Tech Tuesday: How Tech Helps Vets

Tech Tuesday 
Technology continues to grow and unbelievable advances have been made within the defense sector. From reality goggles to drones overhead, the military is finding new and remarkable ways to stay ahead of defending our nation.  Here is an interesting read about technology and the military. https://www.military.com/defensetech
Wounded military veterans are in store for new and incredible advances in health technology. I came across this article about a bright young veteran who has a quest to study medicine and has goals to help his fellow wounded veterans. Some of the topics he has brought to light include the inflammatory components of an injury, and changes in the effects of tissue damage over time.

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This inspiring young veteran is also involved in a gene therapy investigation involving neuromas, which is a common complication in amputees caused by thickening of the nerve tissue in the severed limbs. Read more about this incredible veteran who wants to help improve the quality of life for amputees. Click Here: https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2016/02/veteran-wants-to-improve-the-quality-of-life-for-amputees/
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Another advance in technology and the military is the development of MyVA resource and site. This allows veterans to be more engaged and in tune with their own health information, schedule appointments and reminders, and communication with their health professionals at the VA. Read more on this here:

Holiday Blues?

Mental Health Monday:
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Are you someone who is affected by the change of seasons? Well, you are not alone. Several people experience a change in their mood and attitude especially during the Fall and Winter seasons.  Whether it is the cooler temperatures, feeling less energy, or having problems sleeping, the change of seasons definitely can impact someone’s outlook and well being.

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Did you know there is such a thing as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder); there are several various causes as well. These might include, for example, your circadian-biological rhythm with the reduced amount of sunlight during particular seasons. The change of seasons can also impact the body’s melatonin levels that affect sleeping patterns. SAD can also affect changes in weight. There is interesting information on this condition on www.mayoclinic.org about it. Here is the complete article here: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/symptoms-causes/syc-20364651
Risk Factors:
There are a few risk factors as well that can contribute to SAD. These might include the following:
*Being Female
*Living further from the equator
*Family history of depression or bipolar disorder
If you are someone who suffers from SAD or experiences similar symptoms, there are ways to ease the effects of this disorder.
Here is a list of things you can do today to help you combat these symptoms.
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*Lifestyle changes that can improve symptoms and lift your mood.
*You might try going outside more often, and taking deep breathes of fresh air
*Getting plenty of sunlight
*Exercising, do more activity
*Avoiding drugs and alcohol,
*Getting plenty of sleep
*Practicing relaxation exercises

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SOURCES:

Tennis Clinics Helping Improve Vets Lives

The Wounded Warrior Tennis San Diego program continues to thrive week after week. The program has been producing results as we are seeing continued improvements in several veterans who attend week after week.
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The veterans are learning new skills and techniques at the same time being physically active and exercising. Witnessing these positive changes in the warriors can one of the most rewarding experiences.  Take glance at the veterans who attend the weekly Tuesday clinics at the Balboa Tennis Club in San Diego and their activity on the courts!

Tuesday, October 2018.


Volunteer Pro Instructors

 

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Tuesday Clinics also offer a complimentary lunch to the veterans participating in the clinics.

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Lunch with the Warriors

Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Living

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This past weekend I was returning home from my workout at the gym and drove past a car wash gas station business. I couldn’t help but notice the line of cars waiting to enter the car wash area, and how extremely busy this place was on a late Sunday afternoon. I was astounded by how many people were making this effort to take such good care of and the cleanliness of their vehicles.

Now I thought to myself, what if people take that concept of effort and time and put it into taking care of our own health and bodies. Obviously, these people took time out of their Sunday afternoon to drive to that car wash, then they paid money, and they did the work of drying and vacuuming the vehicle. We change the oil on our cars quite regularly and replace it with good quality oil.

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This is what we all can do with our own health as well. We can all put quality nutrients into our bodies, stay active, and/or spend that little extra money on a gym membership, just those people do for that car wash.

We know why it is important to use quality essentials for the maintenance of our vehicles; of course, to keep it running and continue with good maintenance. This is the same for our bodies and good health habits.

