We love interacting with the people of the Laredo community, but we’d much rather do it outside the ER than inside it. Keep up with the latest knowledge from our professionals to help keep yourself in the peak of health.

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Exercise can improve your mood and attitude. What you might not know is that the reverse is also true: a positive attitude can improve your workouts. It’s pretty easy to see, then, that a positive attitude/powerful workout can be a great back and forth cycle that can really get you healthy, fit, and strong.


But how do you accomplish this in the first place? How can you overcome a lack of confidence that may be hindering your performance in the gym? It turns out that turning your mindset around isn’t as hard as you might think, as long as you take it one step at a time:


  • Set attainable goals – You are more likely to feel like a winner when you set realistic workout goals for yourself each day, based on how you feel that day. If you’re steadily building up repetitions and staying healthy – great! Keep going! But if you find yourself injured, don’t be discouraged. Adjust your goals based on what you can accomplish – and do as much as you can to stay on track.
  • See yourself winning – Whatever your ultimate goal is – competing in a triathlon, bench pressing a certain weight – picture yourself doing exactly that. Doing so can help you get in a mindset that will get you ready to work toward your goals.
  • Encourage yourself – No matter how you are feeling – whether inadequate, confused, or discouraged – you can always remind yourself that you can achieve your goals. When faced with real obstacles, like injuries, it’s important to stay positive but also be as compassionate with yourself as you would be with a workout buddy. Adjust your routine as needed but remind yourself of your successes to stay on track. Even just giving yourself a pep talk, like you would with a workout partner, can help elevate your mood, improve your attitude, and lead to better performance.
  • Disconnect – The headlines in the news from around the world can get us feeling down, so make sure you head into every workout with a clear head. Disconnect from news media or other sources of discouraging news and focus on just you. Listen to music and warm up. Or listen to complete silence as you meditate. Free yourself from the worries of the world, even if only for a short time, so that you can focus on a proper mindset for a killer workout.
  • Find support – Building a support network – even if it’s just one person cheering you on – can also help you stay motivated and ready to succeed. Supportive people can also help keep you accountable, positive, and moving toward your goals.
  • Give yourself a break – Give yourself permission to take a breather from your workouts when you really need it. Sometimes our bodies just need some recuperation time, and that’s OK. Use that time to continue to chart your path toward achieving your goals.
  • Then keep going – When you’re ready to work out again, give it all you’ve got – and remember the successes that have gotten you to where you are. Keep your goals in your sights and believe – really believe – you’ll reach them. And you will.


For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


If someone were to tell you that the simple act sitting down could put your health at risk, would you believe them? Sitting may seem like the most innocent of tasks, but studies have shown that extended periods of uninterrupted sitting may raise your risk of serious illnesses like heart disease or diabetes. Sitting is an unavoidable professional hazard for most of us, but there are steps you can take to increase your daily levels of mobility.


Ways to Sit Less and Move More

  • Nudge yourself – set an alarm on your phone or smart watch to remind yourself to get up at least once every 90 minutes.
  • Go mobile – need to take an important phone call? Walk and talk! But be aware of your surroundings, distracted walking and talking can put you and others at risk.
  • Get personal – instead of emailing or calling your coworkers, walk over to their space for a face-to-face discussion.
  • Step it up – keep track of your daily steps with your smart phone or watch, or a fitness tracker.
  • Go the distance – take the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator.
  • Try a standing desk – if your office allows for work at a counter or for a motorized standing desk, opt for the standing option.




If you need another reason to consider standing, making time to stand can also help you burn calories. By taking just one hour a day to stand, you could potentially burn over 300 additional calories per day.


Consider these tips the next time you feel chained to your desk. Now get up and get moving!


For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Many families have felt the impact a stroke can have on a loved one, bud did you know that the Hispanic community might be more at risk than others? Stroke is currently the 4th leading cause of death for Hispanics, and compared to non-Hispanic whites, our community is having strokes at much younger ages due to risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.


