Category Archives: Health Tips

Knowledge is power!

Katie RouthRinggold County Hospital and the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic are here for you when you’re sick, injured, and in need of quality health care. We’re also here for you when you’re not sick! We are your source for healthy living information and your partner in good health.

Katie Routh is happy to be back to her hometown of Mt. Ayr. A registered dietician, she works with Ringgold County Hospital patients both in and out of the hospital. While they’re in the hospital, she assesses their nutritional states and ensures that the food they’re eating is appropriate and assisting in their recovery. She takes a holistic view of her patients and recognizes that nutrition is an important part of the healing process. Her services are also available to outpatients and she works regularly with diabetics and those wanting to lose weight. “I enjoy helping people overcome their struggles,” she said. “It’s great being able to teach and show people that it’s possible.”

Health-CoachLeslie Dredge-Murphy is also helping Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic patients meet their healthy living goals. Her services are free to clinic patients and together they work to define individual success. Whether it’s weight loss, disease management, increased exercise capabilities, even quitting smoking, she is a coach and partner to help each patient meet their goals. “It’s all driven by our patients,” she said. “We can work on anything that’s holding them back from living a healthy life. We’re really promoting preventive care. It’s important to encourage healthier lifestyles.”

Walking is the easiest form of exercise to stay fit. It’s convenient because it can be done almost anywhere and anytime, whether you’re walking to class or down the street. In comparison to other exercise methods, walking puts less strain on the lower back and creates less stress on your joints such as your hips, knees, and ankles. Because it doesn’t require expensive equipment, walking is available to everyone. You can use your walking time as a social event and catch up with friends and family members. Along with physical benefits, walking can improve your mood, relieve stress, and alleviate depression.

Physical benefits of walking:

  • Aids in weight loss; burns body fat
  • Strengthens bones; reduces risks of bone fracture and lessens severity of osteoporosis
  • Strengthens heart and improves efficiency
  • Improves overall fitness
  • Lowers blood pressure; reduces cholesterol levels
  • Improves efficiency of lungs
  • Raises metabolism even while you rest
  • Helps control appetite
  • Increases energy

So don’t wait, get marching!

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Coach’s Corner

Leslie Dredge-Murphy
Advice from Leslie Dredge-Murphy, Health Coach at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic

It’s a new year, why not try on a new attitude? Since it’s February, let’s focus on loving your life and yourself! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Create a “positive” or “grateful” journal and try to capture at least three things each day.
  • Volunteer! When you’re helping others and giving back you feel great. The more you give, the better you feel!
  • Challenge yourself by setting a goal. Achieving goals can boost your confidence and make you feel more in control of your life.
  • Set aside some “Me Time.” Do things you truly enjoy, just because. Whether it’s reading, going to a movie, spending time with a best friend, or taking a walk, recharge yourself with some time spent on you!

Don’t miss FREE Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Screenings
7:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
Monday–Friday
February 15–19
RCH Lobby

Make 2016 a Great Year

2016ClinicStaff

The Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic is your partner in good health.

Did you make some New Year’s resolutions? Maybe you promised your children that you really are going to quit smoking. Perhaps it was a commitment to your wife that you will eat more vegetables and drop 20 pounds. Or it might have been a conversation with yourself to exercise more and lower your blood pressure.

Every January, many of us make resolutions big and small, and then often struggle to keep them. The great news is that you’re not alone! The staff at the Mt. Ayr Medical Clinic is ready to partner with you to help you reach your goals. Practitioners in the MAMC provide care to all ages.

