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Dr. Aurora Badia's Quest for a Friendlier Doctor's Office

Plus: Change your mindset about exercise, natural ways to clear up your skin and much more



Dr. Aurora Badia with a patient

 

A waiting room with old magazines and a cranky receptionist is a thing of the past. Hopefully. More doctors are starting to pay attention to the details that can make or break trips to their offices. Dr. Aurora Badia of Florida Skin Centers has transformed the look of her three offices with granite floors, dark wood cabinetry and hand-painted murals. Walk in and get a warm towel and a cup of coffee (or juice for the kids). Medical assistants are trained in customer service and proper phone etiquette; self-help books like 5 Love Languages are required reading. Bottom line, providing quality care is most important, but taking the harsh edges off a trip to the doctor can work wonders. “It makes for a more relaxed experience, not stressful,” Badia says.

Change Your Mindset About Exercise

If you’re finding that you don’t have enough time to go to the gym, perhaps the bigger problem is how you’re thinking about exercise. As part of a study published in BMC Public Health, a group of women were asked about what makes them happy in life. They mostly listed fairly common responses—having successful careers, setting aside plenty of free time, spending time with friends and family—but researchers noticed a key difference between those who said they exercised and those who said they didn’t. Those who were the most inactive out of the group claimed that exercise actually prevented them from achieving those goals. Those who worked out the most stated that exercise actually helped them achieve those things that did make them happy. Turns out a shift in attitude may eliminate your barrier to working out.

Take a Stand Against Sleeping In

Sometimes, it’s just so easy to reach over and slap that snooze button one last time. Then another time. Then another. The best way to stop your snooze button addiction is to take it out of the equation. Even better, the best way to wake up is actually to get standing. The Ruggie will help you do that. The Ruggie is a memory-foam mat with a built-in alarm clock you lay beside your bed. When you step on it, its pressure sensors stop the buzzing. The battery-powered rug even allows you to create customized speeches for the alarm. So, stand up and face the day instead of rolling over and procrastinating for another 9 minutes.

How Much Is Too Much Vitamin D?

it doesn’t take too much to get enough vitamin D, especially here in sunny Florida. Just 10 minutes in the sun mid-afternoon can create 16 times the recommended daily amount, protecting you against various diseases including osteoporosis; heart disease; and breast, prostate and colon cancer.

But is there such thing as too much? You won’t get vitamin D toxicity from a day at the beach (although worse problems could arise, of course, if you’re not wearing sunblock). But health risks do exist from excessive vitamin D supplements. (Unless you have a deficiency, you shouldn’t be taking more than 600 units in a supplement per day according to the National Institutes of Health.) It can raise levels of calcium in the blood and create vascular and tissue calcification, which can subsequently lead to heart, blood vessel and kidney damage.

Cohabitation Gaining Popularity

The number of adults older than 50 living together, but not married, increased 75 percent from 2007 to 2016.

Natural Ways to Clear Up Skin

Tired of spending a small fortune to get great skin? Kimberly Snyder, co-author of Radical Beauty: How to Transform Yourself from the Inside Out, gave the Los Angeles Times a few small changes in your daily life that can work wonders for your skin.

Eat more pineapple: The fruit contains bromelain, an enzyme that helps fight inflammation and can help prevent bags under the eyes.

Start the day with lemon water: A hot cup of lemon water serves as a pick-me-up. Plus, the vitamins in lemon can help clear up skin.

Try rose water: Buy some rose water (or you can even make it yourself). Dab a little on a cotton ball and rub it across your face. It’ll help reduce your inflammation and balance your pH. 

Chug Coffee Before Exercising

Want a peak workout? A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology showed that even routine coffee drinkers got a boost if they chugged more caffeine an hour before a workout.

 

Allie Taylor and Mindy Paniagua contributed to this column.

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