But what is a stroke and how can you recognize when it’s happening to yourself or someone else? A stroke occurs when blood flow to an area of the brain is restricted or cut off, resulting in brain cells dying due to lack of oxygen. This can affect facial movement, as one side of the face may begin to droop, as well as causing slurred or impaired speech. Strokes are a medical emergency, so if you witness someone exhibiting these signs, call 911 immediately.


While this information may seem alarming, over 80% of strokes can be prevented with healthy lifestyle adjustments.



How You Can Prevent Stroke

Here are some steps you can take to significantly reduce your risk of stroke:

Aspirin: Aspirin can help reduce your risk of stroke, but do not take Aspirin if you think you may be having a stroke, as this may make some types of stroke worse.

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: Monitoring your blood pressure and cholesterol can help you recognize your risk factors sooner.

Eat healthy and stay active: Choose healthy foods with less salt, as sodium can raise your blood pressure. Try getting at least 30 minutes of light physical activity in per day.

Go to the doctor: If you feel you are at risk, find a doctor you feel comfortable with discussing your health and risk factors with, including your age, lifestyle habits and if anyone in your family has had a stroke.

Get other health conditions under control: If you have a condition like diabetes already, be sure that you are managing it daily.


While scientists aren’t sure exactly why Hispanics are at a greater risk for high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes, these risk factors are all preventable or manageable. With a conscious effort, you can help yourself avoid preventable stroke.



For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Did you know that in the U.S. alone, approximately 6 million kids suffer from asthma? That’s about 1 in 12 children. For a child, an asthma attack can feel frightening. The most important thing we can do for our kids is to arm them with knowledge ahead of the attack and help them stay calm when the next attack comes.


As a community, we can continue to learn more about asthma, learn how to manage it and learn how to recognize the warning signs of an asthma attack. Interestingly, asthma hospitalizations for children are actually decreasing. Children with asthma are also reporting fewer attacks and fewer missed days of school. Despite this progress, 1 in 6 children with asthma still end up in the Emergency Department every year.


What you can do to help your child

  • Reducing asthma triggers at home:
    • Cleaning for allergens (i.e. dust mites, animal dander and molds)
    • Eliminating all sources of smoke
    • Reminding them to take breaks during exercise to catch their breath
    • Reducing emotional anxiety and stress
  • Using asthma controller medicine as prescribed
  • Sharing child’s asthma plan with schools, caregivers and healthcare providers.


Weather change can also trigger asthma attacks. Spring can be tough on kids with asthma, particularly if they have a pollen allergy. As our temperatures rise in Texas, increased heat and changes in humidity are also associated with an increase in asthma-related visits to the ER, so always have your child’s medication with you.


We believe that keeping a child’s asthma under control is an achievable goal, but not without help from parents and our community. With knowledge, awareness and management, you can rest assured knowing your child will live an active, normal life!


For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


If you had to guess at how many Americans today were going about their lives with undiagnosed prediabetes, what do you think the numbers would look like? We would be willing to bet that most American adults don’t know that over 1 out of 3 of us have prediabetes, or that an even higher 9 out of 10 of those who have it don’t realize that they’re affected. This is a pretty alarming stat, especially considering that the CDC tells us that without intervention, prediabetes could lead to major health issues. Here’s what you need to know before it affects you.


Your body produces the hormone insulin to help control your blood sugar. Insulin transports glucose into your cells through your bloodstream. Prediabetes can develop when your body isn’t able to make enough insulin or starts to have trouble making use of it properly. As a result, your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes, but it is still considered a serious health condition and is not to be taken lightly. Without change, prediabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.


Risk Factors

You can have prediabetes without symptoms so knowing risk factors are important for early detection.

Weight. Being overweight (with a BMI higher than 25) increases your risk.

Waist measurement. A larger waist measurement (40+ inches for men, 35+ inches for women) can indicate insulin resistance.

