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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Raise Awareness During September, Cholesterol Education Month

Around 65 million Americans have high cholesterol, a condition that can affect anyone from young kids to senior adults. September is Cholesterol Education Month, and you can improve your health when you understand the definition of cholesterol and the best ways to prevent high cholesterol.  

What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol circulates in your blood and resembles wax or fat. It supports metabolic processes, such as cell membrane stabilization, vitamin D formation, and steroid hormone and bile acid production. It While your body makes cholesterol naturally, it’s also found in food. If you make or consume more cholesterol than your body needs, the excess will accumulate in your arteries and narrow those passageways, which could increase your heart disease and stroke risk.

You have good cholesterol (HDL – high-density lipoprotein), bad cholesterol (LDL –  low-density lipoprotein) and triglycerides. The lipoproteins carry cholesterol to and from your body’s cells.

  • HDL – Removes bad cholesterol as it flows through your bloodstream.
  • LDL – Becomes part of the plaque that lines your arteries.

Your cholesterol levels can depend on several factors, including a family history of heart disease, diabetes, or high blood pressure. Smoking, alcohol consumption, stress, and your weight can also affect cholesterol levels.

What are Normal Cholesterol Levels?

The ideal cholesterol level is under 170 mg/dL. Your LDL level should be under 110 mg/dL, and your HDL level should be over 35. Aim for a triglyceride level of under 150 mg/dL. While these numbers are confusing, your doctor can explain them and help you achieve healthy levels.

How do you know if you have High Cholesterol?

You might have high cholesterol and not know it. Visit your doctor for a blood test that shows your cholesterol levels. Typically, adults over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol checked every five years. High-risk children should have their cholesterol checked regularly, too.

How is High Cholesterol Treated?

Often, lifestyle changes can reduce your cholesterol levels. Your doctor may recommend exercise and dietary improvements, such as:

  • Engage in two hours and 30 minutes of moderate exercise or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week.
  • Eat more high-fiber food, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
  • Limit the amount of saturated fat and sugar in the foods and beverages you consume.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Quit smoking and lower your alcohol intake.
  • Reduce stress.

Your doctor may prescribe medication, too. Statins reduce the amount of cholesterol your body makes and can lower your bad cholesterol levels.

This month, raise your cholesterol awareness levels. Visit your doctor for a cholesterol check, and discuss the steps you can take to achieve a healthy lifestyle that improves your health now and into the future

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Celebrate Left-Handers’ Day and Prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

If you’re one of the 10 percent of Americans who are left-handed, August 13 is your day to celebrate. It’s also the perfect day to learn how to prevent carpal tunnel and keep your wrists strong and healthy.

What is Carpal Tunnel?

Between your thumb and ring finger, a median nerve controls the majority of your hand’s movement and feeling. The carpal tunnel area surrounds this nerve. If it swells, you’ll experience tingling, numbness, pain and weakness.

Who’s at Risk?

Anyone who performs repetitive tasks could develop carpal tunnel syndrome. So, if you type, play sports or an instrument, sew, assemble products or drive, you’re at risk. Certain health challenges, including inflammatory disease, diabetes, Lyme disease and ganglionic cysts, also increase your risk.

How do you Stop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

While icing your hands can reduce swelling, you’ll also want to limit wrist movement by changing the way you perform repetitive tasks. You can also perform exercises that strengthen your hands and wrists while reducing pain.

1. Hold your arms in front of you and point your fingers toward the ceiling. Hold the pose and count to five, then relax your arms to your sides. Make fists and bend them toward the floor until you count to five. Relax your hands and wrists again before repeating these steps 10 times.

2. Hold your left hand out with your palm facing away from you. Use your right hand to pull your left fingers toward your body. Repeat with the right hand.

3. Place your hands together as if you were praying. Turn your wrists until your fingers point toward the floor. Breathe deeply, hold for 5 seconds, press your palms more firmly against each other and hold until you feel your wrists stretch.

If the pain continues, see your doctor. Your Human Resources manager can verify if the exam, tests and any special equipment are covered as you protect your hands and wrists while celebrating Left-Handers’ Day.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Lawn Mower Safety Tips

With summer well underway, we thought some lawn mower tips would be helpful. 🙂

  1. Read the instruction manual. Please. Discover the purpose of all the knobs and whistles on your model, how to operate it properly and safety tips for your lawn mower.

