Category: Industry news

What to Do and See in the Phoenix Area

If you had only one day in Phoenix, what would you do or see? Believe it or not, I get asked this question fairly often. Interesting to ponder, but impossible to answer. There are just too many factors. Will there be children along? Do you like to walk or drive? Is it summer or winter? Do you like museums or shopping? Greater Phoenix has so much to offer. There are so many options—how do I recommend just one or two attractions or activities?

We have picked out couple destinations/activities that I think are unique or not to be missed when visiting the Phoenix area. You’d never get these done in even a week, but some attractions will appeal to you more than others. Visiting when it’s hot outside? The selections I’ve marked with a double asterisk (**) are indoor, cool, and comfortable. The others may not be appropriate in the summer heat, or only if you are able to visit very early in the morning. They are all suitable for both adults and children, but some may be more kid-oriented than others.

One more thing. These places of interest are not listed in any particular order. It was tough enough to come up with only 20, so please don’t make me rank them!

Heard Museum**

Every major city and most minor ones have museums. The Heard Museum is unique, however, not only in the exhibits that are displayed but the style and grace with which it displays them.

I never tire of visiting the Heard Museum, with its more than 32,000 pieces of cultural and fine art. There are permanent exhibits, like the famous Barry Goldwater collection of Kachina Dolls, as well as special exhibit year-round. Some of the special annual events include the World Championship Hoop Dance Contest which is held each February, and the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market each March.

Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden has one of the world’s finest collections of desert plants. It is one of only 44 botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. At the Desert Botanical Garden, you will find 50 acres of beautiful outdoor exhibits. Home to 139 rare, threatened and endangered plant species from around the world, there is no finer place to enjoy desert beauty than the Desert Botanical Garden. The Garden is located in Papago Park in Central Phoenix.

Chase Field and University of Phoenix Stadium**

Chase Field was the first baseball facility in the world to combine a retractable roof, air conditioning, and a natural turf field. Chase Field’s retractable roof can be closed in less than 5 minutes! If you are a baseball fan, a visit to this state-of-art facility will be a special treat. If you aren’t that interested in going to an Arizona Diamondbacks game, or if one isn’t scheduled when you’ll be in town, you can still see the stadium.

Just go to lunch or dinner at Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill, open 363 days a year. If the Arizona Diamondbacks are playing that day, you have to call them to buy tickets to eat there. Chase Field is located in downtown Phoenix. There’s a light rail station nearby. What? You say it isn’t baseball season? On the other side of town, the Arizona Cardinals play NFL football at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale. That’s also where the Fiesta Bowl is played, as well as the Super Bowl when it is our turn. It is another amazing and unique facility, and, yes, you can take a tour even when it isn’t football season.

Musical Instrument Museum**

In North Phoenix, we have an amazing destination for music lovers, world culture enthusiasts, and people who just plain enjoy listening and learning.

It’s a colorful and impressively designed major collection of musical instruments from all over the world, complete with audio vignettes for your listening pleasure. MIM is a place for all ages. If you’d rather sit in one place and be entertained, MIM also has a concert hall where they present musical performers from around the world. There’s not a museum like this one anywhere else, and it’s always on my list for visitors to the area. As for locals, you have an advantage, because you can go whenever you please—it will take a couple of visits to see the whole museum at a reasonable pace.

Climb Piestewa Peak or Camelback Mountain

Piestewa Peak, formerly known as Squaw Peak, is part of the Phoenix Mountains Preserve. The elevation of Piestewa Peak is 2,608 feet; the total elevation gain for the Summit Trail is 1,190 feet. That might not sound high, but hikers of all levels can get a great workout climbing this mountain, and get a great view of the city when they get to the top. If you decide to hike the Summit Trail, though, you won’t be alone. According to the City of Phoenix. it is one of the most heavily used trails in the nation with 4,000 to 10,000 hikers per week. Dogs and bicycles are not permitted on the Summit Trail. Camelback Mountain has two major trails. Neither one is especially long, but they are considered moderate to difficult hikes. Echo Canyon is the most popular and is steeper. Cholla Trail is not as steep, but rockier.