Lack of physical activity. Not getting enough exercise can increase your risk.

Dietary patterns. Eating red meat, processed meat and sugar-sweetened beverages increases your risk.

Race and ethnicity. Prediabetes is more common among African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders. It is unclear why.

Age. Your risk increases with age, particularly if you are 45 years old or older.

Family history. Having a parent or sibling with type 2 diabetes increases your risk.

Gestational diabetes. If you have gestational diabetes while pregnant, you and your child are at greater risk for prediabetes.

High blood pressure, high cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides. These conditions are often associated with having prediabetes.


The good news is, prediabetes can often be reversed with lifestyle adjustments. Eating healthier foods, maintaining a healthy weight and getting plenty of physical activity make a tremendous difference. All of these efforts can help get your blood glucose level back into the normal range — and help you feel great!


Talk to you doctor about your risk of prediabetes sooner, rather than later. There are simple blood tests that can be done to test your blood sugar levels and keep you on the path to a healthy, diabetes-free life.


For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Do you know what your current BMI is? BMI—Body Mass Index—is an important indicator of your body’s overall health. It is a calculation of how much total body fat you have based on your height and weight. According to leading health experts, a high BMI number can increase your risk of developing serious health conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, certain types of cancer, arthritis and sleep apnea.


It’s important to know your current score in order to inspire positive changes and see an improvement in your health. There are many helpful tools online that can help you accurately calculate your BMI. Check out this helpful calculator from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that calculates your BMI for you with the simple input of your height and weight—no math required! Calculate your children’s scores as well with a separate calculator designed for young kids and teens.


The results you receive from the calculator will help you deduce whether or not you’re at a healthy range based on your height and weight. If your BMI isn’t where it needs to be, make an appointment with your doctor or the nearest health professional to make a plan to get you where you should be. If you do need to lose weight, don’t get discouraged! According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, even a small weight loss—just five to ten pounds—can be enough to see a positive change in your health and get you on the path to wellness.


Lastly, remember that BMI isn’t a perfect representation of your overall health. Because it doesn’t literally measure your body’s total fat, it might not be the best way to know if you need to lose weight. Muscular people like body builders, for instance, can have high BMIs but very little excess body fat. If you do have questions about your BMI, be sure to talk to your doctor.


For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


Have you thought about how the habits you create towards your health could affect you later on in life? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are four destructive health habits that can lead to the development of America’s most common chronic diseases.


These 4 habits are:

  1. Poor eating habits
  2. Minimal physical activity
  3. Using tobacco
  4. Consuming too much alcohol


These four simple habits—together and alone—can lead to the development of serious conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and certain cancers. Just as bad habits can be replaced with good ones, it can be worthwhile in the long run to rethink your habits and move forwards towards better health. Here are four ways to create better habits this new year:


  1. Eat Cleaner

An easy way to start eating better is to focus on incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins and low-fat dairy foods into your diet. Try to lessen the amount of sodium, sweets, saturated/trans fat you eat on a daily basis. Challenging yourself to one healthy swap a day—like ordering whole-wheat bread on a sandwich instead of white—is a simple way to create better habits over time.

  1. Find time to be more active

150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity is the recommended amount for healthy adults. Exercise doesn’t have to be intimidating—you can start with a short 10-minute walk or workout and gradually increase the time until you reach the recommended amount.

  1. Quit tobacco

Stopping tobacco use will go a long way towards ensuring your overall health as you age and reducing your risk of disease. By quitting, you’ll also be protecting the health of others around you by reducing secondhand smoke exposure. One of the best ways to quit is to set a date and make a plan to quit, gradually cutting down as you reach your set date. Making an appointment with your doctor to help you quit and keep you accountable is another great way to create healthier habits.

  1. Cut back on drinking

The recommended drinking amount is no more than one drink a day for women and no more than two drinks for men. For some people, it may be best to drink less or simply not at all. If you find it difficult to cut back on drinking, try changing up your schedule to fit activities not associated with drinking. Instead of going out for drinks after work with friends, try alcohol-free activities like seeing a movie, taking a dance class or going shopping. If you find you’re having difficulty lessening your drinking amount, see a doctor.