  2. Fill the tank outside. It’s never a wise idea to fill your mower’s fuel tank inside your garage or in a shed. Combustible fumes could build up and explode.
  3. Store fuel and oil in marked containers. You don’t want to use the wrong fluids and ruin your mower or have anyone accidentally drink the fluid or serve it to pets.
  4. Perform maintenance when your mower is turned off and cool. You could be burned if you add fuel to your mower while the engine is running or when it’s hot.
  5. Don’t use anything with an open flame while you fuel your mower. You don’t want to start a fire.

  6. Do not start the engine under an enclosure. Toxic fumes could build up and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
  7. Stay with the mower when the engine is running. Someone could be injured if your mower rolls down a hill or runs into something or someone while it’s turned on.
  8. Turn the engine off before making adjustments. If you notice that the grass isn’t getting cut short enough or the engine is skipping, turn the engine off. You can then make adjustments safely.
  9. Refuse to allow young children to operate the lawn mower, and don’t carry kids as you mow. The machine is simply too dangerous for young children.
  10. Wear the proper clothes when mowing. Closed shoes and long pants protect your body as you mow your lawn.
  11. Remove foreign objects from your lawn. Rocks, branches, twigs, toys, hoses and other objects in your lawn could damage your mower’s motor. Plus, objects spit from the mower could travel at a speed of up to 100 miles per hour.
  12. Don’t allow children or pets in the yard. Even if they’re playing on the other side of the yard from where you’re mowing, it takes only a few seconds for them to cross the yard and enter the path of your mower.
  13. Train everyone who uses the mower. Be sure everyone who operates the mower knows how to use it properly and follows these safety precautions.

Your lawn mower gives your yard the manicure it needs. Whether you mow several times a week or once a month, follow these safety tips. Consider purchasing homeowner’s insurance, too, as further protection for you and your home.

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4 months ago · by · 0 comments

Tips To Maximize Your Summer Workouts

Summer’s here, and the cheerful sunshine and warmer temperatures make it easier to work out. You don’t want to spend all your free time exercising, though. Maximize every workout this summer to achieve the best results and have more time for other fun seasonal activities.

Wear the Right Clothing

It’s impossible to move properly or want to exercise if you’re wearing the wrong clothing. A moisture-wicking tank top helps you stay cool, and sturdy shoes support your entire body. Wear a hat and sunglasses, too, as you stay comfortable while exercising outdoors.

Schedule your Workouts

You’ll feel more motivated to exercise harder when you’re not worried about heat exposure. Early morning or later evening workouts help you avoid the hottest part of the day.

Also, record your workout plans on your calendar. You’ll stay motivated to keep your exercise appointments when they’re printed on your schedule and you know exactly which activities you will do.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout. Otherwise, your body may be unable to tolerate the summer heat. Ideally, consume half of your body weight in ounces to stay hydrated.

Train with Someone

Ask a friend, co-worker or your kids to join you. You’re more likely to stay motivated to work out every day if you have a buddy encouraging you to keep moving.

Have Fun

Summer workouts can include more than gym machines. Go outside and have fun as you hike, swim or play tennis. For even faster results, do two workouts a day. Choose a gym workout or early morning run, then spend time later in the day engaging in a fun but physically active sport or activity.

Be Creative

Alternate workouts often since you’ll burn more calories when you keep your body guessing. You’re also more likely to stick with your exercise program when you try new movements and activities.

Use the Proper Form

You waste time and energy and increase your injury risk when you squat or run improperly. Learn how to do each activity properly to maximize each workout and improve efficiency.

Listen to your Body

Take a break if you feel dizzy, nauseated or lightheaded. Those are signs that your body needs to rest and hydrate.

Create a Cool Off Plan

Pack an ice towel for your forehead, underarms or neck in case you need to cool down quickly during your workout. You can also plan to walk in an air-conditioned mall or swim to stay cool while exercising.

See your Doctor

Whether you’re new to summer workouts or an experienced exerciser, visit your doctor. Ensure you’re healthy enough for physical activity, and get pointers on how to protect yourself as you maximize your workouts this summer.

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5 months ago · by · 0 comments

We wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday weekend. Here are some safety tips.

Fourth of July fireworks, parades and cookouts are a time for you to relax with family and friends. As you plan your celebration this year, take several steps to ensure safety for everyone involved in celebrating the United States’ birthday.