Scottsdale Art Walk

There are more than 100 art galleries in Scottsdale. You can enjoy Scottsdale ArtWalks every Thursday evening, year-round (except on Thanksgiving) from 7 to 9 p.m. Each week, Scottsdale Gallery Association members host special exhibits, many with artist receptions, and join together for an informal come-and-go “open house” throughout the district. Casual and eclectic, it’s a great time to visit the galleries and learn about featured artists. Several times per year, the Scottsdale Gallery Association holds Special Event ArtWalks with live music along the streets and special themed events.

Boyce Thompson Arboretum

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum, an Arizona State Park, brings together plants from the Earth’s many and varied deserts and dry lands. Approximately 3,200 different desert plants can be found within the arboretum, and most of them can be seen along the 1.5-mile main trail. During wildflower season, the Boyce Thompson Arboretum is especially beautiful, displaying all the wonderful colors of the desert. Are you a bird lover? More than 250 species of birds have been recorded at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

Arizona Capitol Museum**

I don’t know exactly why this museum doesn’t get more attention—I love this place and it’s free! There’s no better way to learn about the history of Arizona, from territorial days, through the creation of the state, and into the current century. Visit the first Governor’s Office, the original Congressional chamber, and other cool places. This museum is located in the government complex near Downtown Phoenix. It’s actually right next door to our current House and Senate buildings. While you are there, stop across the street and walk around Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza with memorials to various historical figures, individuals, and organizations, as well as a 9-11 Memorial.

Drive Apache Trail**

The Apache Trail will be one of the most memorable drives you’ll ever take. Your adventure will begin in Apache Junction, about 25 miles east of downtown Phoenix. The 46 miles between Apache Junction and Roosevelt Lake provides not only the most scenic part of the trip but also the most challenging driving. Please don’t close your eyes! Along the way, you’ll pass (or you can stop) at the Lost Dutchman State Park, Goldfield Ghost Town, Saguaro Lake, the Canyon Lake Recreation Area, the Theodore Roosevelt Dam site, and the Tonto National Monument. The Apache Trail has been designated a USFS Scenic Byway by the U.S. Forest Service, as well as an Arizona Scenic Historic Byway. It’s a great day trip! Seriously, if you are a nervous driver or passenger, this drive might not be for you.

Tovrea Castle

In the middle of Phoenix, atop a hill, there sits a building that looks something like a wedding cake. For many years people drove by, wondering what that building was all about. After the City of Phoenix purchased it, they developed it so that your questions could be answered. You can take a tour of the grounds and the building, learn about the families that lived here and discover how they influenced the history of Phoenix.

South Mountain Park

At over 16,000 acres, South Mountain Park and Preserve often is considered the largest municipal park in the country. There are more than 50 miles of trails for horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking. Dobbins Lookout, at 2,330 feet, is the highest point in the park accessible by trail. If you aren’t into hiking, biking or riding, you can simply drive to Dobbins Point to get a fantastic view of the Valley of the Sun. It’s just over 5 miles from Central Avenue to Dobbins Lookout.

Butterfly Wonderland**

Many cities have places where you can see and walk among butterflies. Our own Desert Botanical Garden even has a butterfly garden, once in the spring and once in the fall. What makes this place unique is that it is the largest butterfly atrium in the United States. Grab the kids, bring the camera and check out the thousands of pretty little flying insects. Butterfly Wonderland is located in North Scottsdale.

 

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5 Ways to Keep Your Spine Healthy and Happy

Whether it’s a herniated disc, spinal stenosis, or strained muscles, it can take some time to diagnose and treat the causes of back pain. And all the while, you’re trying to navigate health insurance, work and family life, and everyday stressors—all while dealing with your back pain.

