University of Pennsylvania Health System

Penn Health and Wellness

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Spring into Good Health

Spring is here - at last! The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and people seem to have just a little extra hop in their step. But if you're still finding it difficult to get out of hibernation mode, Penn Medicine offers some spring wellness suggestions to help:

Get Up, Get Out and Get Active

It can be hard to get back into the swing of things, especially after the harsh winter many of us just endured. Your body, though, will thank you once you get out into the fresh air. Go for a jog, hike, walk the dog, do some yard work, anything that gets your body moving.

Ever think about trying a 5k or 10k run/walk? Now is the perfect time to sign up and give it a shot. Check out a few upcoming runs sponsored by Penn Medicine.


Set goals for yourself in terms of the amount of activities you want to do in a week and have fun reaching them.

Eat Healthier

We know, it's easier said than done. But here's really why: with the additional outdoor activities you’ll be enjoying in the nice weather, your body needs more vitamins and nutrients. Spring is when many different fruits and vegetables come into season, which means your grocery store will be stocked with all kinds of produce. Take advantage of these fresh foods by integrating them into your diet. Not only are they good for you, but they will give you extra energy.

Be Prepared for Allergy Season

We all know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers”. For those that are prone to sniffles and sneezes as the weather warms, now is the time to prepare a plan of defense.

Although the thought is to open windows and allow some fresh air to come in, this can have consequences to those suffering from allergies. By keeping windows closed during this time of year, you can reduce the amount of pollen entering the house. It is also recommended that you change filters in air conditioning units and vents frequently throughout springtime.

When venturing outside, wear sunglasses and a hat to block pollen from landing on your head or entering your eyes. After being outside for an extended period of time, be sure to shower to remove any pollen from your hair and skin.

Finally, talk to your doctor about a seasonal allergy drug that may be appropriate for your symptoms. Or, just schedule an appointment before the season really kicks in.

Get Ready for Spring Cleaning

Did you know there are health benefits to spring cleaning? Not only can spring cleaning help reduce sneezing and sniffling by removing dust buildup, it can also help your mental health. By living in a clutter-free environment, you can reduce stress and anxiety. Remember that spring cleaning needs to be an ongoing activity because of the additional foot traffic, pollen, etc.

A few tips to guide your cleaning:
  • In an attempt to control pollen, wash bedding every week in hot water.
  • Wash throw rugs every couple weeks to reduce mold.
  • Change filters in air conditioning units and vents every 30-60 days.

Work Out With Your Dog

Work out with your dog
Taking long walks or runs with your dog can help both of you stay in shape! The recommended time per day for walking your dog is 30 minutes. Just think, you can burn calories and enjoy time with your pup. In fact, a 140-pound woman walking at a leisurely pace for a half an hour can burn up to 100 calories! Of course your pet benefits as well.

Benefits of getting fit with your dog include:
  • Motivation to exercise – there's nothing like an workout partner who's waiting by the door with a wagging tail to keep you motivated!
  • Helps digestive system – a brisk walk can help aid digestion after a big meal.
  • Increased cardiovascular fitness – steady movement can get your heart rate up and can help lower blood pressure.
  •  Improve balance and coordination.
All the above benefits go for your dog as well. In addition, this time together strengthens the bond between you and your pet, and leads to a strong, trusting relationship.

Spring brings many opportunities, so say goodbye to snow shovels and warmer jackets and say hello to extended days and new outdoor adventures. Like all good things, this time of year is fleeting. So be sure to make the best of it!

For more helpful tips and information, check out Patient Resources section.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Penn Medicine in the Community: Upcoming Spring Events

This spring, Penn Medicine will take part in numerous events throughout the tri-state area. These events provide our physicians and staff an opportunity to be closer to the people we serve and allow us to be more than simply a health care provider; it allows us to be part of the community.
Penn Medicine in the Community
Click on the image for a printable calendar

Saturday, March 15: Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee’s Annual Block Captain Rally
Saturday, April 5: Zumbathon in Support of the American Lung Association
Saturday, April 26: Lower Bucks Family YMCA Healthy Kids Day
Saturday, April 26: Cherry Hill Earth Festival
Saturday, May 3: Million Dollar Bike Ride
Saturday, May 3: Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival
Saturday, May 17: Kennett Run

2014 Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee’s Block Captain Rally

The return of warm weather means another season of keeping Philadelphia neighborhoods clean is underway. Don’t miss The Philadelphia Streets Department kickoff event with the annual Block Captain Rally. This year's event will feature all Block Captains and will be comprised of multiple workshops, including ones hosted by Penn Presbyterian Internal Medicine, as well as discussing plans for a cleaner Philadelphia.

About Penn Presbyterian Internal Medicine:
This practice provides comprehensive care to adults, including primary care and prevention of illness. Physicians treat patients with a wide array of conditions including hypertension, diabetes mellitus and heart disease. Should the need arise, the faculty also cares for patients admitted to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

Date: Saturday, March 15
Time: 9:00 am-2:00 pm
Location: Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1st Floor– 12th and Arch Street Entrance (Northeast corner
Penn Presbyterian workshop details:
  • Workshop Room: 102AB
  • Workshop Timing:
    • Session 1: 10:00-10:45 am
    • Session 2: 11:00-11:45 am

Zumbathon with Penn Medicine in Support of the American Lung Association

Penn Medicine supports the American Lung Association and will join them at a Zumbathon in Wayne, PA. Zumba is a dance-based fitness program that combines Latin and international music with dance moves designed to provide a fun, aerobic workout. Get fit while dancing with the area's hottest Zumba instructors and also get a taste of the new craze, Bokwa.

