapon. weapon in a manner that is safe for you and much more manageable. those around you, and never leave your pistol When it comes to handguns, there are two where children can get their hands on it. Always If you’re trying to find a handgun to carry variations: the automatic and the revolver. The treat the weapon like it’s loaded, and never point concealed, a smaller pistol will serve you better. automatics are the typical clip-fed modern at anyone you don’t intend to shoot. While you won’t have the weight to help absorb handgun and usually come in smaller calibers, recoil, or the longer sight plane, you won’t have also known as “auto calibers.” Automatics are If you have further questions, your local gun to worry about it nearly as much. Most concealed complicated machines and can be trickier to shop will be the place to get answers. Most of the carry guns are designed to be used at close clean and operate than a revolver, but they make time the staff is very passionate about their trade ranges, as well as remain hidden when not in use. up for it by being fast to fire and easy to reload. and will be more than happy to help you select a weapon within your price range and abilities. Caliber is an important consideration as well. Revolvers are much simpler machines and Larger caliber weapons will deal more damage have been around a lot longer than automatics. Remember to ask plenty of questions, and if with every hit, but at the cost of recoil and size of They have a wider range of calibers available, are you don’t quite like the answers, feel free to ask the weapon. While your objective shouldn’t be easier to clean, but firing speed and reload time is other gun shops or gun owners. to kill an attacker, you’ll want to choose a large significantly reduced. A revolver is a good option PAGE 10 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013


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Choose a Daycare Choosing a daycare is a very important job for dangerous chemicals or medicines within the parents. The sad truth is that children in daycare grasp of curious kids. Ensure that there are nap often spend more time with their daycare spaces available. providers than they do with their parents. Therefore, it is extremely important to select a daycare provider that is trustworthy, kind and reliable. It is a good idea to spend a day visiting several potential daycares. Take the child or children that will be spending time in the daycare with you. It is just as important that your children feel comfortable with the daycare as you do. The following are the areas of the daycare that you should evaluate.

EMPLOYEES Watch how the employees interact with their charges. You want to make sure that they are kind and respectful to all of the children in the daycare. Make sure that they don’t play favorites. Make sure they spend equal amounts of time and energy on all of the children. You also want to ensure that enough staff members are present to take care of all of the children well. Lastly, make sure that the staff is practicing good hygiene. Anywhere a large number of children are present, this is very important.

FACILITIES

It is good idea to spend a day visiting ODDS AND ENDS Ask the director about the rules of the daycare. several potential Ask how they are enforced. Make sure that the seem fair and that they are clearly explained daycares. Take the rules to the children. Also, ask any other miscellaneous that you feel are important. No matter child or children that questions how insignificant you may feel the question is, it is important to know everything you need before will be spending your child starts attending the daycare. time in the daycare QUESTION EVERYONE Don’t just limit your questions to the director with you. It is just of the daycare. Ask employees anything that you is important, or even anything that you feel as important that feel is trivial. Their attitude and reception during your will tell you a lot about the kind of your children feel questioning people that your child will be spending most of comfortable with the their days with. daycare as you do. WATCH YOUR CHILD

The employees are the most important area to evaluate. Next in importance is the building or buildings in which your children will be spending their days. Make sure that all areas of the building are well-lit. Also, make sure that the paint scheme and décor are warm and inviting. Bright, primary colors are best for children. Look Children can become easily bored. It is to see if all areas of the building seem safe for important to make sure that they are adequately children. Especially make sure that there are no stimulated during their time in daycare. Ask the

ACTIVITIES

PAGE 12 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

director what kind of activities the children will be engaging in over the course of the day. There should be a good mix of intellectual, creative and physical stimulation. It is a good idea to avoid daycares that have a television. Time spent in arts and crafts, story time and playground activities are much more beneficial to a child’s development than spending time in front of a television.

While it is important that you feel comfortable during the daycare visit, you also want to watch your child closely during the visit. Make sure that they seem comfortable both with the staff and the other children. If your child seems not to like the daycare, then it is a good idea to look at other daycares no matter how much you personally may like it.


HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013 — PAGE 13


Choose a Auto Repair Shop When your car needs repairs or service, which -- Check if the shop offers a wide range of they all eventually do, it pays to shop around services including brake systems and electrical ahead of time before the repairs are needed. components. Also check their hours of operation. See if weekends or evening repairs If you have an auto repair shop set up before would be available. Check to see if the shop can your car needs any repairs or service, you won’t do warranty repairs on your car as well. Some be forced to make a quick decision because of the facilities may provide loaner cars or rental cars need to have something fixed immediately. Keep in mind that a well-maintained car will run longer, have a better ride and help you stay within your budget for your car.

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW -- Many mechanics say that less than 40 percent of their new customers are walk-ins. Most come to a certain mechanic because of recommendations from friends, relatives or coworkers. If you don’t have any recommendations, be sure to ask the auto repair technician that you seek out for references. -- Check with the Better Business Bureau in your area. They can help you determine if the repair shop’s performance and reliability measure up to the standards of expertise and professionalism. These factors are things that you should always look into before selecting a repair facility based just on the lowest price.

If you have an auto repair shop set up before your car needs any repairs or service, you won’t be forced to make a quick decision because of the need to have something fixed immediately. Keep in mind that a well-maintained car will run longer, have a better ride and help you stay within your budget for your car.

-- If you tend to travel quite a bit, you might want to find an auto repair shop that offers a national warranty. A warranty of 12,000 miles or 12 months will be helpful if you’re having repeat issues with the same problem. Also note that if the repair facility that you select is lacking in advanced technology, they may be unable to and so will provide you with a shuttle to and from diagnose problems with newer cars, meaning work while your car is being repaired. you’ve likely gone to the wrong place.

PAGE 14 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

-- To ease your peace of mind, make sure the auto care facility that you choose offers a good customer satisfaction policy. You can do your part by giving the mechanic time to do the job properly. When choosing a shop, take note of the condition of the equipment and lighting. Be aware of the organization and cleanliness as well as the lack of both. -- Check for the use of brand-name parts. These parts are engineered to meet the manufacturer’s specification of the car and will likely come with a warranty. The repair facility may also employ repair technicians who are certified by a specific car manufacturer or the National Institute for Automotive Services or the ASE. If they do, you will notice that they display the ASE symbol. -- Compare the usual services that an auto repair facility performs such as a tune-up so that you can find an average price range. Make sure you are open to using either a big name franchise or an independently owned shop. -- A shop which carries AAA approval is another good sign. This indicates that the shop’s customers have been surveyed and have given the shop an approval rating of 90% or better. In addition, you will know that they can handle the jobs they claim they can do. -- After deciding on a facility, try to establish a good working relationship with the mechanic. Keep in mind that preventive maintenance is the goal. You may consider a trial run with the selected site such as an oil change or an air conditioning check. Some services are offered free of charge and can provide you with a good idea of the service you will receive.


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Quit Smoking Quitting smoking is easy to say and hard to do. According to a survey released by the American Lung Association (ALA), 70 percent of smokers want to stop smoking and have tried several times. They just haven’t found the most effective was for them to quit. It’s one of the hardest things to do in the world,” says Paul Kvale, MD, a staff physician at Henry Ford’s Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine unit, in Detroit. Overcoming nicotine addiction “requires a great deal of effort and willpower on the part of the person trying to quit,” he says. But it’s worth it. Successful smoking cessation starts with a plan, according to the American Cancer Society. And quitting actually starts before you put out your last cigarette.

RevIew THe ADvAnTAgeS

First, list your reasons for giving up tobacco. This is a good time to review the health benefits of a tobacco-free lifestyle. Smoking causes about 87 percent of lung cancer, which leads U.S cancerrelated deaths at a rate of more than 155,000 each year. The good news is more than three million Americans quit smoking every year, according to the national Institutes of Health. And Kvale reminds there are many long-term and short-term benefits of quitting. “You immediately lower your risk of lung disease and heart disease,” he says. There may even be a reversal of arteriosclerotic changes, such as the abnormal thickening of your artery walls. Those with emphysema will not get worse, but unlike the liver, the lungs can’t regenerate. Smokers who quit, however, will breathe easier, Kvale says, because they’ve stopped the constant inflammation of the lining of their bronchial tubes. Quitting smoking not only makes sense for your physical health, but PAGE 16 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

it also will improve your financial health by at least $5 each day, depending on how much you smoke.