This blog is written to highlight a few fairly simple things you can do to help achieve some level of comfort and pain relief.

5 simple tips to help keep your spine as healthy as possible:

1. Let your spine really rest while sleeping.

While you’re lying down, all the structures in your spine that have worked hard all day finally have an opportunity to relax and be rejuvenated. To make the most of this time, you need a mattress and pillows that allow your spine to rest in a supported and comfortable way.

Your choice of mattress and pillow is largely based on personal preference, your preferred sleep positions, and your specific back or neck problem.

As long as you’re choosing a mattress to ensure the best support and sleeping position for your condition, there are many available types of mattresses can be helpful.

2. Exercise your core to strengthen abs and back muscles.

Your core muscles—your lower back and abdominal muscles—need to be strong and supple in order to support your spine and take pressure off your lower back.

Unfortunately, for most of us, our core muscles are rarely used during everyday activities; they need to be toned through specific, targeted exercises. These exercises are simple and can be performed in 20 to 30 minutes as part of a daily routine.

3. Your shoes need to support your spine.

Whether you’re walking for exercise or just to get where you’re going, the shoes you wear play an important role in supporting your lower back. Good shoes provide a supportive base that helps the spine and body remain in alignment. For example, make sure the area of the shoe that fits the back of your heels is snug, but not overly tight, as a good fit in the heel prevents over-pronation or supination—or too much rolling of the foot to the outside or inside.

4. Enjoy the benefits of massage.

Did you know that massage has a number of therapeutic benefits in addition to general stress relief? A good massage will help increase endorphins—the body’s natural painkiller—in your bloodstream, which in turn may allow you cut back on pain medications. Massage can also encourage blood flow, which in turn brings healing nutrients to the affected area and can speed healing.

While it’s not the same as going to a massage therapist, having a massage chair in your home can be a practical and easy way to get some of the benefits of a Shiatsu or Swedish massage.

5. Practice good ergonomics while sitting—and limit total sitting time.

The discs in your lower spine are loaded 3 times more while sitting than standing, so long periods of sitting can create or aggravate a painful back condition. Moreover, when sitting at a desk and/or looking at a computer screen, our natural tendency is to slouch and lean forward, stressing our lumbar discs even more.

Choosing the right office chair and practicing good posture while seated play an important role in promoting good posture and supporting the natural curves of your back.

It’s also important to do whatever you can to avoid sitting for long periods. Get up to stretch and walk around every 20 to 30 minutes, try working at a standup desk for at least part of the day, or get up and pace around when talking on the phone. The spine is meant to move to stay healthy, and movement fuels the spine with healthy nutrients.

The topics covered here are simple ways to help support your spine and overall back health. Even when you are in serious pain and are undergoing extensive medical treatments, we encourage you to try to remember the simple things you can do for your back—even small changes can help with the healing process over time.

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5 Foods You Should Be Eating For Your Best Body – Inside and Out

Choosing nutritious foods helps your health in two ways. First, a diet packed with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats helps you feel fuller on fewer calories, which is key in keeping your weight in check. Plus, antioxidants and other beneficial compounds in foods offer unique health boons. Keep your body looking its best—inside and out—with these five foods.

                                                                     1. Green Beans

Fillingreen-beansg up on green beans, and other high-fiber foods can help you prevent weight gain or even promote weight loss—without dieting—suggests new research in The Journal of Nutrition. Researchers found that women who increased their fiber intake generally lost weight while women who decreased the fiber in their diets gained. The scientists boiled the findings into a single weight-loss formula: boosting fiber by 8 grams for every 1,000 calories consumed resulted in losing about 4 1/2 pounds over the course of the study. Try it for yourself. If you’re consuming 2,000 calories per day, aim to increase your fiber by 16 grams. Raspberries, chickpeas, and strawberries can also help you get your fill.

