Ben Franklin Apothecary Blog

5 Tips to Help Save Your Vision

Eight out of 10 people living with vision loss worldwide could have saved their sight through prevention or treatment.1 Pretty amazing, isn’t it? Of course, seeing your doctor for eye exams and treatment is key.


future technology, medicine and vision concept - cute girl with eye chart

Here are a few other things you can do help ensure your eyes have a bright future:

  1. Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses that block 100 percent of ultraviolet-A and ultraviolet-B rays give you a big bang for your buck. They can:
  • Delay development of cataracts.
  • Prevent retinal damage.
  • Protect delicate eyelid skin from skin cancer, non-cancerous growths, and wrinkles.2
  1. Eat right. You are what you eat. It’s an old adage, but there’s something to it. And when it comes to your eyes, it may still hold true. Recently, the Coimbra Eye Study found a lower rate of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in people eating a Mediterranean diet. This includes lots of:
  • Vegetables
  • Legumes such as beans
  • Fish
  • Cereals
  • Fruits (In the study, those who ate just over 5 ounces of fruit a day were nearly 15 percent less likely to have AMD.)3

The researchers found that fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E seemed to be most protective. (Surprisingly, people who consumed more caffeine also had less AMD.)3

Other research has also shown that zinc, lutein, xeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids may protect not only from AMD, but also cataracts and dry eye. You can find these nutrients in citrus fruits, vegetables oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and cold-water fish like salmon.4 Some people should not take large doses of antioxidants for medical reasons. So be sure to talk your doctor or our friendly pharmacist at Ben Franklin if you have any questions about this.

If you are at risk for diabetes or AMD, you may also benefit from a low-glycemic index diet. What is this? Avoid foods that quickly raise your blood sugar, such as sweets and white bread.4

  1. Quit smoking. Smoking is linked to AMD and cataracts.2 Yes, I know it’s not easy, but if you smoke, quit, and if you don’t smoke, don’t start! If you need ideas for quit-smoking resources, our pharmacist will be glad to help.
  2. Send kids outdoors. Here’s one for your kids: Recent research is pointing to a possible benefit of more time outdoors early in life, especially between the ages of 14 and 29. Although researchers don’t understand why, this appears to decrease the risk of nearsightedness (myopia). So, send your kids outdoors, but don’t forget the sunglasses and sunscreen.5
  3. Use eye protection. Two-and-a-half million eye injuries occur in the U.S. each year. Using standard protective eyewear could prevent most of these injuries. If you or your child plays sports, make sure the eye protection meets the specific requirements of that sport. Not sure? Check with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).2

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.


Emotions and Heart Disease

In the past 40 years, cases of heart disease in the U.S. have dropped by 20 percent.1 Now, that’s news worth celebrating this Valentine season!!! Efforts at prevention, detection, and treatment appear to paying off. For example, Americans’ cholesterol levels keep falling. Researchers think that ditching trans fats from our diets may be one reason why.2

Emoticons Sonrientes 30

Still, heart disease here remains the number-one cause of death in both men and women.2 We can do so much more to support our faithful tickers. You might be surprised to learn how much your emotional health influences your heart. Check out a few recent studies:


Pessimism. A study lasting 11 years looked at the risks linked to pessimism among 3,000 men and women. And guess what? That “glass-half-empty” attitude seemed to have a pretty big impact. Those who were most pessimistic were twice as likely to die of heart disease as the least pessimistic. The researchers can’t prove that negativity caused the rise in heart-related deaths. But this emotion can lead to an increase in hormones related to stress and inflammation. And, that might help explain the link.3

Worry. An even larger study of 7,000 Norwegians also found a link between worrying about a heart attack and actually having one. The “worried well” were twice as likely to have a heart attack as those who weren’t anxious about their health. Again, the link can’t be proven, but physical changes from anxiety are the likely culprit.4

Depression. Over 10 years, researchers tracked 1,100 women and found that those with a history of depression had a much higher risk of heart disease. In fact, in women younger than 65 with no history of heart problems, depression was the only significant risk factor linked with developing heart disease. Depression can produce stress hormones. But it may it may also lead to unhealthy behaviors that can increase the risks.5

Anger. Either intense anger or physical exertion doubles the odds of having a first heart attack. Even worse? Combining the two triples that risk, according to a study of 12,000 people. Chances are, anger and intense activity simply trigger an attack in people who already have artery-clogging plaques, say the researchers. Intense emotions or activity may cause a domino effect: A rise in blood pressure and heart rate constricts blood vessels. That, in turn, causes plaques to rupture and cut off blood flow to the heart.6

Spotting any trends, anyone?

With medical help or even self-care such as meditation or relaxation exercises, you can learn how to shift some of these moods. If these emotions are a challenge for you, our pharmacy team will also do what we can to help. For one thing, our pharmacists can point you to reliable sources of health information.  Together we can work on managing blood pressure including discussing a few changes to your diet and lifestyle.  Review the signs of a heart attack and make an appointment with your doctor today to review your overall health.