RevIew YOUR exCUSeS

Ask yourself what has been preventing you from quitting. According to the ALA’s survey most smokers relapse because they miss having something to hold in their fingers or do with their hands. Many others quit for improved health, but restart to ease increased stress levels and frazzled nerves. Are you afraid to gain weight? Many people say they smoke to stay thin, but weight gain isn’t an automatic effect of quitting. If you think you’ll eat more, turn to healthy snacks; and use exercise to combat calories, and improve your mood and cardiovascular health. Create an action plan that will pre-empt your excuses. Decide on a healthy physical release for stress in advance, such as walking or yoga. Have nutritious snacks, such as carrots and cucumbers, available to keep your hands (and mouth) busy. Plan social events with non-smoking friends during those critical early weeks to make relapsing less likely.

MAKe A DATe

Set a specific stop date. Don’t pick a time of upheaval, such as during a move, a new job or a holiday. Condition your body in advance by drinking more water, stretching daily and getting adequate sleep. estimate the daily weekly and monthly cost of smoking. earmark that cash for something fun. Make a date with your dentist to dean and whiten your teeth. On your stop date, toss out all cigarettes, matches and ashtrays. Be prepared for how your body will be affected. Know the immediate discomforts of quitting,

from temporary fluid retention to dry mouth and sore gums — all symptoms of nicotine leaving the body. Remember it feels the worst in the first week Kvale recommends nicotine replacements, such as gum, skin patches or nasal inhalers, along with behavioral modification therapy for up to six months after the last smoke is stubbed out.

exPeCT TeMPTATIOn

A study of 200 smokers — men and women — by St. georges Hospital Medical School at the University of London found relapses happen most often in the first two weeks. This study identified mid-afternoon to evening as the time when the worst cravings strike. If you’re in the wrong place at this time the temptation to light up could be overwhelming. Avoid smoking sections while dining out or traveling, and keep your hands busy with a pencil, paper clip, small rock or marble. when you find yourself in a high-risk situation, limit your time there. Review your quit list and delay the urge to light up as long as possible. If you do backslide, forgive yourself and quit again, immediately. Don’t forget to seek out a support network. Designate a friend you can call every time you, feel the need to smoke. Kvale encourages patients to speak up if they’re struggling, so they can explore alternatives. He says a strong statement of support from a physician or other health professional has been shown to double the success rate for those who quit smoking. If necessary, a physician can also prescribe wellbutrin. The drug, originally developed as an antidepressant, suppresses the urge to smoke. The most important message Kvale has for those struggling with nicotine addiction: “Don’t quit quitting.”


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Avoid Knee Surgery Chronic knee pain is an excruciating ordeal to live with. In some cases, knee surgery is the only option; however, it should be used as a last resort as there are many alternatives to explore before going under the knife and enduring pain, cost and recovery time.

who refuse to sacrifice style for knee comfort, consider Stuart Weitzman instead of Manolo Blahnik; Weitzman is a former podiatrist and designs his shoes to provide support with the straps designed not to hit sensitive bones or cut off circulation.

strengthens tendons and joints, improving body stability and alleviating pain for many sufferers of chronic knee and joint pain.

In the past, knee surgery was the only recommended solution for chronic knee pain; however, it causes many further complications that, in many cases, are unnecessary.

Knee surgery is painful,

Lose Weight: Excessive weight often puts stress on knees. Often a weight loss of 10 to 15 pounds is sufficient to avoid knee surgery.

REDUCING AND ELIMINATING PAIN

Reduction and elimination of pain is the first step in avoiding knee surgery, usually done through exercise and physical therapy. Apply the “10 percent rule” to exercise and athletic training, giving the knees the time they need to heal and recovery without additional stress. For the first day or two, rest from any rigorous athletic activity and then gradually reintroduce it to your routine. The rule often applied by physical therapists is to resume your physical activity in 10 percent increments the first week after your rest, working out at 10 percent of your usual routine and adding 10 percent back each week until you are back at full strength. Use strength training and flexibility training to strengthen your knees and avoid future injury. Uncomfortable and improper footwear is at the root of a great deal of knee pain, particularly in women. Consider replacing your heels with ballet flats and other fashionable flat alternatives. If you must wear heels, consider boots or shoes with a platform in the front or wide heel that provide support. Proper arch support is a must, so investing in well-designed shoes can be beneficial. For fashion-forward women PAGE 18 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

expensive process with a

Bikram Yoga: Although it is an untraditional method to avoid knee surgery, Bikram Yoga and its imitation, Hot Yoga, increases not only flexibility, but also mobility.

