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The Dallas Mavericks have launched Lympo, the nation’s first blockchain fitness app that motivates people to exercise and be healthy, and the first of its kind that rewards users with crypto tokens that can be exchanged for premium products.

Lympo is developing a blockchain-based ecosystem that will integrate a community of users, personal trainers, gyms, fitness apps, wellness businesses and health insurers. It also leverages the popularity of wearable fitness devices to record activity and enables users to earn tokens for staying active. The Mavs will be one of the first teams in the NBA to accept cryptocurrency for tickets and merchandise, and Lympo has decided to set up their U.S. headquarters in Dallas.

Under their partnership, the Mavericks and Lympo will work together to form the Mavericks Fitness Team, a group of fitness ambassadors that will host fitness events and activities for Mavs fans throughout the year. Lympo will also be the presenting sponsor of Mavs Fit Night, which will be held during a 2018-2019 season home game.

For more information, visit Mavs.com.

 

 

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Now that flu season is upon us, it’s a good time to discuss dog flu. While people flu is pretty common, the good news is that dog flu is actually quite rare. Still, as a dedicated pet parent, it’s a good idea to have a working knowledge of the dog flu, especially because many conventional veterinarians may try to pressure owners into having their dog vaccinated against this viral disease, even if it is at low risk.

Canine influenza (dog flu), is a highly contagious viral infection affecting dogs (and very rarely) cats. Currently there are two strains of canine flu, H3N8 and H3N2. Influenza viruses are able to quickly mutate and give rise to new strains that can infect the same or even different species.

Clinical Signs

Dogs can have mild or severe cases, and the milder cases resemble kennel cough that may last for several weeks and occur in most infected dogs. Typically, many veterinarians describe dog flu as a “really bad case of kennel cough!” Some dogs, mainly those more severely affected, will also be lethargic, have a fever and show respiratory signs such as sneezing, have discharge from their eyes or nose, and of course, coughing. Clinical signs typically appear one to five days after exposure to the virus. Although most dogs recover without incident, deaths due to dog flu have been reported. 

Canine influenza is transmitted through droplets/aerosols containing respiratory secretions from coughing, barking and sneezing. Dogs in close contact with infected dogs in places such as kennels, groomers, day care facilities and shelters are at increased risk of infection. Canine influenza can also be spread indirectly through objects (food and water bowls, etc.) or people that have contacted infected dogs. Most dogs exposed to dog influenza virus become infected, with approximately 80 percent developing clinical signs of disease.

Diagnosis

While flu resembles other respiratory illnesses, testing is needed to confirm the disease. At present the most reliable way to diagnose canine influenza is through blood tests taken several weeks apart. However, the virus can also be detected on swabs from the nose. Treatment must begin while awaiting lab results, as it’s generally expected that the lab tests confirm the diagnosis rather than make the initial diagnosis.

Treatment

Treatment for canine flu is typically supportive, including fluid therapy and antibiotics as needed. From a holistic perspective, immune support is critical. Maintaining adequate blood levels of vitamin D3 (via lab testing) may reduce the chance of infectious, inflammatory and cancerous diseases, and is used for treatment. Vitamin C provides antioxidant and immune support. Anti-infectious and immune-supporting herbs such as Oregon grape, goldenseal, echinacea, marshmallow, astragalus, cat’s claw, ginger, lemon balm, oregano leaf and olive leaf are very good. 

Prevention

Vaccination is available for both strains of dog flu. It can reduce the risk of a dog contracting canine influenza, but as in people, vaccination may not prevent an infection, yet reduce the severity and duration of illness. 

This vaccine (two initial doses given three to four weeks apart with annual revaccination if needed) can be safely administered to healthy dogs that are more than 6 weeks old. The vaccine reduces the severity of the symptoms of canine influenza, but does not prevent infection. Vaccinated pets are less likely to develop lung lesions, have reduced days of viral shedding and are also contagious for fewer days.

The canine influenza vaccine is not recommended or needed for most dogs. In general, the vaccine is intended to protect dogs at risk for exposure to the canine influenza virus, which includes those that participate in activities with other dogs or are housed in communal facilities (boarding and training facilities,) particularly where the virus is prevalent. Consulting with a veterinarian can determine the risk of exposure and whether vaccination is appropriate.

Conclusion

Dog flu tends to be a rare disease, moving slowly through the canine population. Supportive care, antibiotics when needed and immune-supporting supplements, including vitamin D3, ensure the best chance of cure.

For more information  visit PawsAndClawsAnimalHospital.com. 

 

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It’s no secret that our jobs and our lives are stressful, and the holiday season multiples this. Nearly eight out of 10 employees in America regularly experience physical symptoms of stress at work, which they carry home with them and can have negative effects on our health and relationships, including high blood pressure and depression.

