What Can You Do to Avoid the Flu?

Flu PicThis year has been a particularly tough flu season.  The strain going around this year has infected many people and has been more severe than recent years.  The flu is a contagious virus that spreads through droplets that are produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks.  It can also live on surfaces and be introduced into the body when a person touches his or her eyes, mouth, or nose.

How do you know if you have the flu?  Some people can easily mistake it for a cold.  Flu symptoms often come on very suddenly and can include a fever, sore throat, body aches, cough, headache, and fatigue.  If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is recommended that you visit your doctor.  Though antibiotics will not help the flu since it is a virus, your doctor still might be able to prescribe you a medication that can lessen the length and severity of the illness.  It is also important to stay home from work or school if you think you may have the flu to avoid spreading it further and risking getting others sick and then possibly getting infected again yourself.

Of course, none of want to have to deal with having the flu!  What are the best ways to protect yourself?

  • Get the flu vaccine. Even though this year’s vaccine is not as effective due to the type of strain, it still offers some protection.  It is not too late to get the vaccine and many insurance companies will cover it as well.  Each year, doctors recommend getting the flu shot since it is your best protection against contracting the flu.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Try to scrub your hands with soap and water often, especially after being in contact with someone that is ill or touching common surfaces. If no soap is available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with sick people if possible. Sometimes this may not be practical if you are caring for a sick family member, but try to limit unnecessary contact with those that are ill with the flu.
  • Sanitize surfaces. Keep common areas in your home, work, and school space clean.  Disinfect things like door handles, desks, and don’t forget your technology!  Keyboards, phones, remote controls, etc. can often harbor a lot of germs since they are touched so often.  Wipe them down with a sanitizing wipe often.
  • Protect others. If you are sick and must be out, cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and then throw the tissue away.  This will help protect others and also keep you from risking infecting yourself again.

These precautions can help keep you well during this flu season as well as future flu seasons.  Stay well!

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5 Tools Everyone In The Community Association Management Industry Should Be Using

community

The community association management industry is large and can sometimes feel difficult to navigate  Whether you are a board member, resident, or a community association manager there are tips and tools out there that can help make your life easier.

  1. If you are a board member, consider hiring a community association management company if you do not have one. Managing a community on your own can be both challenging and stressful.  Board members are volunteers and often other life demands are competing for your attention.  A community association management company can be a powerful tool to help you successfully manage your community and keep up with the ever-changing laws and regulations surrounding HOA and condominium management.
  1. Utilize a community website. A community website is a great investment for any homeowners or condo association.  A regularly updated website can be a great way to answer frequently asked questions from residents.  This can be a timesaver since it will cut down on phone calls and emails.
  1. Work with an attorney well versed in association law. Statues sometimes change and even existing ones can often be interpreted in different ways.  An association law attorney can be a great resource for your community anytime you need help understanding how certain laws apply to situations within your community.
  1. Get people involved. Managing a community is tough work.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help!  See if members of the community want to get involved in a committee or if they wish to volunteer for special events.  This will take some pressure off of you and also give your residents an opportunity to make a different in the neighborhood.
  1. Your governing documents. This sounds like a given, but it is still worth a mention.  Read your documents thoroughly and be sure to review them anytime you need a refresher.  This is your most important tool for effectively managing the community and deciding whether or not future amendments should be added if times have changed or if the culture of the community has changed.  This is another area where a community association management company can help.  They employ CAMs that are experts in governing documents and can help keep a community from making a costly mistake due to a misunderstanding.

We hope you find these tools useful when working with your association.  Leland Management has been in the association management business for 20 years and are well versed in all of these areas.  If you have questions about managing your association or are interested in community association management services, please reach out to us at info@lelandmanagement.com or 407-447-9955!

