Brandy Zwicker
Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker’s Advice on How to Boost Energy

Feeling tired? Brandy Zwicker has some advice when that third cup of coffee just is not cutting it.

Brandy Zwicker

Sometimes we have low-energy days. When the coffee won’t kick in and brain fog refuses to dissipate. Though the most likely cause of this heavy fatigue is lack of sleep, it could be a cry for help from something deeper within: our cells.

“When we talk about having energy, we are really talking about a molecule called adenosine triphosphate, or ATP,” said Brandy Zwicker. “ATP’s primary function is to store and deliver energy to our cells throughout our bodies. The problem is, as we grow older, our bodies can struggle to produce enough ATP to provide our cells with enough energy.”

“But there are ways to help our bodies produce more ATP,” said Brandy Zwicker. “The best strategies include diet and exercise, and of course, sleep.”

1) Diet
Zwicker explains that we can boost our energy levels by eating lean meats and fatty acids such as turkey, chicken, tuna, and salmon. But there’s a caveat.

“Heavy meals can cause insulin levels to spike, which then causes blood sugar to rapidly drop, creating that tired, sluggish feeling,” said Zwicker. “It’s best to eat small meals and snacks every few hours to maintain a steady level of nutrients and ATP production.”

2) Drink Enough Water
“Feeling fatigued is one of the first signs of dehydration,” said Brandy Zwicker. “Water is crucial to maintaining energy levels. Stay hydrated by drinking water, and water-heavy fruits and veggies such as cucumbers, watermelon, celery, strawberries, zucchini, squash, and citrus fruits. Men should try and drink 15 cups of water a day while women should aim for 12 cups.”

3) Exercise Consistently
“Stronger muscles mean you process energy more efficiently, therefore conserving ATP,” said Zwicker. “Whatever type of exercise you do, consistency is key. Even a low to moderate routine of 20 minutes a few times a week is enough to stabilize your energy levels.”

As a final, more obvious tip, Brandy Zwicker suggests getting enough sleep to boost ATP levels. If you experience an unusual amount of fatigue, see your doctor right away. Chronic fatigue can be an early warning sign of diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, autoimmune issues, anxiety, and depression.

Want to read more health tips? Visit https://brandyzwicker.com/posts/ for Brandy Zwicker’s blog.

About Brandy Zwicker
Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.

Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker Recommends Three Supplements That Every Woman Needs

10-year registered nurse, Brandy Zwicker, shares three supplements that she recommends to every woman she meets.

Staying healthy, getting all your nutrients, maintaining a strong immune system. These are all things women think about at one time or another. But where to start? Which nutrients do women really need?

“For one, start with getting your blood work to find out what nutrients are lacking,” said Brandy Zwicker, a registered nurse for 10 years. “But if you can’t wait, I have a few recommendations to get you started.”Brandy Zwicker

“The first two supplements I recommend are calcium and vitamin D,” said Brandy Zwicker. “Vitamin D helps with calcium absorption and plays a significant role in brain and reproductive health. Better calcium absorption meaning stronger bones and thyroid support, which helps regulate the menstrual cycle.”

Iron is another vital supplement for women. For women that often feel fatigued, especially while menstruating, Brandy recommends taking iron for a dramatic improvement.

“Iron provides energy to the body,” said Brandy. “Most women I meet have their lives dramatically improved just by taking this one supplement. It helps wake up the brain and shake off any brain fog or memory trouble. Vegans and vegetarians especially should consider taking this supplement as iron is harder to come by in plant-based diets.”

Some other great supplements that Brandy recommends include maca, magnesium, and probiotics. Maca has been proven to increase energy and libido in women (as well as men.) Magnesium helps regulate muscle function, including the heart muscle. It helps the heart maintain a healthy rhythm, regulate blood pressure, and improves the production of cholesterol. Probiotics are a common supplement that many people benefit from. They help increase gut bacteria to better digest food and make a person more regular.

Want to read more health tips? Visit https://brandyzwicker.com/posts/ for Brandy Zwicker’s blog.