and questionable outcomes;

Wear Braces: A knee brace can be prescribed by a doctor to keep the knee aligned while it heals, allowing you to continue your daily activities and fitness routine.

making simple changes

Injections: Injections are often prescribed by doctors to alleviate knee pain.

long hard recovery period

to your lifestyle can often avert or delay the necessity.

ALTERNATIVES TO SURGERY

Knee surgery is an extreme alternative that requires extensive recovery, cost and some pain. There are many alternatives to knee surgery, including braces, exercise, injections, weight loss and steroids. Even yoga might help. Home Remedies: Taking glucosamine and MSM is a simple start to alleviating knee pain. After six weeks of taking your supplements religiously, you may begin noticing a reduction in pain. Drinking warm gelatin may help lubricate the joints and temporarily alleviate pain. Exercise: Movement keeps the joint lubricated, the blood flowing and muscles strong. Cardio increases blood flow, and lifting free weights

Corticosteroids can reduce inflammation and relieve pain in some patients. There are fewer side effects associated with the injection of corticosteroids than with oral administration, however the side effects from any cortisone treatments make them a last resort alternative before surgery. Hyaluronic acid is a natural lubricant in the body that can be supplemented through injections to alleviate knee pain and help avoid surgery. Many patients get amazing results from these injections which help cushion the joints, slow down the degeneration and relieve the pain. Knee surgery is painful, expensive process with a long hard recovery period and questionable outcomes; making simple changes to your lifestyle can often avert or delay the necessity. If these simple changes do not work for you, talk to a doctor who specializes in knee problems to find the right solution for you.


SUPARTZ KNEE THERAPY If you are suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee and have not responded to medication, physical therapy or exercise, Supartz knee therapy may finally alleviate your pain. First used in 1987, Supartz is the world’s most prescribed form of joint fluid therapy.

Supartz injections Supartz is a solution of sodium hyaluronate, an allnatural substance that lubricates and cushions the knee joint. This substance is similar to the fluid found in a healthy knee joint. Injected directly into the knee, many patients experience long-lasting pain relief after a single course of treatment, which consists of one injection per week over a five-week period.

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Choose a Hotel Of course, several hotels offer amenities One of the most basic aspects of travel, whether for an overnight business trip or a family such as continental breakfast, hot breakfast, vacation, is the requirement of a hotel stay. workout rooms, pools, in-room coffee makers, refrigerators, and even free high speed wireless Of course, a night or longer in a hotel is only Internet access. required if the travel distance is farther than a comfortable day of driving. Fortunately, several different choices and classes of hotels exist that can easily accommodate the needs of just about any traveler or traveling party. In fact, specific hotel brands are built that cater to business travelers, leisure travelers, families, and even those looking for the lowest possible price. Learning how to choose a hotel is a skill that is developed over time. Choosing a hotel to fit a specific group of needs is often a painstaking process that requires a fair bit of research. For many corporate or business travelers, hotel reservations are generally taken care of by company travel agents, which greatly uncomplicated their scenario. However, frequent business travelers should request a particular hotel brand that offers incentive programs or credits for every stay. This technique can produce impressive travel discounts or free merchandise for employees who have to hit the road often.

While the Internet is a

powerful tool that can assist in the research of a geographic area, pamphlets, brochures, and travel agents can also provide valuable insight into a particular hotel.

Selecting a hotel for leisure or vacation purposes is an altogether different task. While the Internet is a powerful tool that can assist in Still, all these amenities or extras are often the research of a geographic area, pamphlets, brochures, and travel agents can also provide attached to a higher price tag. Therefore, valuable insight into a particular hotel. choosing the right hotel consists of balancing the right mix of desired amenities, geographic While a hotel may be geographically close location and price. Finding that balance requires to an attraction, that hotel or resort may have a certain amount of research and a fair bit of other disadvantages that are not necessarily experience. advertised on a Web site or a brochure.

