Health Highlight

Your Weekly Wellness Update

Safety Tip

Although holiday tree fires are not common, when they do occur they are more likely to be serious.

Follow these simple rules for holiday Tree Safety:

  • Make sure the tree is at least 3 feet away from any heat source like fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents or lights, as these are the #1 cause of most holiday tree fires.
  • Make sure the tree isn't blocking an exit.
  • Be sure to add water daily to the tree.
  • Turn off holiday tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
  • Get rid of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are a fire hazard and should not be left in a home or garage.

After all the holiday cheer subsides and you have a tree to get rid of, Keep Athens-Clarke County Beautiful (KACCB) collects undecorated holiday tree and wreaths. They will hold the Annual "Bring One for the Chipper" event and recycle your tree for free! The event is January 3rd, 2015 from 9 am - 1pm at various Athens locations. For more information, see the ACC website here.

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Fitness Focus

Hydration, you say?! But it's cold? Who needs more water? You do. In fact, winter can accelerate dehydration because cold weather causes blood vessels constrict to conserve heat and maintain body temperature. When your blood vessels shrink, your blood pressure increases. To lower the pressure, your kidneys make more urine which means more trips to the bathroom and greater risk of dehydration. Moreover, the cold temperatures increase the amount of water lost as water vapor when you breathe.

Note how you're feeling right now. If you're thirsty, you're already dehydrated. Other symptoms of dehydration include sleepiness or fatigue, headache, feeling dizzy or lightheaded and feeling confused. A key indicator of how hydrated you are is the color of your urine. See here for a handy color reference chart to check if you're drinking enough water!

Generally, aim for 48-64 ounces (1492mL - 1892mL) per day. However, different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. A better rule is to aim to drink half of your body weight in fluid ounces. For example, if you weigh 180 lbs you should aim to drink 90 oz (2661mL) of water per day. For more tips on how to stay hydrated and conditions which cause higher risk of dehydration, click here!

Money Matters

White vinegar is INCREDIBLY versatile as a household cleaner. While it might smell a bit funky, it has the ability to clear clogged drains, clean filthy grout, streaky mirrors, sticky counter tops and with a little bit of hydrogen peroxide can be a disinfectant against harmful bacteria such as salmonella. And the best part? Compared to the cost of harmful abrasive cleaners white vinegar is CHEAP.

Do you have rubbing alcohol sitting around? Baking soda? salt? Rubbing alcohol can clean chrome fixtures, ink stains and greasy handheld devices. Baking soda can clean smelly trash cans, carpet or furniture cleaner, and tough stains that seem to be permanently ingrained on the stove top or bathroom surfaces. Salt can remove rust stains, clean sponges and remove built on coffee stains.

For more information, see this awesome list on 10 Cheap Household Staples that Double as Cleaning Supplies.


As we approach the long holiday break, you may have a bit more free time on your hands than normal. Is there something you've always wanted to learn but never could find the time? Turns out, it only takes 20 hours to learn a new skill - that's 45 minutes a day for about a month. For more information, see Josh Kaufman's TED talk "The First 20 Hours." (Pssst! It's worth a watch just to see him play an electric ukulele at the end).

Or is there something you used loved doing in the past and wanted to pick up again? Running? Knitting? Juggling? Frankly, I'm planning on learning how to poach an egg.

Be sure to take some time this break take some time out to do something that makes your soul happy!

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." -C.S. Lewis

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