Registered Nurse, Brandy Zwicker, Encourages Yoga for its Mental and Physical Health Benefits

10-year registered nurse, Brandy Zwicker, shares the benefits of yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that aims to combine the mind and body. It incorporates poses and stretches,  breathing, and meditation practices, which reduces stress and calms the mind. Brandy Zwicker, a nurse for over ten years, shares some scientifically-backed benefits that yoga has on physical and mental health.

“I love yoga specifically for its power to ease stress and lower anxiety,” said Brandy Zwicker. “It lowers cortisol levels and can help people suffering from PTSD.”

“Because of its effect on stress levels, yoga can significantly help improve quality of life,” continued Brandy. “And because it gets the body moving, it can help reduce inflammation thanks to certain poses, and improve heart health by increasing your heart rate as you practice strengthening your muscles.”

Yoga can also increase body strength, improve sleep, improve flexibility and balance, as well as improve breathing.

“Western medicine is catching up to the benefits of yoga,” said Brandy. “If I hear a patient explaining symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression or overwhelmed due to work or at home, I always encourage them to use the tools of yoga in conjunction with a healthy diet and any prescriptions the doctor recommends.”

“It’s becoming increasingly important to take care of our mental health as much as our physical health,” said Brandy Zwicker. “Don’t be afraid to try something new. It’s O.K. to relax and take a step back in this increasingly busy world.”

Want to read more health tips? Click here for Brandy Zwicker’s blog.

About Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.

Brandy Zwicker Shares Warning Signs of Lung Disease

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men and women. Unfortunately, Brandy Zwicker is all too familiar with this fact when she discovered her father developed lung cancer and passed away soon after. Now, she’s on a mission to help as many people she can know the warning signs of the disease, and what strategies people can implement to protect themselves and those they love.

Brandy Zwicker“I can’t stress enough how important it is to pay attention to even the mildest of symptoms,” said Brandy. “One might disregard a persistent cough of little wheeze, but if it’s a consistent issue, then you should schedule an appointment with your doctor right away. Early detection could save your life.”

Lung disease could be a number of illnesses, including asthma, cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD. Paying attention to early warning signs can launch life-saving treatment before the disease gets worse or spreads.

Warning signs include:

-Chronic cough
-Shortness of breath
-Chronic mucus production
-Wheezing
-Coughing up blood
-Chest pain
-Labored breathing

“Lung disease can be treatable and preventable,” said Brandy Zwicker. “I know it’s easy to forget about our lungs, but they are one of our most important organs. We must do whatever it takes to protect them.

“You can keep your lungs healthy by first and foremost, not smoking,” said Brandy. “Smoke from cigarettes can make the air passages become more narrow, making it harder to breathe. It also destroys lung tissue.”

“Another important factor to watch out for are indoor pollutants,” said Brandy. “These include radon, secondhand smoke, and other chemicals. You must also protect yourself from infection. Remember to wash your hands and carry hand sanitizer with you at all times.”

“Oral hygiene and regular visits with your doctor are key. Let your dentist or doctor know if you experience any pain or infection,” said Brandy Zwicker.

“Lastly, keep your lungs strong by exercising. Exercising keeps your lungs in working order, helps fight heart disease and produces endorphins, which aid in keeping your immune system and spirit up.”

Want to read more health tips? Click here for Brandy Zwicker’s blog.

About Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.

Registered Nurse, Brandy Zwicker’s Top Five Ways to Manage Stress

As a medical professional, Brandy Zwicker as seen the toll stress can have on the body. Here are some of her favorite ways to combat stress and find some inner peace.

Life is full of ups and downs, and sometimes, overwhelming. For many Americans, the stress of working full time, managing a household, and other personal factors can play a significant role in stress levels, which hinders health, energy, brain function, physical performance and more.

“At one point or another, we will feel the impact of stress on our body,” said Brandy Zwicker, a 10-year registered nurse. “What matters most is to realize these stress levels in the moment, and then actively manage our response as quickly as possible.”

Here are Brandy’s top five ways of combating stress.

“My number one suggestion in lowering stress is to get off of stimulants, or at least, lessen them,” said Brandy. “Stimulants such as caffeine can actually contribute to an increase in anxiety, and worse yet, give you an exhausting crash later, which will only add to your frustration and stress.”