PAGE 20 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

Perhaps the best and easiest process in selecting a hotel is to first qualify each hotel by geographic location. Different travelers have different needs when it comes to location. Perhaps a hotel close to the airport or attached to a convention center is needed, or maybe an ocean front resort is necessary for a memorable family vacation. Location is of the utmost importance when selecting a hotel for any length of stay. Amenities are also subjective to the needs of the traveler. However, any road tripper should be conscious of the fact that hotels with more amenities generally cost more than those that offer just a simple room. Anyone who is price conscious is generally better served by the lower nightly rate offered by bargain hotel chains. That being said, customers who desire hot coffee and breakfast in the morning, as well as a swimming pool and fitness center, are likely better served by mid-priced or higher priced hotel brands. Once a hotel is selected, travelers then need to focus on price. Using different travel related Web sites to comparison shop the same travel dates for the same hotel is a great way to find the best deal. Of course, signing up for the hotel’s mailing list or social media feed is also a great way to stay current on coupon codes or percentage off deals. The greatest reward at stake for potential customers is having a pleasant, productive, and memorable trip. By completing a little legwork a few weeks or several months prior to the trip, the reward can be well worth the time invested.


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Choose a Dentist Choosing a dentist can make a world of be obtained by calling the dental office. Look for difference in a patient’s smile and oral health. dental offices with receptionists that are friendly, It can also be a daunting task, especially as the timely, and helpful. number of practicing dentists continues to increase rapidly throughout the country. There used to be little choice as to which dentist to visit. Teeth cleaning, x-rays and dental operations were performed by whichever dentist served a particular area or insurance company. Now, more than ever, individuals are choosing their own dentist in hopes of finding a friend and ally ready to help create a gorgeous smile while offering a pleasant dental experience. When choosing a dentist, it is important to consider a few key things. Location and office hours are important in terms of convenience. The dental office should be located close to work or home and offer hours compatible with an individual’s lifestyle. Word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family are one of the best ways to find a reputable dentist as well as knowing which dentists to avoid. Most dental offices now have Web sites that offer valuable information about the dentists practicing at the office and usually include each dentist’s basic background information, education and dental specialties. Information to look for when reading through a particular dentist’s Web site include things such as what extra charges or costs are involved should an appointment be missed or cancelled, x-ray requirements and costs, and costs related to any extra services.

Teeth are important to overall health and appearance and should be trusted with only the best of dentists.

PAGE 22 ­— HOW TO GUIDE — JUNE 2013

When visiting a dentist for the first time, the dentist should be professional and friendly. Questions should be asked based upon the individual patient’s needs and concerns. If phobias and pain are concerns, patients should express this during an initial visit with a dentist and determine what can be done to alleviate them. Many dentists are willing to go above and beyond to cater to patients with these specific concerns. A basic oral history should be reviewed before hand, and future treatment and prevention options should be discussed. A good dentist will work to make a patient comfortable and should have a pleasant chair-side manner.

First impressions mean a lot when choosing a dentist. If the dentist, hygienists or office staff create an atmosphere that is anything less than A basic information check should be performed professional or pleasant, a new dentist should be searched for. on any potential dentists before the initial visit. Check that they have earned a degree from a The best dentists offer friendly, happy dental reputable school and are up to date with their experiences. They consider the preferences and licensing and educational requirements. They concerns of their patients and offer exceptional, will preferably be keeping up with the latest cutting-edge dental services. dental technologies and trends.

Always be sure that they support up-to-date It is also important to note how far in advance cleanings and appointments should be dental insurance. The best dentists consistently provide cutting edge dental care while striving to scheduled. create and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for Emergency dental services should be available their patients. for any dental crises. This information can also

Payment should be discussed ahead of time with estimates being given for any and all services. If dental insurance will be used, always check to be sure the dentist that has been chosen accepts the specific insurance. If not, a new dentist may need to be selected. Discuss payment plan options ahead of time, especially for expensive procedures.

Teeth are important to overall health and appearance and should be trusted with only the best of dentists. Finding a good dentist should involve finding a friend and ally in the dental industry who consistently keeps the health and beauty of their patient’s smile a top priority.


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