Eat Healthy:
Here are a few great quality nutrients for the body:

  1. Leafy Greens
  2. Vegetables / Fruits
  3. Healthy Grains: i.e. Quinoa, Amaranth, Oats
  4. Proteins: Fish, Eggs, Poultry

Here are a few examples of nutrients that may cause problems and you may wish to limit them:

  1. Baked goods- Cakes, cupcakes, cookies
  2. Process goods- donuts, zingers, cinnamon rolls
  3. Sweet cereal
  4. Pastas and breads

Stay Active:
Exercise is so critical and can help prevent many diseases as well as help maintain a healthy weight.   Routine exercise can help make you feel better overall. You might consider doing a form of exercise for 30-60 minutes about 5 times a week.

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There are a few other things that are very important to remember such as don’t smoke, and limit alcohol intake.

Here are a few interesting websites I thought had easy to read and helpful information about how living healthy can be achieved!

http://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living

https://familydoctor.org/what-you-can-do-to-maintain-your-health/

Wounded Warrior Tennis San Diego

Trip Summary On USTA Outreach

Recent update on the WWTP Program:
Co-Founder, Steve Kappes, recently returned from a trip to the US Open as he serves on the USTA Adaptive Tennis Commitee.  The following is a recap and overview about how the USTA is expanding their reach into the military community by holding weekly veterans clinics, similar to what Wounded Warriors Tennis Program in San Diego does.
Steve Kappes trip summary:
I just returned from New York City where I attended the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting and Conference.  I serve on the national Adaptive Tennis Committee throughout the year, and much of my time in NY was spent working with my committee members to advance tennis programming that improves the lives of people of all ages in all disability groups across the country (Autism, Down syndrome, Special Olympics, and many other cognitive/developmental/physical impairments, etc).
Of course, I’m always networking with the hundreds of other national volunteers and USTA staff members to promote military outreach and tennis programs for disabled service members and veterans, and it’s paying off.  In addition to increasing awareness of what we are doing in San Diego and making contacts for future funding and support, I was happy to learn that the USTA’s weekly veterans tennis clinics at the National Campus in Orlando are going strong (similar to our weekly program but without lunches), and the USTA staff held their 7th Military Appreciation Day at the US Open on Monday.  NBC Nightly News ran a segment on Monday that combines footage from the USTA’s veterans program in Orlando with footage from the veterans clinic the USTA ran at the US Open.  If we had we sent a few of our veterans to the US Open, they would have been included in the events of the day:
Here’s the link to the NBC segment —  you have to scroll down to Full Broadcasts, select “Nightly News Full Broadcast September 3rd” on the right, then advance the video to the 18:15 mark:
Here’s a related video the USTA produced:
Here’s a link to an article that describes other things that were planned for and happened that day:
And here are other military appreciation photos from throughout the day:
I had to be in a morning meeting in Manhattan when the all veterans’ on-court activity was going on, but I did get to the US Open later in the day, and I met all the Warriors including (surprise!) a few I knew from our own San Diego Annual Camp.
While I was there, I also met Bill Hannigan, who is the #2 guy for Adaptive Programs at the Wounded Warrior Project HQ in Florida.  The USTA national staff is establishing a partnership with WWP at the national level to grow more tennis programs for WWP-affiliated veterans (called “alumni”) across the country.  Bill and his boss will be in San Diego for the VA’s Summer Sports Clinic in a few weeks, and I invited them to visit our Warrior clinic on Tues Sep 18th to meet us and check it out if their schedule permits.

Keeping Your Mind Healthy

Mental Health Monday:

As we people grow older, they may find themselves feeling a lack of mental sharpness, slower responses, and not as quick on their feet as they were in the past. Just like our bodies, the brain needs to get exercise too. As we age, so does the brain and the changes in mental functions can accompany. There are many things you can do to help keep the brain active and improve cognitive functions etc. Here are a few:

  1. Mental stimulation. This can include activity such as doing puzzles, math problems, drawing, painting and crafts.
  2. Physical exercise
  3. Healthier diet intake.
  4. Keep you blood pressure under control.

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Read complete article here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/12-ways-to-keep-your-brain-young

Another thing you can do is indulging yourself in silence and calm.