As her second suggestion, Brandy recommends getting more sleep.

“Laying off the caffeine will help, but if you have trouble sleeping, focus on making time for a relaxed evening,” said Brandy. “This means no late-night work emails. Make time to read, watch an episode of your favorite show, put together a puzzle, color with your kids. If this all sounds a little boring to you, good! The goal is to turn your attention from those daily stressors to something completely distracting.”

Brandy continued, “Next, take some things off your plate. In modern society, we are always doing more. More activities to take the kids to, more work to take home, more appointments. Either practice saying no or ask for help. You are not alone and being stressed 100% of the time is not the same as living a successful, fulfilling life. Less is more”

“That leads me to my next strategy, mindfulness,” said Brandy Zwicker. “Mindfulness, meditation, taking a moment to be alone without the noise is not new-age hocus pocus. It is essential to becoming more equipped to handle stressful moments, to lowering cortisol levels and increasing dopamine. I highly recommend learning more about this practice and integrating it into your daily life in a way that suits you best.”

As her final suggestion, Brandy recommends getting some exercise.

“Stress induces a fight or flight response, which in either case, tells our brain to get moving!” said Brandy. “Exercise is a great way to shake out those excess stress hormones, and in turn, increase endorphins and dopamine for a more relaxed, happy state. Any type of physical activity will help–a walk, bike ride, crunches, push-ups. Bonus points if you can get outside and be around some nature.”

Want to read more health tips? Click here for Brandy Zwicker’s blog.

About Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.

Registered Nurse Brandy Zwicker Gives 5 Ways to Exercise as a Family

As adults, we hear a lot about the importance of exercise. It’s no wonder, moving the body helps lower stress, risks of heart disease, and control weight. But as children enter the picture, many parents are left wondering how to squeeze in even the smallest amount of gym time. Even when parents do get to the gym, kids are usually left out of the opportunity to exercise or prefer more time in front of the screen. As a mom of five, Brandy Zwicker was all too familiar with this scene, and she was determined to change it.

“Our kids look up to us. They model our behavior,” said Brandy Zwicker. “So it’s important to be the model of healthy habits. If kids see their parents leading a sedentary lifestyle, it only sets them up for their own sedentary life, or worse, obesity.”

Brandy Zwicker continued, “Exercising as a family not only strengthens children’s muscles and lungs, but it sets them on the right path for a lifetime of healthy habits. Young children and toddlers benefit too. Exercise releases pent-up energy and leads to better concentration in the classroom.”

So how do parents ensure the health of their children, as well as their own? Brandy Zwicker says it is about being creative.

“There’s more to exercise than going to the gym or a long run,” said Brandy Zwicker. “Focus on integrating family activities that double as family time and physical movement.”

Here are 5 tips from Brandy that do just that.

  1. Take aFamily Stroll

“The first tip may seem obvious but it’s often overlooked,” said Brandy. “Taking a family walk before or after dinner is a great way to get those little legs moving. Make it competitive. Log steps and post a tracker on the fridge. Or use the time to catch up and bond. You want to get the heart moving for at least 30 minutes.

  1. Have a Dance Party

“You can’t sit out of this one. Take turns playing each family member’s favorite song and have a dance party in the living room,” said Brandy. “Young ones will love to see their parents being silly and having fun. The older siblings may even get into it too.”

  1. Yard “Work”

“Gardening, raking leaves, playing in the snow, these are all activities where kids can use their imagination and leave the tablet or phone behind,” said Brandy Zwicker. “Have some play time before the work. Play in the leaves, build a snowman. Then make a game for the biggest pile of leaves or the fastest snow sweeper.”

  1. Active Games

“Tag, relay races, tug-of-war, potato sack races. These are all activities that get kids moving while they have fun doing it,” said Brandy. “There are even some video games that get kids off the couch. From dancing, tennis, and bowling, there are many options to keep active even on a rainy day.”

  1. Kid’s Pick

“Stuck? Ask your kids!” said Brandy Zwicker. “Just make time to hang out with them. It could be as simple as shooting hoops or jump-roping. Give your kids the time and opportunity to explore. The more they get moving, the more their imaginations will come alive.”