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The Benefits of Being Thankful

giving-thanks-2Once again, the holiday season is upon us!  While there are many exciting and joyous times ahead, sometimes the stress of the season can get to us and cloud the purpose behind some of these festivities.  Let’s take Thanksgiving, for example.  Many of us get anxious about purchasing groceries, cleaning our homes in preparation for guests, and then cooking what is often the largest meal of the year!  What if we tried to take a moment to slow down and appreciate this holiday for what it is intended to be – a day to be around our loved ones and to think about what we are grateful for.

Being thankful is not just about being polite.  There are some real benefits to it that are backed up by science!  Spending just five minutes each day focusing on what you are grateful for can improve your physical and emotional health more than 10%.  This impact is the same as what you would feel if your income doubled.  Additionally, those that focus on being thankful often have better social lives.  Showing gratitude in our day to day lives makes us kinder and more appreciative which tends to have a positive effect on how others perceive us.

Thankfulness can also make us more optimistic and less materialistic.  Sometimes during this time of year, we can get caught up in the value of objects, but if you make it a point to practice gratitude in your daily life, you may find that you focus more on things like family, friends, and hobbies instead of material objects.  This can help improve your general outlook on your own life and circumstances.

With so many benefits associated with being thankful, what better time a year to start practicing?  Consider keeping a journal for the rest of the year and each day write a couple of lines of things you are grateful for.  Take your growing positivity and share it with others!  Consider working to get your neighborhood together for a Thanksgiving celebration.  You could do a potluck to spend time together or perhaps invite neighbors that might be alone during the holidays over to share in your celebrations.

This is also a good time to help the community.  Your association could consider hosting a food drive or get a group of volunteers together to help out at a local shelter or soup kitchen.  This is something that people of all ages can participate in and it can help remind you of all you have to be grateful for!

The holidays only come around once a year and can fly by in a blur of activity.  Try to take a moment to close your laptop, put down your cell phone, and truly enjoy the special things that happen this time of year and most of all, enjoy spending extra time with family, friends, and neighbors.  That is something to truly be thankful for!

 

 

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Four Swaps To Upgrade Your Diet

Healthy SwapA healthy diet consists of fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, nuts and lean proteins such as chicken, fish and eggs. It is possible to switch to a healthier diet without making a dramatic change. Here are a couple of simple food substitutions that can transform your diet:

Have a protein smoothie or shake for breakfast

Sometimes, with our busy schedules, we do not have time to make breakfast. Instead of skipping breakfast or choosing bad options, try a protein smoothie. Ingredients like peanut butter, oats and Greek yogurt are natural ingredients that provide a protein boost. They will help you burn more calories all day, keep your energy high and balance your blood sugar. Smoothies from many retail outlets are loaded with sugar. When making your own, opt for fresh or frozen, no-sugar-added fruits which make your smoothie sweet. Sneak in some greens – like spinach or kale – to add to your veggie intake. (You’ll never taste them.)

Eat quality meats

When it comes to meat, try to avoid antibiotics, pesticides, hormones and mercury from grain-fed eggs and meats. Swap them for products from grass-fed, pasture-raised and free-range animals. If you are looking for fish, shop for wild-caught varieties.

Increase Healthy Fats

Some fats are good for you! Foods such as avocado, wild-caught salmon and olive oil are healthy. So are nuts like almonds, walnuts and pistachios. Try increasing these foods in your diet.

Cut the coffee

The caffeine in coffee can rev up your stress hormones. Try reducing your caffeine intake by switching to green tea. The caffeine is less, and you get the added benefit of healthy antioxidants. You can also try cutting down caffeine by mixing your regular coffee with decaf, or look for lower-caffeine varieties.

Source: UCF College of Medicine

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Community Spotlight – Ventura at Turtle Creek

DSCN0194We are pleased to spotlight one of our beautiful communities located in Brevard County!  Ventura at Turtle Creek was founded in 2007 and turned over to homeowner control in 2012.  This gated condominium community is located in Rockledge.  With 160 units, this is the perfect place to get to know your neighbors and truly understand the meaning of the word “community”.