Ben Franklin Apothecary, 302 N. Main Street, Duncanville, TX  75116


Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.




  1. HealthDay: U.S. Heart Disease Rates Fell 20 Percent Since 1980s: Study. Available at: Accessed 1-3-17.


  1. HealthDay: Americans’ Cholesterol Levels Keep Falling. Available at: Accessed 1-3-17.


  1. HealthDay: Pessimism May Take Unwelcome Toll on the Heart. Available at: Accessed 1-3-17.


  1. HealthDay: Hypochondriacs May Worry Themselves Into Heart Trouble. Available at: Accessed 1-3-17.
  2. Women’s Brain Health Initiative: Depression Can Fuel Heart Disease in Midlife Women: Available at: Accessed 1-4-17.


  1. HealthDay: Anger, Heavy Exertion: Fast Track to a Heart Attack? Available at: Accessed 1-4-17.




A New Year—A New You?

Is there a person on the planet that hasn’t made a New Year’s resolution—and then failed to follow through? Setting goals may be the easy part, but turning those goals into results….? Well, we all know how hard that can be.


new year resolutions post it concept

Whether you’re hoping to shed a few pounds, step up your level of exercise, or kick that smoking habit once and for all—you can take steps to improve your chances of success. Here are just a few ideas.

Set SMART goals. First of all, know how to set goals that will help you succeed. Here is an example of a SMART goal: “To help me lose weight, I will walk at least 10 blocks—instead of 7—at least 5 days a week for the next month. Here’s what makes this a SMART goal:

  • Specific: The goal is precise. Your goal isn’t just to walk more. With this goal, you will know exactly how many blocks you will walk each week.
  • Measurable: You can tell whether or not you have achieved the goal.
  • Achievable: Your goal should challenge you, but not be overwhelming. You’re already walking 7 blocks, 4 days a week. So you know that it’s likely you can walk 10 blocks, 5 days a week.
  • Relevant: This goal is appropriate because exercise is a key part of a weight-loss or weight-management plan.
  • Time-bound: Your goal is limited in time. At the end of a month, you can continue with this goal or commit to a new one. 1,2

Start small, think big. Starting with small steps can help you succeed. But as you set goals, keep an eye on the big picture: How does this goal fit in with the rest of your life? With the SMART goal above, for example, it may help to remember that exercise is good for your overall health, whether or not you lose weight.  It may give you more energy, decrease stiffness, and help you keep up with your kids—or grandkids.2,3,4

Stay motivated. Understanding the big picture is one way to stay motivated for the long haul. What else keeps you motivated?

  • Try the buddy system. Have someone who’s supportive join you. It really works.
  • Visualize success. Picture yourself walking through the neighborhood. You can also use positive self-talk to stay on track. “I feel so much better after I get out for a walk.”
  • Reward yourself. Once you’ve met your goal, reward yourself with something material, like a movie or CD—but not food. Or, you can try something less tangible like a quiet afternoon sitting by a lake.
  • `If you slip up, start over. This doesn’t make you a bad person. Congratulate yourself for your past successes, and begin again.5,6

How we can help.

Is one of your goals starting to work-out regularly & run a 5k?  Let us help you get started on a path to be ready to run the Heart of Duncanville 5K in October.

What if one of your goals has to do with managing your medications? Maybe you are having trouble remembering when or how to take them. Start with us. Ben Franklin pharmacists can guide you. For example, we’ll show you techniques for taking your medications the right way. Or we’ll help you find products to jog your memory so you don’t forget to take your meds.

Now, that’s a great buddy system!



Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.



  1. WebMD: S.M.A.R.T. Weight Loss & Your Fitness Device. Available at: Accessed 12-5-16.
  1. gov: 3 Things to Keep in Mind When Setting Goals & Expectations. Available at: Accessed 12-2-16.
  1. gov: Goal setting: Eating, Physical Activity & Weight Loss. Available at:,-physical-activity-weight-loss.aspx Accessed 12-2-16.
  1. gov: 3 Steps for Setting Physical Activity Goals. Available at: Accessed 12-2-16.
  1. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: “Guide to Behavior Change.” Available at: Accessed 12-2-16.
  1. Nemours Foundation: Motivation and the Power of Not Giving Up. Available at: Accessed 12-2-16.



Healthy Holiday Tips for You!

The holidays may be a source of many special memories…. And also temptation, stress, and oversize expectations may throw you a curve ball or two. How can you possibly maintain your balance through it all, let alone stay healthy?

Santa Claus Doctor using a stethoscope
Check out these 7 tips for a healthier holiday.