One way to mitigate stress and enhance physical and mental health is through mindfulness: the secular, science-based practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. Recent studies highlight the benefits of mindfulness for reducing stress and anxiety levels, encouraging positive emotions and bolstering social connections and emotional intelligence—all of which we need when trying to cope with the work week and holiday busyness.

When we’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, here are some simple ways to use mindfulness to pause and reset.

Breathe. We may not have time to sit for a 10-minute mindfulness meditation, but we always have time to take a deep breath or two. When we are stressed or distracted, we tend to take shallow, hurried breaths. The next time we notice ourselves getting frazzled, breathe deeply into and out of the lower abdomen. Breathing in this way massages your vagus nerve, which calms the central nervous system, and takes us out of “fight-or-flight” mode.

Move. Sitting behind a desk for eight hours a day can make it easy to forget that the mind and body are connected. Stay aware of your body by moving once per hour. Get up and stretch at the desk or add a few extra steps to the walk to the restroom. Perhaps a coworker is even open to having a walking meeting.

Practice single-tasking. While far from commonplace in the digital age, dedicating all our focus to one task at a time is actually the most efficient mode for the brain. Even if we can only prioritize single-tasking for 30 to 60 minutes, we can use that time to focus all our brainpower on our top priority task.

Listen. When we are stressed and overwhelmed, it’s easy to forget that our lives are made up of moments. Connections with those around us are what make these moments memorable. We can always take a moment to ask a coworker, friend or family member how they are doing and listen wholeheartedly to their response. To stay present while in conversation, practice maintaining awareness of our own body and breath as we listen. Listen with open, engaged body language and attempt to understand our conversation partner, rather than to fix their problem or share our own agenda. Mindful listening can transform relationships and bring more meaning to life.

Practice gratitude. Practice being extra aware of the good things in life by pausing to be grateful during the day, even if it’s something as small as a coworker that made us laugh or a nice cup of coffee or tea. A positive attitude will enhance productivity and keep our stress levels down.

STOP. When we notice being stressed or frantic, that is actually a moment of mindful awareness. Instead of fighting against stress or strong emotions, stop and take a mindful pause: take a few deep breaths; observe our experience (thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations); and proceed with something that will support us in this moment.

Bringing mindfulness to our life and work is a lifelong journey. Research studies show that even one mindfulness meditation or mindful pause can lower our stress levels and boost mood. Start incorporating these mindfulness tips into our day for enhanced productivity and overall well-being.

 

Dorsey Standish is the chief mindfulness officer at Mastermind Meditate, in Dallas. Her teachings combine neuroscience research with her experiences in Jon Kabat-Zinn’s Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program and silent meditation retreats. For more information about Mastermind applied mindfulness trainings, visit MastermindMeditate.com/programs.

 

 

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Air North Texas, our regional clean air campaign, recognized five local cities and organizations for their efforts to improve air quality throughout the 2018 ozone season, which ended November 30.

Dallas received the Arlo Ambassador Award for advancing the Air North Texas message with their campaign mascot, Arlo the Airmadillo. He is a native North Texan who loves playing outdoors and visiting local sights while being affected by asthma. Dallas branded its air quality alert emails and social media messages with Arlo and featured him in a Clean Air Action Day promotional video made with the help of children at the Mindbender STEAM Summer Camp.

Grand Prairie is the Air North Texas Partner of the Year after implementing a yearlong comprehensive outreach and communications plan centered on Clean Air Action Day, a regionwide event held on the first Friday of every summer to call attention to the actions individuals can take to improve air quality.

Grand Prairie built community and employee engagement through social media posts, air quality alerts, city newsletters and participation in local events to help raise awareness about air quality throughout the year. These efforts culminated with Grand Prairie’s Clean Air Action Day activities, including an art contest for city staff and the city’s annual corporate Clean Air Challenge. Industry leaders Lockheed Martin, PepsiCo and Siemens participated in the challenge, along with local employers such as Fruit of the Earth and Texas General Hospital.

Cedar Hill was awarded for outstanding initiative by featuring Air North Texas in a number of creative campaigns, community events and educational forums. Highlights include EarthX, the region’s largest Earth Day celebration, as well as events in Cedar Hill such as the city’s Earth Day and Environmental Collection Day programs, the I Love Clean Air campaign and the Cedar Hill ISD Back to School Rally.

Hood County Clean Air Coalition (HCCAC) set the standard for clean air advertising in 12 counties. Three public service announcements to promote clean air commitments ran daily on Granbury TV in March, and a PSA encouraging individuals to commit to clean air actions at home aired regularly on local radio stations. The coalition also published ads in two local magazines.