During one of your water breaks, stop by and say hi to the Penn Medicine table. Space is limited. Register today

Date: Saturday, April 5
Time: 3:00 pm-6:00 pm
Location: Radnor Activity Center at Sulpizio Gym, Wayne, PA

Penn Medicine Bucks County at Family YMCA Healthy Kids Day

Don't miss this great family event right in your community. In an effort to encourage kids and parents to commit to keeping the body and mind active, this event will feature, among other things, family Zumba, family kickball and family fun. For more information, visit Lower Bucks Family YMCA.

While enjoying the festivities, visit the Penn Internal Medicine & Family Medicine Bucks County table to learn about Penn Primary Care and other specialty care services offered at one convenient site, in Yardley, PA. Patients and their families can see their primary care physician, consult with a specialist, get lab work and radiology services all in one place.

Date: Saturday, April 26
Time: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
Location: Fairless Hills YMCA, Yardley, PA

Penn Medicine Cherry Hill at 5th Annual Cherry Hill Earth Festival

Held at historic Croft Farm, the Cherry Hill Earth Festival promises to be an engaging, healthful, entertaining day for children of all ages. A two and nine-mile Family Fun bike ride, displays and an ‘Artist-in-Residence’ are just a few of the festivities planned! For more information, visit Sustainable Cherry Hill.

Stop by the Penn Family Medicine Cherry Hill table to meet physicians and staff and to learn about the multiple health care services offered at this location. Penn Medicine Cherry Hill is home to both primary and specialty care physicians. Patients are able to see their primary care physician, plus consult with a specialist.

Date: Saturday, April 26
Time: 10:00 am-2:00 pm
Location: Croft Farm
               Cherry Hill, NJ

Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival

The annual Rittenhouse Row Spring Festival is set to take over Rittenhouse Square for a day, showcasing fantastic food, fashion, arts and entertainment. Last year’s event featured more than 40 restaurants, a terrific range of entertainment and endless shopping opportunities.

Don’t forget to visit one of the several participating Penn Medicine practices. Meet Penn physicians and staff and learn how each practice can help you and your family members stay healthy. Penn Medicine will also be partnering with Be Well Philly and feature games and other fun activities. Come check us out on the corner of Broad and Walnut Streets and enter to win a variety of raffle prizes and giveaways!


Date: Saturday, May 3
Time: 12:00-6:00 pm
Location: Broad Street and Walnut Street


Million Dollar Bike Ride

Mark your calendars for the first annual Million Dollar Bike Ride to raise money for rare disease research, organized by the Penn Center for Orphan Disease Research and Therapy and Rare Disease Cycling. The event is the only cycling fundraiser to start and end in the city of Philadelphia.

Refreshments and entertainment at the start/finish line and fun for the entire family. All participants will receive free gear, including a Million Dollar Bike Ride jersey. Individual cyclists can register and raise money for their specific orphan/rare disease foundation.


Date: Saturday, May 3
Time: 9:00 am
Location: Highline Park (31st and Chestnut) on Penn’s campus

Kennett Run

Promoting the general well-being and civic betterment of Kennett area residents, the Kennett Run is an event for all ages and abilities. Ranging from a 1 mile fun walk to a 10k Power Run, there is something for everyone. Following the race, a party will be held for all participants and families.

Be sure to set a few minutes aside to say hi to the physicians and staff from Penn Family Medicine Kennett. With an emphasis on disease prevention and promoting healthy lifestyles, this practice provides care for the whole family, from childhood on.

Date: Saturday, May 17
Time: 7:00 am-12:00 pm
Location: Anson B Nixon Park

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Importance of Primary Care Physicians

Generally speaking, people in good health rarely need medications or have the need to see a specialist. So it’s probably natural that most give little thought to selecting a Primary Care Physician (PCP).

Ngozi Onuoha, MD
Ngozi Onuoha, MD
At some point, though, everyone is going to feel under the weather, which might call for a medical opinion. This is where and when it makes sense to have a Primary Care Physician you can trust and who can act as the first point of contact into a health care system. A PCP can provide preventive care, teach healthy lifestyle choices, identify and treat common medical conditions and make referrals to medical specialists, when needed.

In fact, many patients, once they find a PCP they really like, stay with that physician for decades. With this kind of long-term relationship, PCPs develop a baseline for your wellbeing and really get to know you and your family, allowing for optimal management of your total health. The relationship you build with your primary care doctor is one of the most important you’ll ever have.

“A Primary Care Physician is essential to help an individual navigate to good health and stay healthy; preventing disease by identifying risk factors; coordinating and managing chronic disease care for longevity and a better quality of life,” says Ngozi Onuoha, MD, a primary care physician at Penn Internal Medicine Mayfair.

What Makes Penn Unique?

From childhood through the rest of your life, Penn primary care physicians and staff listen to your special concerns and help you make informed decisions about maintaining your health. Penn providers partner with patients to develop personalized goals and wellness plans to meet each individual’s specific health needs.

With a comprehensive approach and broad knowledge of each organ system and disease type, Penn PCPs emphasize health education, appropriate screenings and prevention and care of chronic diseases. When the time comes for you to choose a primary care physician, you should consider your specific needs as well as those of your family.

At Penn, you can choose from several different types of primary care:
  • Family Medicine: Caring for the whole family in a variety of areas including obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics and internal medicine.
  • Internal Medicine: Generally caring for adults, treating a wide variety of general and chronic conditions.
  • Pediatrics: Compassionate and personal care for children from birth to age 18.
  • Adolescent Care: A team of physicians focused on the specific needs of young men and women between the ages of 12 and 30.
Learn more about Penn primary care locations and how Penn works with you to ensure each visit is as productive as possible by visiting our Patient Resources page.

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