Want to read more health tips? Click here for Brandy Zwicker’s blog.

About Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.

Brandy Zwicker Recommends Health Screening for Every Stage of Life

Detecting health risks primarily depends on a person’s medical and family history, but as Brandy Zwicker has seen, even the healthiest person can be sidelined by a surprising illness. Screening tests can help find illnesses earlier and treat them sooner, and Brandy Zwicker has recommendations of which screenings a person can get started with, regardless of age.

“Routine health screenings are essential for people at every stage in their life,” said Brandy Zwicker. “I recommend that my patients see their physician yearly for an annual wellness visit, but there are a number of other check-ups that should occur as one ages. These include looking into cholesterol levels, bone density, and more.”

“It’s about being proactive and in charge of your own health!” continued Brandy. “Early detection can help prevent heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and even cancer.”

Brandy recommends different screenings by age groups. For those in their twenties, Brandy says to have a cholesterol check completed, and then every year once you hit 35. Men and women within the same age group should get full body skin checks once a year as well.

Women between 40 and 64 should start having annual mammograms, especially if breast cancer runs in the family. Men’s prostate screening should start at the age of 50, as well as colonoscopies.

“Health screenings become increasingly important as you age,” said Brandy.” “Once you hit 65, both men and women should have bone density exams every two to five years to keep in front of osteoporosis.”

Want to read more health tips? Click here for Brandy Zwicker’s blog.

About Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.

10-Year Registered Nurse, Brandy Zwicker, Wants to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker gives simple solutions in preventing Type 2 Diabetes

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that there are over 30 million adults in the United States that have diabetes. Brandy Zwicker wants to chip away at that number by helping as many people she can prevent type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a condition that causes spikes in blood sugar levels and occurs when the body cannot make or use its own insulin. Insulin allows glucose from sugar to be absorbed into a person’s cells and used as energy. There are two main types of diabetes–type 1 and type 2.

“Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes,” said Brandy Zwicker. “It typically occurs in individuals who live a sedentary lifestyle or are considered overweight.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, early symptoms include frequent urination, dry mouth or feeling more thirsty than usual, feeling hungry even after you eat, fatigue, blurry vision, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal, as well as tingling, pain, or numbness in hands or feet.

“If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away,” said Brandy. “You may be developing type 2 diabetes or experiencing prediabetes. In both cases, there are steps you can take to stop the disease from worsening or developing at all.”

These steps include eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and exercising regularly.

“I’m a big advocate of getting up and moving around,” said Brandy Zwicker. “It can be as simple as taking a walk, going on a casual bike ride, or even playing an active video game where you dance or play tennis. Anything that gets your heart rate up for at least thirty minutes will help bring down your blood sugar.”

Brandy Zwicker also recommends watching alcohol intake. Depending on the drink, alcohol can rapidly raise blood sugar depending on the amount of sugar or carbs.

“Most importantly, check in with your primary doctor at least twice a year,” continued Brandy. “Diabetes increases the odds of heart disease so let medical professionals check your blood work so they can continue to serve you and guide to a better and healthier life. “

About Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.

Additional Information:
https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/index.html
https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/type-2/symptoms
https://brandyzwicker.co/brandy-zwicker-discusses-improving-your-overall-health-with-diet-exercise/

Brandy Zwicker Gives Her Best Tips on How to Stay Healthy During Halloween

As a Registered Nurse for 10 years, Brandy Zwicker tells how to treat the family while avoiding all those scary candy calories

Brandy Zwicker, a Registered Nurse for over 10 years and mother of five children, has her fair share of Halloween experiences. From trick-or-treating to haunted houses, she knows that the spooky holiday is mainly centered on one thing: candy.

As a mother, Brandy goes all out for her children, dressing them up in their favorite costumes and decorating the front yard to partake in the neighborhood’s festivities. But as a health practitioner, she knows how indulging Halloween can be and is always looking for new ways to make it as healthy as it is fun. Here are some of her best tips for curbing the candy cravings.