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With the tremendous evolutions in our surroundings and environment, we need to have time to process it, and so that you can benefit and gain more benefits from the experiences. Practicing yoga and meditation can have a huge impact on your mental health in a positive way.

As you continue on this quest of keeping your mind healthy, another thing to do is to maintain strong social connections. Spend quality time with friends and family, and join in on social activities. According to ReadersDigest.com, here are 10 ideas on how to keep your brain sharp: https://www.rd.com/health/wellness/top-10-tips-for-a-healthy-brain-antiaging/

Wounded Warrior Tennis Stars Shine Bright!

The Behind-The-Scenes Dedicated Folks Who Unselfishly Continue To Give Back

The sizzling Summer of 2018 sure has lived up to its name. And it’s not about the high temperatures in Celsius or Fahrenheit, but it’s about the extensive work done by our very own Wounded Warrior founders and associate members. Throughout the year, these Warriors may not be seen or we may not hear or read about a lot of the duties being done behind the scenes for this outstanding program.  Only weeks ago, Steve Kappes, Geoff Griffin, and Steve Weaver were given accolades and recognition for their extraordinary dedication and service to helping Wounded Warriors get their lives back.

Steve Kappes, Wounded Warrior Tennis San Diego Co-Founder, recently received an award by California 79th Assembly District Member Dr. Shirley Weber at the Capitol in Sacramento.  Steve was chosen as her 2018 Veteran of the Year, an award based on his post Navy career and community service. “My role with the Wounded Warrior Tennis Program has a lot to do with that recognition,” Kappes said.
Steve Kappes CA 79th Assembly District Veteran of the Year June 20, 2018

Geoff Griffin, Wounded Warrior Tennis San Diego Co-Founder, recently received the honorable Ben Press Award for outstanding community service to the tennis and military communities.  Steve Kappes presented this prestigious award to Griffin during the 18th Annual Tennis Fest held at Balboa Tennis Club. The Ben Press Award is based on an American tennis player, coach, and writer and he was also one of the founders of World Team Tennis. With his impeccable playing and coaching career, Press’ contributions to the San Diego tennis community and worldwide have been set in stone. Press is one of first 10 inductees to be inducted into the San Diego Tennis Hall of Fame. Read more about this award here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Press.

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Geoff Griffin

Steve Weaver, Associate to Wounded Warrior Tennis, was recently featured in an online news outlet called Presstelgram.com. WWTP-San Diego helped inspire Weaver to start Wounded Warrior Tennis Program Long Beach in 2016.  Weaver and WWTP-Long Beach have helped inspire and encourage hundreds of veterans to get ‘back in the game’.  The game of life!  Read the complete article here:  Tennis clinic helps Long Beach Wounded Warriors get back in action:

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In conclusion, the San Diego Wounded Warrior Tennis Program is not only heating up in the summertime, but it’s active all year long. Thank you to the Founders, Volunteers, and Supporters for the continued dedication and support of this worthy program!

Keep shining bright, our Warrior Stars of the Court!

To learn more, please visit us at SAN DIEGO WOUNDED WARRIOR TENNIS PROGRAM.

 

Tech Tuesday: Innovations in Technology

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Tech Tuesday

For Better or Worse, Innovations In Technology Continue To Affect Our World

 Whether you are all in or want nothing to do it, technology is here to stay. There is no doubt huge benefits have resulted from new technologies today. And these benefits have not only impacted the health care industry, but nearly every aspect of our lives have been affected in one way or another.

I am very intrigued by new technologies, computers, and inventions, etc., but I also want to maintain balance and wellness in my overall life. I do minimize the amount of technology and electronics that I use in my daily life to help keep me focused, mindful, and minimize stress levels. Although there may be many benefits of technology, there can also be negatives. Most people with cell phones feel that when a text is received that one must respond within minutes. Or your workplace contacts you for important documents that you need to send to them as soon as possible; this can bring stress into your body.

But besides the possible negatives of technology, there are definitely those innovations in technology that have changed the world. There have been inventions of medical devices that can help blind people see, software apps to help motivate others, and a chatbot that can help with mental health.