 

 

 

salmon

2. Salmon

The omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish—such as salmon and tuna—can boost your skin’s defenses against UV damage. In a study published earlier this year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that those who ate a little more than 5 ounces of omega-3-rich fish each week decreased the development of precancerous skin lesions by almost 30 percent. Scientists think the omega-3s act as a shield, protecting cell walls from free-radical damage.

 

 

blueberries

3. Blueberries

Eating just under a cup of mixed berries (such as red raspberries, strawberries, blueberries) daily for 8 weeks was associated with increased levels of “good” HDL cholesterol and lowered blood pressure—two positives when it comes to heart health—according to a recent study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. The diverse range of polyphenols—health-promoting plant compounds that include anthocyanins and ellagic acid—provided by the mix of berries is likely responsible for the observed benefits.

 

 

 

watermelon

4. Watermelon

Research shows that eating foods that are full of water, such as watermelon, helps keep you satisfied on fewer calories. (Interestingly enough, drinking water alongside foods doesn’t have the safe effect.) At 92 percent water, watermelon is a good source of vitamin C. When it’s the red variety (some are orange or yellow), it also has lycopene, an antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease and some types of cancer. Other foods that are made mostly of water include cucumbers (95 percent), salad greens (90 percent) and strawberries (91 percent).

 

 

tomatoes

5. Tomatoes

Eating more vitamin-C rich foods, such as oranges, tomatoes, strawberries and broccoli, may be a secret to smoother skin. Research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition links consuming plenty of vitamin C-rich foods with youthful skin. The findings suggest that a higher intake of vitamin C from foods is associated with a lower risk of having wrinkled skin and age-related skin dryness in middle-age women. Vitamin C’s youthful effects on skin may be due to its antioxidant properties, which help protect against ultraviolet rays, and its role in keeping skin firm via collagen synthesis, say the researchers.

 

 

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What Causes Migraine and Chronic Migraine?

Migraine headache symptoms

Anyone who has experienced a migraine knows they’re painful. These intense headaches can cause:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • sensitivity to sounds
  • sensitivity to smells
  • sensitivity to light
  • changes in vision

If you experience sporadic migraines, the headache and symptoms may last only a day or two. If you suffer from chronic migraines symptoms may occur 15 days or more each month.

What causes migraines?

Migraine headaches are a bit of a mystery. Researchers have identified possible causes, but they don’t have a definitive explanation. Potential theories include:

  • An underlying central nervous disorder may set off a migraine episode when triggered.
  • Irregularities in the brain’s blood vessel system, or vascular system, may cause migraines.
  • A genetic predisposition may cause  migraines
  • Abnormalities of brain chemicals and nerve pathways may cause migraine episodes.

What can trigger a migraine

Unfortunately, scientists have yet to identify a cause. The best way to avoid migraines is to avoid what starts them in the first place. Migraine trigger are unique to each person, and it’s not uncommon for a person to have several migraine triggers. The most common migraine triggers include:

Food

Salty foods or aged foods, such as cheese and salami, may cause migraine headaches. Highly processed foods can also trigger a migraine.

Skipping meals

People with a history of migraines shouldn’t skip meals or fast unless it’s done under a doctor’s supervision.

Drink

Alcohol and caffeine may cause these headaches.

Preservatives and sweeteners

Some artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame, can trigger a migraine. The popular preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG) can, as well. Read labels to avoid them.

Sensory stimulation

Unusually bright lights, loud noises, or strong smells, may set off a migraine headache; flashlights, bright sun, perfume, paint, and cigarette smoke, are all common triggers.

Hormonal changes

Hormone shifts are a common migraine trigger for women. Many women report developing migraine headaches right before or even during their period. Others report hormone-induced migraines during pregnancy or menopause. That’s because estrogen levels change during these time and can trigger a migraine episode.

Hormone medications

Medications, such as birth control and hormone replacement therapies, can trigger or worsen a migraine. However, in some cases, these medicines can actually reduce a woman’s migraine headaches.

Other medications

Vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can trigger a migraine.