“Eat a healthy meal high in protein and fiber the night of,” said Brandy Zwicker. “A balanced meal helps keep tummies full, reducing risk of overindulging on sweets. Bring a water bottle and stay hydrated as this will help reduce cravings as well.”

Brandy also suggests to get moving and be strategic. Walk the neighborhood instead of driving, and use smaller candy collection containers.

“Leave the pillowcase on the pillow. Smaller containers like plastic pumpkins fill more quickly and can hold more than enough candy for any child,” said Brandy Zwicker.

Staying home to play the treater? Brandy says there are a number of ways to celebrate the Halloween spirit without giving in to the sugar obsession.

“Avoid the bowl on the front porch,” said Brandy. “Give one treat per child instead of letting them grab a handful. Or start a new tradition altogether and hand out something other than candy like popcorn or crayons. It doesn’t have to be boring!”

Other healthy and fun alternatives to candy include:

  • Clementines decorated like Jack-O-Lanterns
  • Snack-sized bags of pretzels, popcorn, graham crackers, or dried cranberries
  • 100% real fruit gummies or strips
  • Glow-in-the-dark toys or glow sticks
  • Mini toys
  • Stickers, stamps, or temporary tattoos
  • Slime or putty

Of course, Brandy knows Halloween is supposed to be fun. “Indulge if you want to! And don’t beat yourself up if you wake up to a floor full of candy wrappers and all the kids hungover from a sugar crash. Just get back on track the next day and relish the good memories.”

As for the post-Halloween candy, Brandy recommends allowing each child to keep enough to snack on for a week or so and pair it with something healthy such as a banana, nuts, or celery with peanut butter. Many children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, and troop care-package programs also welcome excess candy.

About Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.

Registered Nurse, Brandy Zwicker, Named American Lung Association’s Lung Force Hero

Registered Nurse, Brandy Zwicker was announced as a Lung Force Hero by the American Lung Association. Brandy is a ten-year Registered Nurse veteran, she has worked in the areas of medical, oncology, cardiac telemetry, critical care step-down, and basic care. She is a strong advocate of lung health and is dedicated to curing cancer.

American Lung Association’s Lung Force is an organization that unites women and their loved ones across the country to stand together for lung health and against lung cancer.

“Lung cancer is the number one killer in the U.S. for both men and women,” said Brandy Zwicker. “As a registered nurse and personally experiencing the loss of my father from lung cancer, I have made it one of my life’s missions to push for more research and resources to find a cure for lung cancer.”

Brandy Zwicker’s father was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer after ending up in the hospital for pneumonia. A smoker most his life, her father, Gordie, had been reluctant to visit the doctor after feeling weak and fatigued. He passed December 31, 2018.

“My father’s story is all too common,” said Brandy. “Many American’s ignore the symptoms of lung cancer. They may chalk it up to old age of a mild illness. But if you’re feeling out of sorts for any reason, it is imperative to see a doctor to ensure there are no hidden problems.”

According to the Cancer Center, common symptoms of lung cancer include the following:

  • A new cough that is persistent or worsens
  • Cough that produces blood
  • Pain in the chest, back or shoulders that worsens during coughing, laughing or deep breathing
  • Shortness of breath that comes on suddenly and occurs during everyday activities
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Feeling that you are tired or weak
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lung infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia that won’t go away
  • Hoarseness or wheezing

About LUNG FORCE

We work to change people’s minds about what it means to have lung cancer-so that everyone understands their risks. We raise our voices for innovations in research that will lead to earlier detection and more personalized treatments-so that everyone has a fighting chance. Over the past five years the LUNG FORCE campaign has funded $12.5 million in lung cancer research and $5 million in increasing public health awareness around the prevention of lung disease. In addition, LUNG FORCE has helped secure a 69% increase in National Institutes of Health lung cancer research funding, which has led to an unprecedented 22 (and counting!) new FDA approved treatments for lung cancer patients since 2016.

About Brandy Zwicker

Brandy Zwicker is a Bachelor of Science (BSN) Registered Nurse with ten years of nursing experience. Brandy has five children and enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, camping, and other outdoor fitness opportunities. She enjoys running, spin cycle, yoga, weight training, basketball, and indoor rock climbing.