• Tips for Improving Your Diet This Summer


    You can get your summer off to a great start by making some healthy changes in your meal plan. Finding ways to incorporate more vegetables into your daily diet and reduce your intake of added sugars, salt, and fats are excellent ways to boost your heart health and trim your waistline. And if you’re planning to undergo bariatric weight loss surgery at Riverside Community Hospital, you can take advantage of the extensive patient support, including nutritional guidance.

    Visit Local Farm Stands

    This summer, take advantage of the wide variety of fresh produce available from farms around the Riverside area. Head over to a nearby farmer’s market or local farm stand to stock your fridge full of nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits. Instead of eating ice cream this summer, you can indulge in healthy watermelon slices fresh from the farm. Each time you visit a farmer’s market, challenge yourself to select at least one new vegetable to try. Eating a variety of produce gives your body the wide spectrum of nutrients it needs to function well.

    Add Berries to Your Meals

    Berries may be small in size, but they’re jam-packed with nutrients. By eating about a cup of fresh berries each day, you’re adding antioxidants and fiber to your diet. Sprinkle some blueberries on your morning oatmeal, add strawberries to your salad for lunch, or mix in some fresh blackberries into a cup of low-fat yogurt.

    Prepare Ingredients for the Week Ahead

    One common reason for resorting to unhealthy convenience meals is lacking enough time at the end of the day to prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal. You can address this issue by planning your meals for the week ahead and assembling all of your ingredients. Tear leafy kale into bite-sized pieces, chop up broccoli and cauliflower florets, and slice some carrot sticks to use in meals for the coming week. Store your washed and chopped ingredients in sealed containers in the refrigerator to make it easy to prepare weeknight meals.

    At Riverside Community Hospital, you’ll find compassionate staff members who are dedicated to helping you meet your wellness goals. If you’re anticipating bariatric weight loss, robotic surgery, organ transplant, or heart surgery, you can find the help you need at our community hospital. To speak with a registered nurse in Riverside, give us a call at (951) 788-3000.

  • Staying Fit and Heat-Smart All Summer Long


    It can be tempting to slack off on your workout routine during the hot summer months. Unfortunately, if you’re physically inactive for just four to six weeks, you’ll lose the benefits of exercise. Instead, modify your workout routine to protect your health when the temperatures soar. You may wish to consider talking to a physician at your local hospital about exercise safety during the summer.

    Schedule Your Workout Carefully

    During the first one to two weeks of summertime temperatures, it’s a good idea to ease up on your workout routine a little. Allow your body to gradually acclimate to the soaring temperatures by temporarily reducing the intensity and duration of your workout. Throughout the summer, try to schedule your workouts for the cooler parts of the day. If you can’t find the time to exercise in the early morning or evening hours, you may wish to join a local gym to work out in the air conditioning.

    Dress Appropriately for the Weather

    Wearing appropriate workout clothes is essential for exercising outdoors during the summer months. Choose lightweight fabrics that “breathe,” such as cotton. Select workout clothes in vibrant colors to reflect the sun’s rays. And remember to apply sunscreen before heading outdoors.

    Stay Well Hydrated

    It’s no surprise that you’re more likely to sweat heavily when working out in hot temperatures. Replacing your lost fluids and minerals is crucial for preventing heat-related illnesses. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after each workout. Choose low-sugar sports drinks to replace your lost minerals. Use a small pouch that fits around your waist to hold your water bottle while you work out. Or, consider investing in a hydration backpack, especially if you plan long workouts.

    Learn the Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses

    If you feel dizzy, faint, nauseous, or confused, you could have a heat-related illness. These are just a few of the symptoms; your doctor can provide you with further guidance. If you do experience possible symptoms of heat exhaustion or heatstroke, stop working out immediately and go to a nearby hospital.

    Riverside Community Hospital is your source for comprehensive healthcare, including emergency medical services, bariatric weight loss, OB/GYN care, and much more. Residents of the Riverside area can call our hospital at (951) 788-3000 to speak with a registered nurse. If you think you’re experiencing a severe heat-related illness, please call 911 for emergency transportation to our hospital.