Stress

Constant mental stress can cause migraines. Home life and work life are two of the most common sources of stress and can damage your mind and body if you can’t control it effectively.

Physical stress

Extreme exercise, physical exertion, and even sexual activity can trigger migraine headaches.

Sleep cycle changes

If you’re not getting regular, routine sleep, you may experience more migraines. Don’t bother trying to “make up” for lost sleep on the weekends, either. Too much sleep is just as likely to cause a headache as too little.

Weather changes

What Mother Nature is doing outside may affect how you feel on the inside. Changes in weather and shifts in barometric pressure can trigger a migraine.

Factors that increase your risk for migraines

Not everyone exposed to migraine triggers will develop a headache. However, some people are more sensitive to them. Several risk factors can help predict who is more prone to having migraine headaches. These risk factors include:

Age

Migraines can first appear at any age. However, most people will experience their first migraine during adolescence. According to the Mayo Clinic, migraines usually improve after age 30.

Family history

If a close family member has migraines, you’re more likely to have them. In fact, 90 percent of migraine patients have a family history of migraines. Parents are the best predictor of your risk. If one or both of your parents have a history of migraines, your risk is higher.

Gender

During childhood, boys experience migraine headaches more than girls. After puberty, however, women are three times more likely to have migraines than men.

Talk to a doctor

Make an appointment with a doctor if you are having migraines. They can diagnose the underlying condition if there is one, and prescribe treatments.

Contact us by calling 602-900-9485 to schedule an appointment at our location in Phoenix or schedule an appointment in one of the following locations closest to you GilbertTempeChandlerMesaQueen Creek or Chandler-Ocotillo. We look forward to helping you find relief!

 

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Insufficient sleep may be adding to your waistline

Adults who have poor sleep patterns are more likely to be overweight and obese and have poorer metabolic health, according to a new study.

The findings showed that people who were sleeping on average around six hours a night had a waist measurement that was 3cm greater than individuals who were getting nine hours of sleep a night. And shorter sleepers were heavier too.

The results strengthen the evidence that insufficient sleep could contribute to the development of metabolic diseases such as diabetes — major health challenges facing the NHS.

The study – led by Dr. Laura Hardie, Reader in Molecular Epidemiology at the University of Leeds – not only looked at the links between sleep duration, diet, and weight, but also other indicators of overall metabolic health such as blood pressure, blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and thyroid function.

The study involved 1,615 adults who reported how long they slept and kept records of food intake. Participants had blood samples were taken and their weight, waist circumference, and blood pressure recorded.

The researchers looked at the associations between how long people were sleeping and these key biological parameters.

The research team, from the Leeds Institute of Cardiovascular and Metabolic Medicine and the School of Food Science and Nutrition, reported their findings in the journal PLoS One.

Obesity has doubled

Greg Potter, one of the Leeds researchers, said “The number of people with obesity worldwide has more than doubled since 1980.

“Obesity contributes to the development of many diseases, most notably type 2 diabetes. Understanding why people gain weight has crucial implications for public health.”

Shorter sleep was also linked to reduced levels of HDL cholesterol in the participants’ blood-another factor that can cause health problems. HDL cholesterol is ‘good’ cholesterol that helps remove ‘bad’ fat from the circulation. In doing so, high HDL cholesterol levels protect against conditions such as heart disease.

Interestingly, the study did not find any relationship between shortened sleep and a less healthy diet — a fact that surprised the researchers. Other studies have suggested that shortened sleep can lead to poor dietary choices.

The research was a snapshot of the associations between sleep duration and measurements of metabolic health. It was not designed to assess the impact of chronic poor sleep over time, and whether that leads to disease.

Importance of getting enough sleep

Dr. Hardie said: “Because we found that adults who reported sleeping less than their peers were more likely to be overweight or obese, our findings highlight the importance of getting enough sleep.

“How much sleep we need differs between people, but the current consensus is that seven to nine hours is best for most adults.”

 

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