Use Fireworks Safely

Public fireworks displays are the safest way to enjoy the beautiful colors and terrific booms of this July 4th tradition, especially when you maintain a distance of at least 500 feet between you and the show. Firework displays at home can be fun though too. If you go that route, take these precautions.

    • Follow the instructions on the packaging.
    • Never allow children to play with the fireworks.
    • Stock a fire extinguisher or water supply nearby.
    • Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
    • Remove flammable materials from the area.
    • Never point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles or structures.- Properly dispose of duds rather than trying to relight them.


Take Precautions While Grilling

Burgers, hot dogs, fruit and pizza taste delicious when they’re grilled. Grab your favorite side dishes and follow a few precautions that ensure you and your guests grill safely.

  • Always supervise the grill when it’s in use.
  • Never grill indoors or in a fully enclosed area such as a garage or tent.
  • Use lighter fluid sparingly and never after the coals are ignited.
  • Keep children and pets away from the hot grill.
  • Remove flammable objects, including trees, from near the grill.
  • Use long-handled tools to handle food.


Stay Safe on the Beach 
Swimming is a fun summer activity, and it’s good exercise. At the beach, lake, public pool or backyard pool, stay safe with these tips.

  •  Swim only in designated areas.
  • Obey the lifeguard and all posted signs.
  • Swim sober.
  • Get out of the water during a storm or if you hear thunder or see lightening.
  • Require children to wear life jackets.
  • Don’t dive into shallow water.

Wear Sun Bathing Protection

Picnics are part of many July 4th celebrations. You should also take these protective measures.

    • Wear sunscreen that’s at least 15 SPF.
    • Remember to apply sunscreen to your ears, hair part and the tops of your feet.
    • Avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV rays are strongest.
    • Reapply sunscreen every two to three hours or more frequently if you’re sweating.
    • Drink plenty of water even if you’re not thirsty.
    • Wear a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves if you have to be in direct sunlight.
    • Watch for signs of heat stroke, including hot, red skin, shallow breathing and rapid, weak pulse.

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5 months ago · by · 0 comments

Protect Soft Targets From Burglars Around Your Home This Summer

The U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that most burglaries occur during the summer months. While some burglars enter your home, others are interested in soft targets, the items stored outside of your home. One in three homeowners do not protect their soft targets, but you can with these tips.

  1. Vacant Properties
    Thieves and vandals typically target vacant homes as they steal scrap metal or take other items to sell. If you’re on vacation, keep your windows and doors locked. Install outdoor motion activated lights and use a timer to turn on indoor lights at random times, too. You can also install a video camera that allows you to monitor your home while you’re away.
  2. Vehicles and Loose Items
    Experienced car thieves can steal a vehicle in less than 10 seconds. Always keep your car locked inside the garage or make sure the alarm is turned on and install an anti-theft device that disables the ignition or locks the steering wheel. You should hide any loose items, too, including electronics, garage door openers, toll booth passes and parking garage passes, either in the glove box or trunk.
  3. Unlocked Sheds and Garages
    Tools and lawn equipment are easy to resell. Always lock your garage, including windows, even if you’re working in your lawn. Be sure your valuable tools and equipment are stored inside the shed or garage, too.
  4. Sports Equipment
    Whether your summer activities include baseball, kayaking or tennis, resist the urge to store your sports equipment outside. Secure it safely in a locked garage or shed, in a locked bin or in your vehicle’s trunk.
  5. Bicycles
    Ideally, you should store your bike in a locked garage or shed. If you have to store your bikes, don’t use thin bike chains and wheel locks that are easy to unbolt or cut. A heavy chain threaded through the bike’s wheels and frame and a thick padlock are more secure.
  6. Air Conditioning Units
    Your outdoor air conditioning units contain copper coils and other metal piping that thieves can scrap for cash. Install a bright security light that’s motion activated near your outdoor AC unit or install a locked fence around it.
  7. Pool Pumps
    Pool pumps are easy to resell. Remove the pool pump and store it inside during your vacation. If that’s not possible, install a bright, motion-activated security light near the pump. You should also install a fence around your pool and keep it locked at all times.

Protect your home from thieves when you take steps to protect these seven soft targets. Be sure your homeowners or renters insurance policies are up to date, too, as you protect your home and possessions.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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