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Get Outside This Spring!

We had a terrible winter in Chicago with very cold temperatures and an unending string of snowstorms. As the days get longer and the sun gets warmer, we need to stay healthy and happy. Our day jobs add a lot of stress as we head into the courtrooms and depositions. The ABA recommends exercise, among other things, to reduce stress for attorneys. Luckily, we have lots of wonderful places to get outside and blow off some steam this spring.

Busse Woods

A jewel of the Northwest suburbs, Busse Woods provides 3,558-acres of land and water to bike, hike, fish, or picnic. Additionally, you can find an eight-mile paved loop trail, perfect for biking and rollerblading. On most days, many people will run the full loop. And if you want to stop, Busse Woods has an small elk herd near the corner of Arlington Heights Rd. and Higgins Rd. Our offices are only 1.5 miles away from the forest preserve and we highly recommend it!

Lake Arlington

With a lake centered in the park, a 2 mile walking path can provide the perfect spring or nighttime walk. The Arlington Heights Park District has made this a great springtime spot. Recently, they added exercise areas, gardens, and fountains for people who need to sweat or just relax. As with any trail, be careful as many people will speed around the path on their bike or rollerblades. And if you are very adventurous or like to boat, you can rent a paddle boat or kayak for a few hours.

Des Plaines River Trails

For a more rustic and less paved walk, visit the trails that stretch from Cook County through Lake County. Depending on where you live, a parking area and starting point should not be too far away. Although you may not walk the entire path, the serenity of the new leaves and wildflowers blooming bring down anyone’s stress levels. With dirt or gravel paths, however, make sure to wear good shoes as you may need to cross wet spots with those spring rains. If you want to see some wildlife in the suburbs, you can spot deer, rabbits, all kinds of birds, and even a coyote. Lastly, in Northbrook, you can also take the family to the Nature Center. After a nice walk, you can learn all about the prairie that surrounds us!

Heart Month — New Hands-Only CPR

As a leading cause of death for both men and women, the Law Offices of R.F. Wittmeyer, Ltd. proudly participates in American Heart Month to prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects.

You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk the Department of Health and Human Services recommends to:

  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke,
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure,
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation, and
  • Get active and eat healthy.

In addition to traditional CPR, officials also recommend everyone learns how to perform hands-only CPR.

What is Hands-Only CPR?

Hands-Only CPR is CPR without mouth-to-mouth breaths. They recommend this tactic for use by people who see a teen or adult suddenly collapse in an “out-of-hospital” setting. For example, if you see someone suddenly collapse while playing basketball, officials recommend attempting hands-only CPR. It consists of two easy steps:

  1. Call 9-1-1 (or send someone to do that).
  2. Push hard and fast in the center of the chest.

Next, when you call 911, you need to stay on the phone until the 911 dispatcher tells you to hang up. The operator will ask you about the emergency. Then they will also ask for details of the location, the individual’s status, and other relevant information. If you find yourself in this situation, remember to be specific about all of the details. It will make it easier for emergency personnel to find you and help the individual. Lastly, remember that answering the dispatcher’s questions will not delay the arrival of help.

According to the American Heart Association, about 90 percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. CPR, especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. Chest compressions push oxygen-rich blood through the body to keep vital organs alive. Hands-Only CPR buys time until EMS arrives.

How To Keep the Beat

The American Heart Association recommends keeping a few songs in your head in an emergency. Depending on your taste in music, they have several examples so that you remember the correct rate to compress an individual’s chest.  Song examples include

  • “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees,
  • “Crazy in Love” by Beyoncé featuring Jay-Z,
  • “Hips Don’t Lie” by Shakira” or
  • “Walk the Line” by Johnny Cash.

If you like a more scientific method, when performing CPR, you should push on the chest at a rate of 100 to 120 compressions per minute. Of course, that corresponds to the beat of the song examples above.

Go Green at Home

Spring is a great time to go “green” at home. Benefits to living in a green home include greater durability, lower energy costs and increased health for your family. Besides, green living can lead to green savings, too! SheKnows provides 52 ways to do simple things around your house, such as recycle, clean your refrigerator, and to use cloth napkins. All of these small things will make a huge difference in the end.

But where should you start if you want to make some major changes?

Simple Ways to Start

The US Green Building Council provides 9 ways to begin your Green journey.

Here are nine ways you can pitch in to make your residence more eco-friendly, while also saving money over time in energy and water bills.

  1. Install programmable thermostats. Turn off the AC/heat when no one’s home, or lower the temperature whenever people are sleeping. But you may forget. Get a thermostat that you can program and save money without thinking about it.
  1. Replace your light bulbs.Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) help save energy and decrease your electric bill. They also have a much longer life span than traditional bulbs.
  1. Prevent air leaks.Use weather stripping around your doors and caulk around windows. Preventing cold and warm air from escaping your home helps keep your HVAC system from having to constantly work.
  1. Pick energy-efficient appliances.Look for the Energy Star logo when you replace old appliances. Also, check with your electricity provider. Some provide rebates for replacing old energy hog appliances with more efficient ones.
  1. Reduce water use.
  1. Switch to green power.Choosing green power doesn’t mean you have to change your electricity provider. Instead, you simply opt to pay a premium on your electricity bill to cover the extra cost of purchasing clean, sustainable energy. Get more information from the U.S. Department of Energy.
  1. Explore solar energy.The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy can help you find the right solar solutions for you.
  1. Use no- to low-VOC products.Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, can cause headaches, nausea, and irritation to the respiratory system, skin and eyes, among other ailments. Find options of paints and cleaning products without these compounds.
  1. Choose composting. Cut your carbon footprint by composting food scraps, except meat, in a backyard composting bin or even a worm bin.

About the Firm


Ronald F. Wittmeyer, Jr. practices plaintiffs' personal injury law at his office in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

About Ron

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