To kick off 2016, we asked some of the clinic staff to provide their favorite tips for a healthy and happy year:
  • DO wash your hands; wash your hands; wash your hands!
  • DO take breaks during the work day. Get up and move around. Go outside and get some fresh air or stay inside and walk the hallways!
  • DO get up and workout in the morning before your brain has time to realize what it is doing!
  • DO replace your French fries with a side salad or vegetable when dining out.
  • DO make the decision to take control of your health care. Start with knowing your numbers and why they are important.
  • DON’T smoke or use tobacco. Many preventable illnesses are linked to smoking. Tobacco is linked to nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States.
  • DO limit alcohol to no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
  • DO eat healthy. Include four to five cups of fruits and vegetables per day. Eat whole-grain, high-fiber foods. There is no “magic pill or diet.” Eat breakfast and don’t skip meals. Aim for 8 glasses of water per day.
  • DO lose weight if you’re overweight. A high-fiber, low-fat diet and regular exercise can help you lose weight and keep it off.
  • DO exercise. It can help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and depression. Try to exercise for 30-60 minutes 4-6 times per week.
  • DON’T use tanning booths. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US. Wear SPF 30 or higher sunscreen, wear protective clothing and hats when outside and limit sun exposure.
  • DO keep your immunizations up to date. Check with your medical provider to review your records.
  • DO make time for yearly health screening appointments. Visit with your physician at least once per year to maintain your optimal health and well being and make sure you are actively preventing disease.
  • DO take charge of your life. Health is a state of mind and body. When you experience improved physical health, you will gain energy and a positive outlook on your life. Set small goals that are easy to add to your daily routine.

Print Health Tips

6 Steps to Help Lower Your Cancer Risk

Cancer is often unpredictable, but there are things everyone can do to help reduce their cancer risk or improve their chances of beating the disease if they do get it. What’s more, some of those same behaviors can also help lower your risk for other serious diseases, and boost your odds of living a longer, healthier life.

  1. Get regular cancer screenings.
    Regular screening tests can catch some cancers early, when they’re small, have not spread, and are easier to treat.
  2. Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
    Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for many cancers, including breast, colon, endometrium, kidney, esophagus, and
    pancreatic cancer.
  3. Exercise regularly.
    Physical activity has been shown to lower the risk of several types of cancer, including breast, endometrium, prostate, and colon cancer. It also reduces the risk of other serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
  4. Eat a healthy diet.
    Studies show that eating a lot of different vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and fish or poultry is linked with a lower risk of developing certain cancers. On the other hand, eating more processed and red meat is linked with a higher risk of developing
    certain cancers.
  5. Avoid tobacco.
    Tobacco use in the US is responsible for nearly 1 out of every 5 deaths – about 480,000 early deaths each year. About 80%
    of lung cancer deaths and 30% of all cancer deaths are caused by tobacco use.
  6. Limit alcohol.
    Research has shown that alcohol can increase your risk for certain kinds of cancer, including breast, mouth, throat, voice box, esophagus, liver, colon and rectal cancer. The more alcohol you drink, the higher your risk.

Habits of Healthy Families

  • Don’t go hungry. To stay at a healthy weight, you have to eat, not starve yourself. If you don’t fuel up regularly, you’ll become insatiably hungry, causing the “hunger” hormone, ghrelin, to spike. Then you may eat more than you need.
  • Automate lunch and breakfast. Don’t risk making bad, spur-of-the-moment grabs. Have staples on hand that are healthy and filling like oatmeal and soup.
  • Exercise 20 minutes a day, at home. An hour can be hard to dedicate to exercise, but almost every day, we can find 20 minutes to jump rope, do crunches, or take a walk.
  • Be the food decider in the house. If you don’t buy chips and cookies, both children and adults will find something healthier to eat when they’re hungry.
  • Eat dinner together every night. This simple ritual improves not just kids’ eating habits, but their grades and willingness to open up to you too.
  • Play together every day. The key is to carve out a reliable pocket of time when you can get active as a family. Have a dance party, a game of soccer, or shoot hoops before dinner.
  • Tell your little ones a bedtime story. Or talk to older kids about their day. It keeps you in touch.
  • Make sure you have a bedtime routine. A good night’s sleep keeps you young. And not getting enough sleep can be a contributing factor to heart attacks and strokes.
  • Bond in bed. Having regular sex can add an extra three years to your life expectancy. So strengthen your relationship and your health!

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