Running: In or Out? What You Should Consider

running.shutterstock_260839634At this time of year in Boston, with the Marathon just days away, many of us begin to ponder questions like “Who will win?” and “What will the weather be like?” This year, however, the prevailing question seems to be, “How the heck did our local runners train in all that snow?!”

This year’s aspiring marathoners had to be creative and employ a mix of indoor and outdoor training sessions to get prepared, using treadmills in addition to navigating (carefully) snow and ice aplenty outside.

But this made us wonder: what are the pro’s and con’s of running on a treadmill versus running outdoors? There are indeed some key differences to consider, so if you’re motivated by watching the Boston Marathon to start running for the first time (or for the first time in a long time),before you lace up, read up and see what might be best for you. Continue reading

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Patriots’ Day Holiday Notice

Patriot's Day.croppedOn Monday, April 20th, Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates will be closed for the Patriots’ Day holiday except for those practices listed below, which are open for pre-scheduled urgent care appointments. If you feel you need medical advice or think that you may need to be seen, call your doctor’s office at any time, day or night. Your call will be directed to our 24/7 medical staff and triaged as needed. If it is determined that you need an urgent care appointment, the medical staff can schedule one for you.

As always, if you are experiencing a life threatening emergency, please call 911 or your local emergency access number. Continue reading

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What are YOUR choices? National Healthcare Decisions Day is Thursday, April 16th

NHDD.grandmother and granddaughterAs a nurse practitioner for the palliative care program at Harvard Vanguard, I recently met Michael during my visit to his home. Michael had recently been hospitalized and returned home needing portable oxygen and a walker. As part of my visit, we talked about his life and how he is coping with his illness. When I asked him how he wanted to be cared for as his illness progressed, he didn’t have a ready answer. He hadn’t thought about who should be in charge of his care if he wasn’t able to share his wishes with me or others caring for him.

Unfortunately, my experience with Michael is all too common. Many of us don’t think about or face these difficult topics every day, and we haven’t talked to our loved ones or the clinicians taking care of us about our wishes. A 2013 Pew Research Study confirms this. The study found that, even among Americans ages 75 and older, 25% say they have not given very much or any thought to their end-of-life wishes.

Moreover, Americans’ level of preparation for end-of-life medical decisions has not changed much over time. The Pew Research Study states: “The share of Americans who report having given a great deal of thought to their own wishes for end-of-life medical treatment (37%) is roughly the same as it was in a 2005 Pew Research Center survey and up modestly from 23 years ago, when 28% said they had given a great deal of thought to their wishes.”

Thursday, April 16th, is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) let your choices be known. Continue reading

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Group Health Coaching Telephonic Class: A Huge Success

group telephonic coachingThe seemingly never-ending string of snowstorms that occurred this past winter led to the cancellation of dozens of health and wellness classes offered at Harvard Vanguard. From Prenatal Yoga to Strong Women Stay Young, Breastfeeding to Caring for your Newborn – calls were made and classes were rescheduled, sometimes over and over again. Cruel irony delayed the Learning to Meditate class for an entire month, leaving those who wanted to reduce the stress caused by ice dams, roof shoveling and sore backs with no choice but to wait.

Without knowing we would top historic snowfall in Boston, Harvard Vanguard just happened to offer its first ever telephonic class, Group Health Coaching Experience for Women in Midlife. This course, designed for women 45 to 59 years of age who were interested in making lifestyle changes to improve their health, met by phone for six sessions. Little did we know when we planned this course how convenient it would turn out to be!  Participants didn’t have to worry about weather reports, digging out their cars or slippery roads because they participated in the class from the comfort of their own homes. Continue reading

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Department of Transportation (DOT) CDL Physical Exams

Truck DriverAs of May 21, 2014, all commercial drivers are required to have a physical exam performed by a Department of Transportation (DOT) Certified Medical Examiner. A routine physical performed by your primary care provider is no longer acceptable to meet DOT requirements.

We are pleased to announce that we offer these physicals at our Beverly, Peabody, Cambridge and Kenmore (Boston) locations. Continue reading

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