Plano received the award for outstanding outreach for using both traditional and digital strategies to engage residents and businesses. Programs and presentations for local businesses and city employees and volunteers emphasized the steps North Texans can take to improve air quality. SEED, Plano’s Sustainability and Environmental Education Division, partnered with other Air North Texas members to install air quality monitors at two local high schools, providing students the opportunity to learn about the science behind air quality. Plano also featured Air North Texas content on its sustainability and environmental homepage, Live Green in Plano, on social media and numerous city publications.

Air North Texas is one of many strategies designed to improve air quality in the nine North Texas counties striving to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards for ozone pollution. Air quality affects health outcomes and helps preserve the region’s quality of life and economic vitality.

For more information, visit AirNorthTexas.org.

 

 

 

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Our health is always our most precious resource, but the holidays amplify its importance as we strive to support and provide for the members of our immediate and extended families, coworkers, friends and charitable causes. Because science continues to document the fact that stress is a leading cause of ill health, it makes sense to avoid it proactively for the benefit of all, including ourselves. Here are a few tips to bring about that state of mind.

  • Be thankful for all blessings.
  • Don’t allow stress to steal away joy.
  • Laugh and celebrate the gift of life.
  • Volunteer time or resources to help someone less fortunate.
  • Write down three goals to achieve in the new year and commit to completing them.

 

For more information, call 972-212-4341 0r visit KetamineHealthTX.com.

 

 

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  • Minimize sugar, which has been shown to suppress the immune system for several hours after consumption.
  • In baking during the holidays, use natural alternatives to sugar such as coconut sugar or xylitol.
  • Wash hands frequently, especially before eating.
  • Have kids bathe or shower after getting home from school and change into lounging or play clothes.
  • After a long winter day in the office, adults can shed work clothes for lounging clothes to avoid bringing home the germs, and put those garments right into the laundry.
  • Take immune support supplements such as vitamin D, vitamin C, zinc, elderberry and probiotics.
  • Get plenty of rest and fresh air.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, which can send approximately 100,000 germs up to 25 feet.
  • Stay home if sick, and do not send kids to school if they have a bad cold

 

For more information, call 972-294-0808 or visit HealthyKidsPediatrics.com.

 

 

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A Dallas tradition for more than 20 years, the Generational Group Dallas Jingle Bell Run is a festive, family-friendly event that includes a nighttime 5k race, one-mile fun run and lively post-race party on December 20 at the Hilton Anatole. All proceeds benefit The Trinity Strand Trail and the Mavs Foundation. Participants come dressed in their spirited holiday attire and will also be given a pair of jingle bells and glow sticks to "jingle all the way" through the race. Carolers and music are placed along the race course.

In 2002, a group of dedicated individuals formed the Friends of the Trinity Strand Trail to spearhead the planning, construction and enhancement of a 7.8-mile, non-motorized hike and bike trail along the original Trinity River watercourse in the heart of the Dallas Design District. This trail will connect the Katy Trail to the Trinity River and provide Dallas citizens access to the Southwestern Medical District, Dallas Market Center, downtown and Uptown Dallas, Stemmons Corridor businesses and the Dallas Design District.

Cost is $15 to $45. To register, visit DallasJingleBellRun.com.

 

 

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The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden presents Artistry of the Nativity at the DeGolyer House through December 31, with 500 crèches from more than 50 countries, representing cultures from around the world.

In addition to the Ray Harrington and the Joe Christian collections, which the Arboretum owns, the private collections of Joyce and Larry Lacerte, Lydia and Dan Novakov and a life-size crèche from Mary and Mike Terry will also be on display. This is a unique opportunity to see these crèches as they have never been on public display before.

Each is made of unique materials such as cork, Waterford crystal, horns, seeds, corn husk, glass, adobe, papier-mâché, wood and coconut shells. In addition to the crèches, every room is elaborately decorated in holiday décor.

 

For more information, visit DallasArboretum.org.

 

 

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With the holiday season right around the corner, it’s time to kick it into full health mode so that the Jack Frost doesn’t nip ya! Just think of the bathroom as the Scrooge of the household, wanting to spread the germy, bah humbugs to keep us down. Here are seven tips to help keep bathrooms germ-free and help us stay in tip-top shape this season:

1.  Resist the urge to do holiday shopping on the toilet

Try to avoid scrolling through Amazon to find the perfect gift for Grandma while using the loo. Nowadays, it’s very common to check apps like Twitter and Pinterest while on the toilet, but we might want to think twice (or three times) about doing that. Gabrielle Union, famous actress turned health guru, says “Germs, including fecal matter, are released into the air and can land on those surfaces, leading them to spread outside the bathroom.” So, try to make the bathroom a phone-free zone. Those winter wonderland Pinterest boards can wait.