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Incredible innovations and inventions, programs and software can change one’s life. According to this article on technologyreview.com, artificial intelligence, language translation ear buds, and zero carbon natural gas are just a few of them. Read complete article here:

Source:
Technologyreview.com

Worst Habits For Your Mental Health

Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

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The world today is a much more stressful place to exist in than in years past. Which can bring along alot of challenges and obstacles that many people may need a little help conquering. Some of the factors of the onslaought of mental health struggles are sometimes beyond one’s control, and overwhelming, but you can make small changes that help deal with some of these challenges that you may be facing.

But as you strive to continuous improvement and maintaining mental health wellness, it is important to know the worst habits for mental health. This article in health.com explains the 12 worst habits for your mental health:

  1. Hang on to your happiness
  2. You slouch when you walk
  3. You take photos of everything
  4. You let a bully get the best of you
  5. You don’t exercise
  6. You procrastinate
  7. You’re in a toxic relationship
  8. You take life too seriously
  9. You don’t sleep
  10. You’re never along
  11. You don’t actually talk to anyone
  12. You multitask

Each of these are very interesting, and it’s important to understand that these habits can be changed for the better and possibly lead to more positive things. Read complete article here:

Another factor in maintaining mental health wellness, is to know the characteristics of Mental Health. As healthylife.com explains, that mental health is not just about illness, its also about how you feel about yourself and how you react to life occurances, and events, etc. This article also mentions the fact that some folks might be afraid or hesitant to use mental health services because the stigma that might be associated with this topic. Some may even think that asking for help is weakness, but actually this article explains that those who do seek help are signs and characteristics of strength.

Learn more about these characteristics of mental health here:

Please feel free to comment or contact us for anything, we love to hear from you. Please follow and subscribe to our blog, and we thank you for reading and all your support.

Sources:
http://www.health.com
http://www.healthylife.com

Wednesday Wellness: Love Where You Live

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Love Where You Live:

Do you find yourself complaining about your neighbors, or local costs of living, and even the weather? If you do, then you may want to think about the things that do make you happy, and possibly consider moving to a new place. Or perhaps try to identify and recognize all the good things that surround you as well.

Whether you are someone who is an outdoor active person or enjoys indoor activities, where you live can make you feel happier or not. For me, I find that living in a warmer climate where I see morning sunrises each day helps me feel excited about the day that is to come. I become enthusiast about the activities I plan to do that day, then I am also motivated to make goals or create a to do list for that day as well. I feel all around happier. According to a recent blog article by Fitlife360.net, recent survey resulted a causal link between community and individual health.1.  Read complete article here:

Therefore, the more happy I am, the better I feel healthwise. I am more energetic, I am motivated to exercise so I can get my blood circulating and give my heart a worked out. I am more inclined to be active in this type of climate versus a colder one. Thus, helping me maintain a healthier lifestyle and lowering the risks for chances of getting a disease or becoming ill. Or perhaps its healing for those who are not in perfect health.

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But many folks enjoy a cooler climate where some of the most invigorating activities are done outdoors, but these people make the most of the indoors as well. Activities such as skiing, ice skating, walking or hiking, and many other activity types bring a lot of enjoyment to these folks. Then reading a book by the fireplace, playing card games, playing a musical instrument, or attending a fitness class at the gym, are also great indoor things that people enjoy doing also. Enjoying the activities they do, brings satisfaction, thus can result in more feelings of happiness.  Happiness equals wellness.

Now many of these activities can be more difficult to do for those higher in age. So how can we still maintain wellness as we age. The National Institute of Wellness (NIW) puts it this way: “Wellness is an active process through which people become aware of, and make choices toward, a more successful existence.”2

I found a very interesting article on whereyoulivematters.org, and the article explains the dimensions of wellness and the importance of wellness as we age. Here are a few notes I’ve taken on these:

  1. Emotional
  2. Physical
  3. Intellectual
  4. Occupational
  5. Spiritual
  6. Social

Read complete article here:

Sources:
1. Fitlife.net

2. Whereyoulivematters.org