PoolVentura at Turtle Creek has a lovely pool area with a nature preserve and lake near the buildings.  The nature trail is a favorite for residents of the community since it provides a lovely place to take a run or a stroll and feel like you are away from the hustle and bustle of the city.  The residents enjoy getting together and meet annually for a Neighborhood Watch Meeting as well as an Ice Cream Social. Nature Trail

Since Leland began managing Ventura, the community has implemented preventative maintenance programs for all elements and systems, fully funded reserves, and have begun replacing all existing lighting with LED lighting.  The community association manager, Racheal Meade, appreciates the cohesive leadership of the Board, positive feedback, and consistent support from the membership of the association.  One thing that sets the association apart is the presence of an environmental committee that monitors and reports on the health of wildlife in the area.

We are pleased to manage Ventura at Turtle Creek and can’t wait to see all of the exciting events that will happen in the future!

Close Clubhouse

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Why You Should Include Pumpkin In Your Diet

Pumpkin

Pumpkin-flavored everything is popular this time of year. But you don’t need to wait for fall to enjoy this nutrient-rich vegetable! Pumpkins are more than just Halloween decorations or pie fillings; they are low in calories as well as rich in vitamins and nutrients!

Benefits

Pumpkins are packed with vitamin A, which is good for your eyesight and immune system. One single cup or serving of pumpkin can supply your body with 200 percent of the recommended daily intake. Pumpkins are a great source of beta-carotene, which gives them their natural orange color. Because of this, consuming pumpkins can reduce your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancers.

Pumpkins can help with weight loss, too. There are only 50 calories per cup, and they are a great source of fiber, which slows digestion and can keep you feeling fuller longer.

How to incorporate pumpkin into your diet

  • Canned pumpkin is very flexible for cooking and baking. Instead of using oil or butter when baking, pumpkin puree is a great substitute. You can even use it in soups or sauces to thicken them. Be sure to read the label to be certain of all the ingredients. Some brands may add unnecessary sugar.
  • Roast pumpkin for an easy side dish.
  • Mix pumpkin into your smoothies

Credit: UCF College of Medicine

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Be Prepared!

HURRICANE-WATCH-GRAPHICHurricanes can be a stressful time for everyone.  In order to ease your stress somewhat, please try to follow these tips in order to be prepared for whatever may come.

 

 

Before the Hurricane:

  • Know how and when to turn off the gas, water and electricity.
  • Trim back any dead or weak branches from trees.
  • Secure loose items in the yard that may become missiles in high winds.
  • Check into flood insurance. Find out about the National Flood Insurance Program through your local insurance agent.
  • Buy a tarp to cover any potential roof damage.
  • Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container.
  • Take pictures of valuables now and store the photos with your other valuable papers.
  • Consider an out of state emergency contact that your friends and family can check in with since it is often easier to get a message out of the state rather than the overworked channels in state.
  • Stock up on water and canned goods. Make sure your electronics are charged (even things like portable gaming systems to help keep the kids occupied in the event of a power outage.)
  • Fill Ziploc bags with water and place them in your freezer. They can help keep food cold if power goes out or serve as drinking water when melted.

During the Hurricane

  • Keep a radio tuned to local news if your power goes out.
  • Stay safely inside. Have towels available to place under sliding glass doors, windows, or other doors in the event of leaking.
  • The safest areas of your home are interior rooms without windows. This is a good place for you, your family, and your pets to set up.
  • Have flashlights nearby in the event of a power outage.

After the Hurricane:

  • If the community were to lose power, look for communications to be posted in the common areas.
  • The rule of thumb is when the power is off, the pools are closed.
  • If debris begins to block storm drains, please help by removing the items so that water does not back up. If you are unable, please call your Community Association Manager to advise us of the blocked drain.
  • Only open your refrigerator/freezer when absolutely necessary, and close quickly.
  • Continue to listen to updates and be safe when going outside in case of flooding, debris, or downed power lines.

Safety should always come first!  Be cautious and prepared.

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