2.  Get your money’s worth with that candy cane-scented soap

Dr. Chuck Gerba, Ph.D., a professor of environmental microbiology at University of Arizona, explains, “Properly washing your hands is the most cost-effective and efficient way to avoid catching colds.” Make sure that we spend at least 20 seconds scrubbing those hands, so we can’t bring those germs with us when we’re finished. Hum the Happy Birthday song twice as a timer.

3.  Lose the festive bar soap

We know our secret Santa got us the most adorable spa day gift basket, complete with foot scrubs, bath bombs and the best-smelling bar of soap ever. But remember, this basket is for us only. Yes, germs can grow on bar soaps and spread if used by more than one person.

4.  Close that snowman seat cover before flushing

Feel free to light that pine-scented candle after taking care of business, but before you rid the evidence of mom’s holiday cooking, remember to put down that lid. Bathrooms weren't really designed for the health of its user, so the odds are the sink is right next to the toilet. We don’t even want to know all the germs that live in the toilet bowl. Gerba explains how toilet water can reach six feet from the bowl itself when flushing occurs, making its way to our toothbrush.

5.  Don’t forget to sanitize with that pumpkin spice hand sanitizer

We know it’s important to wash our hands often, but soap and water are not always readily available. Hand sanitizer does not replace hand washing, but can go a long way in and out of the bathroom. “It creates a barrier on hands so that contamination beyond the bathroom does not continue." says Gerba. A University of Connecticut study states that air dryers can disperse bacteria throughout the room, even on freshly washed hands. Sometimes there is no choice in public restrooms but to use those air dryers, even more of a reason to have that hand sanitizer as our little helper.

6.  Try to use the reindeer hand towels as decorations only

It’s unlikely that our bathroom at home has a disposable paper towel dispenser like public restrooms use. Paper towels are better at controlling the spread of germs than fabric types we keep in the bathroom, says Gerba. Having one of the dispensers installed in our home would probably not be very practical or environmentally friendly. Just try to wash hand and face towels weekly, even more often when the family comes to town.

7.  Take off those mittens and use the back of your hands

Unless you plan on washing those gloves inter-mitten-tly (see what we did there?), make sure to put them away before entering and leaving the bathroom. Use the back of your hands as much as you can to avoid getting unwanted bacteria on your fingertips and palms, that likely come in contact with your mouth and eyes.

It’s hard to stay healthy this time of year, so gobble up these tips to escape sickness and being a Grinch this holiday season.

 

Richard Harris is the owner of Flushed With Pride, worldwide distributor for the antimicrobial Sani-Hani Toilet Seat Lifter. For more information, call 972-638-0504 or visit SaniHani.com.

 

 

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Organized by the nonprofit North Texas Renewable Energy Group in cooperation with the Texas Solar Energy Society and the American Solar Energy Society, the DFW Solar Tour is a free event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., October 13, to tour innovative green homes and buildings around the DFW Metroplex and learn how homeowners and businesses can use solar energy, wind energy, energy efficiency and other sustainable technologies.

Local tour hosts have opened their homes and business to share their renewable energy and conservation knowledge and experiences with the public with the aim to demonstrate the variety of ways that people can reduce utility costs, conserve resources, live healthy lifestyles, make their own electricity and more.

As part of the 20th annual National Solar Tour, the world's largest grassroots solar event, the DFW tour is among the largest in the nation. In total, more than 165,000 participants are expected to visit some 5,500 buildings in 3,200 communities across the U.S.

Tour highlights include TreeHouse Dallas, the first energy-positive big-box store in the world; talks at IKEAPlano Environmental Education Center, MLK Jr. Community CenterThe da Vinci SchoolTreehouse DallasCedar Hill Government Center and Tarrant County College South Campus. Several high schools are displaying solar cars this year, including Winston School Solar Car (at the Plano EEC), Coppell High School (at the Irving West Library) and Liberty Christian School (at the UNT Zero Energy Lab).  Participants can see the battery energy storage technology at Axium Solar and the Caldwell House.

Matilda the bus is a solar-powered school bus that is parked outside the Twelve Hills Nature Center and serves as a mobile classroom for the Seed PreschoolUtterly Divine is a working ranch and research center with a 25-kilowatt solar panel array and battery storage designed to operate off-grid for most of the ranch’s electricity requirements. Their solar system’s installer will be on-site to explain how the system works and answer questions.

Admission is free. For more information, visit DFWSolarTour.org.

 

 

 

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