We create and reinforce new habits every day. Ensure the habits you’re practicing will lead you to a better tomorrow with these four tips.


For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.



Your grocery cart can be a vehicle to a healthier life. Depending on where you take it and what you put into it, your grocery cart can help you eat cleaner and better.


Following healthy eating habits have multiple benefits that can help prevent most serious health risks, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain kinds of cancers.


With these six grocery-buying tips, you can find your health (and wallet) in better shape at the end of your next grocery trip.


  1. Scan the labels. You read the reviews on the latest movies to help you pick what you want to watch, so why not read the Nutrition Facts on the back of the food product you want to buy? Nutrition Facts contains helpful information that can help you avoid excess calories, added sugar, high amounts of sodium and saturated/trans fat. They can also help you decipher which product is better when comparing similar foods.


  1. Befriend the produce section. Nothing beats a cart full of colorful fruits and vegetables. Apart from packing serious flavor, these foods are fiber-rich and packed with essential vitamins and minerals to help you keep your health (and waistline) in check. In addition, if you buy what’s in season, you’ll get a cheaper and more flavorful meal. If you’re looking for cheaper alternatives, frozen and canned varieties are great options that are still equally nutritious. Be sure to look for canned fruits packed in water or 100 percent juice and vegetables marked “low sodium” or “no salt added”. For frozen items, avoid products that include added sodium, saturated fat or sugar.


  1. Go whole-grain. Aim to make at least half of the grains you buy whole-grain. Make sure your product is a whole grain by checking to see if it’s listed as the first ingredient. The food is a good source of fiber if it has at least 3 grams of fiber listed on the label. Whole-wheat or whole-grain bread, pasta and tortillas are great options to add to your diet. You can also try brown rice, bulgur and barley. Breakfast options include oatmeal and 100% bran or shredded wheat cereals. You can also add a dose of whole-grain to your snacking too—whole-wheat crackers and plain popcorn are tasty options.


  1. Add seafood to your meal plans. Nutrition experts and dieticians recommend eating fish and other seafood at least twice a week. Salmon and trout, Atlantic and Pacific mackerel, pacific oysters, anchovies and sardines are all fantastic choices that are full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury.


  1. Make Lean Your Protein Go-To. There are many wonderful lean protein options available besides fish. Skinless chicken breasts, eggs, beans and other legumes all make great additions to any meal and add a healthy dose of protein. When shopping for ground meat, look for 97% lean options.


  1. Switch to low-fat/fat-free dairy foods. This way, you can still enjoy the taste and added benefits of calcium and other nutrients, without getting the excess calories and saturated fat. If you love cheese, look for reduced-fat or low-fat on the label.


These six easy tips will make grocery shopping a healthier and more pleasant experience. With these ideas in mind, you can create a healthier family with a simple trip to the store.


For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


It’s February, and you know what that means: it’s time to start thinking about your heart. Aside from all the chocolates and love that Valentine’s Month is known for, it’s important to recognize the risks Latinos face for heart disease and start incorporating ways to combat it.


Heart disease is the number one killer of Latinos, who face higher risks of the disease because of high blood pressure and diabetes rates. According to the National Lipid Association, there are many actions you can take to decrease your risk for heart disease—particularly eating heart-healthy foods. Latino-style diets can be very heart-healthy, including rich foods like red and black beans, avocados, colored vegetables, yams and plantains, grilled lean meats and brown rice.


In honor of National Heart Month, here are five simple diet changes to help keep Latino cooking in your kitchen and your heart healthy throughout the year.


  1. Eat fiber-rich whole grains. A good rule to remember is to fill ¼ of your dinner plate with brown rice instead of white. Maize, yucca, yams and plantains are all good sources of fiber that taste great. You can also swap whole-wheat or corn tortillas instead of white for a quick health boost. Lastly, whole-grain cereals will help ensure you start your morning right.