  • How Can You Prepare for Bariatric Surgery?


    Many individuals with obesity have trouble losing weight through diet and exercise alone. If this describes you, you may be a good candidate for bariatric weight loss surgery at Riverside Community Hospital. The decision to undergo bariatric weight loss is not one to be taken lightly. It’s important that you fully understand what’s involved with the surgery and your recovery. Following your physician’s instructions for preparing for the procedure can support a successful outcome.

    Join a Support Group

    It’s advisable to join a bariatric weight loss support group before having the procedure. A support group provides a welcoming, nonjudgmental environment in which you can learn more about the procedure, hear about the experiences of others, and learn about strategies for successfully changing lifestyle behaviors. In addition to joining a support group, you’ll likely need to enroll in a pre-operative patient education class.

    Schedule Tests and Examinations

    Before your procedure, your bariatric weight loss specialist will conduct a physical exam and request that you undergo certain medical tests. For example, you might undergo blood tests, cardiovascular evaluations, and a psychiatric evaluation. You’ll also need to disclose your full medical history to your healthcare provider.

    Begin a Weight Loss Diet

    It’s common for bariatric surgeons to request that patients lose some weight before the procedure. You’ll likely meet with a dietician, who can help you make healthy food choices and change your eating habits. After the surgery, you’ll need to eat much smaller meals and snacks that are packed with protein and devoid of empty calories. You’ll also need to avoid drinking liquids with your meals and avoid consuming alcohol. It’s a good idea to become accustomed to your new eating habits before the surgery.

    Riverside Community Hospital offers a comprehensive bariatric weight loss program for individuals in the Riverside area who are ready to reclaim their health. At our Center for Surgical Weight Loss, you’ll find patient support groups, pre-operative education classes, and nutrition classes. To request a referral to a bariatric weight loss specialist, call our community hospital at (951) 788-3000.

  • Health Concerns in the Hispanic Community: Obesity


    Obesity is a major concern in the U.S. As the rates of obesity among U.S. adults and children continue to rise, so too does the risk of increased rates of heart disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, certain cancers, and a slew of other health problems. Obesity is of particular concern for the Hispanic community, given that research has revealed disproportionately higher rates of obesity among this demographic. At Riverside Community Hospital, our bariatric weight loss team helps individuals who are struggling with obesity.

    Obesity Statistics

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) has published an alarming report regarding the rate of obesity among the Hispanic community. According to the OMH, 78 percent of Mexican American women are overweight or obese. This is significantly higher than the percentage of non-Hispanic White women who are overweight or obese, which is calculated at 60.3. Furthermore, the data demonstrate that Hispanic Americans are less likely to engage in physical activity.

    Healthy Recipes

    Dietary modifications are essential for losing weight and maintaining weight loss. Individuals who are struggling with dietary choices can find the guidance they need at a nearby hospital. Dieticians can provide advice on enjoying healthy Hispanic recipes that feature plenty of fresh vegetables and lean proteins. For example, empanadas can be made with lean ground turkey instead of ground beef. Other healthy meal ideas include sautéed polenta with spinach and beans, and tamales stuffed with black beans, squash, and goat cheese. Being aware of food choices between meals is also important. Instead of reaching for a sugary, salty, or fatty snack, dieticians might recommend eating a hard-boiled egg or a piece of fruit. Similarly, swapping out sodas and other sugary beverages in favor of water or tea can reduce daily caloric intake.

    Riverside Community Hospital is dedicated to promoting the well-being of all of our neighbors throughout the Riverside area. At our community hospital, new and current patients can explore our preventive healthcare services or meet with a specialist at the Center for Surgical Weight Loss to determine if bariatric weight loss surgery could be appropriate for them. Call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (951) 788-3000 to inquire about our other service lines, including robotic surgery, organ transplant, and heart care.