  1. Eat plant-based or lean protein. Lean protein is healthier and will leave you feeling lighter than regular cuts of meat. Try grilling more fatty fish like salmon during the week. Fish is a good source of protein and full of helpful omega-3s that can help decrease your risk for heart disease. Skinless chicken breasts and lean beef and pork are also great sources of protein that can still add flavor to your Latino-style dish.


  1. Eat your fruits and vegetables. Eating colorful red, green and yellow peppers add a nice pop of color to your dish and help reduce your risk for heart disease. Squashes like napoles and chayote are also great options to try. Spicy sofrito and tomatillo sauce are both healthy and full of bursts of flavor. Fruits like papaya, mangos, bananas and pineapple can add a nice contrast and make excellent options for snacks and dessert.


  1. Go for healthy fats. Eating large amounts of saturated fats (usually in the form of dairy) can lead to raised amounts of unhealthy cholesterol and contribute to the development of heart disease. Increasing your healthy fat intake and reducing your saturated fat intake is a simple way to improve your heart health. You can do this by avoiding whole milk, full-fat cheeses, lard and butter in cooking. You can also try using more avocado and less cheese in meals. Snacking on raw and unsalted nuts and seeds is another simple way to incorporate more healthy fats into your diet. Finally, using canola, corn, extra-virgin olive and safflower oil are wonderful substitutions for butter.


With these simple diet changes, you’ll be well on your way to feeding a happier heart.


For more health tips, follow us on Facebook! Laredo Emergency Room is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.


You show love to your friends and family everyday—especially during the month of February. But how often have you remembered to show yourself love? Taking the time to show your body love is one of the most important things you can do for your health, and especially when you’re trying to get on the path to a healthier you.


Here are five little ways you can show yourself the unconditional love you give to others.


  1. Take a listen. It can be all too easy to get caught up in the rush of daily life and forget to listen to how your body is feeling. Your body is capable of so much, but if it’s lacking proper care and attention, it won’t allow you to continue living a healthy life.

    Take time throughout the day to check in with your body and assess how you’re feeling on a scale of 1-10, with 1 as the absolute lowest and 10 as the best. If you’re not at a ten, listen to your body’s needs and do your best to fulfill them. This way, you can ensure that you’re always operating at your optimum level throughout the day.


  1. Feed your body. Although this seems obvious, skipping meals and running on coffee all day is not enough to keep your body well nourished. You wouldn’t dare let your phone or laptop go uncharged, so why not do the same for your body? Your body needs refueling every day, just as your prized electronics need charging. Nourish your body with whole foods, hydrating liquids, self-care and movement. Making nourishment a priority will give you the energy and stamina you need to be your best each day and show love to others around you.


  1. Get moving. It’s no secret that getting your heart pumping and your legs moving is great for your body. However, it’s important to note that there is no “right” way to exercise. Find a method that works for you and stick to it—whether it’s yoga class, spin, swimming or lifting weights. Any kind of physical activity throughout the day counts. Committing to get your body moving each day with some physical activity and stretches will go a long way in keeping your body happy and healthy.


  1. Embrace rest. Rest is an important component of taking care of your body. Living on 3-4 hours of sleep a night is not how your body is designed to operate, not to mention very unhealthy. Think about it—it’s difficult to be at your best while your body is physically exhausted. Make an effort to get 8-9 hours of sleep a night, and learn to slow down and rest when your body tells you to. It’s okay to skip a task on your to-do list to take a quick nap—your body is more important.


  1. Appreciate your body. Your body is amazing—don’t deny it! It allows you to travel, eat wonderful food, and most importantly, love the ones around you freely. Just as you would a tangible gift, make a point to be grateful to your body for it allows you to do.


This Valentine’s Day, don’t forget to show love to the most important vessel in your life—you.

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