1. Beat the bugs. Add “flu shot” to your to-do list, unless of course you’ve already gotten it done. Also, wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds. Lots of germs can easily “leap” from hands to nose and mouth—not to mention from you to other people. When you fly or ride a bus or train, use a disinfectant wipe on armrests, tray table and latch, air vent, and seatbelt buckle. Also, drink plenty of fluids while traveling—try for 8 ounces of water each hour. Moist airways are less susceptible to viruses and bacteria.

2. Stay active. And by active we don’t mean just shopping or wrapping presents! At the very least, put on some holiday music and dance! This may not be the best time of year to start a new exercise routine, but don’t let exercise go by the wayside. And when flying, be sure to move around the cabin every 60 to 90 minutes.

3. Chill. Don’t let holiday hysteria overwhelm you. Try a 15-minute chair massage at your local salon or airport or shopping mall massage kiosk. Along with relaxing muscles, massages may lower levels of stress hormones and boost white blood cells, which can protect against infections. What else calms you….? Relaxing music? Meditation? Walks in the park? Be sure to prioritize YOU in the midst of this busy time. And, it goes without saying: get plenty of sleep, which can stave off sickness. One study found that people who sleep at least eight hours a night are three times less likely to catch a cold than those who sleep less than seven.

4. Handle food wisely. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs away from ready-to-eat foods. Make sure to cook foods to the right temperature and don’t leave perishables out for more than two hours.

5. Head ‘em off at the pass. Are temptations lurking around every corner? Pack healthy snacks, such as fruit, nuts, or low-fat string cheese. And provide healthier options such as vegetable dishes at holiday gatherings. Granted, these foods may not have the same appeal as mom’s pecan pie or candied potatoes, but they may keep you from overindulging. Whatever you do, don’t “save up” your calories for big parties and family meals. That can simply lead to overeating. If you are cooking for family and friends consider having a diabetic or low sodium friendly item. It’s just another way to ensure everyone can rave about your cooking.

6. Ease up. Sure, we know ‘tis the season to imbibe. But that doesn’t mean you have to go overboard. Before drinking any alcohol, be sure to have something to eat. Alcohol may react negatively to your medications. Consider serving juice or flavored water for a healthy alternative.

7. Check your meds—and vitamins. Check your supply of prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and vitamins. I can go over this list with you. Make sure you have what you need before traveling. Our pharmacy team can help you with solutions to remember to take your drugs or to order refills—before you run out.


We wish you a happy, healthy and safe holiday season.



Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.



  1. Health: “10 Ways to Stay Healthy During the Holidays.” Available at:,,20648861,00.html Accessed on 11-3-16.
  2. CDC: “Holiday Health and Safety Tips.” Available at: Accessed on 11-3-16.
  3. HealthDay: “Around the World, Holidays Bring Added Pounds.” Available at: Accessed on 11-3-16.



Thankful – JD Power Customer Satisfaction

On Thanksgiving Day, families across the country will come together around dining room tables. Many will share a bountiful feast and give thanks for many blessings. What better time than the month of November to also give thanks for our customers?



We are particularly grateful this year: In the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart was ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Chain Drug Store Pharmacies.” We outpaced other “brick-and-mortar” chain drug stores in four of five categories:

  • Our stores
  • Our cost competitiveness
  • Our pharmacists
  • Our non-pharmacy staff

The pharmacy study is now in its eighth year. This year, it was based on responses from 14,789 pharmacy customers who filled or refilled a prescription during the three months prior to the survey period of June 2016.

Personalized service. The survey also found that health and wellness services enhance customer satisfaction. We’re pleased by this finding. It validates the approach we use. This includes highly valued services such as consolidating medication pick-up, medication therapy management, and individualized disease health coaching.

This kind of personalized service is a contrast to the approach offered by many large chain drug stores. By contrast, we take the time to care for you and your family right in your community. We take the time to hear our patients and provide trusted advice to answer your health questions.

Trusted advice. Patients can trust the advice offered at their local Health Mart pharmacy. Our pharmacists’ extensive training and expertise can help set your mind at ease. That’s because you know you can rely on their considerable knowledge to provide informed care and help you achieve optimal results from your medications.

How do we do this? For one, we simplify the language of prescription coverage—making it easier to understand without compromising accuracy. We also provide clinical services that can help you stay well. And we partner, as needed, with health care providers to enhance the quality of your healthcare.

Customer loyalty. Personalized service plus trusted advice is clearly a winning combination. And, as seen in the J.D. Power 2016 U.S. Pharmacy Study, Health Mart is surpassing the industry average in customer loyalty.

The pharmacy team at Ben Franklin Apothecary (a proud Health Mart pharmacy) accomplishes this in many ways. For example, we don’t treat you as a number. We know that you’re a unique person with unique needs, which we strive to address. We accept most insurance plans and make it easy to transfer prescriptions. It also helps that our locally owned pharmacies are a part of the community—close to where our patients work, shop, and live.


Again, thank you for allowing us to serve you with your pharmaceutical needs.  It means a great deal to us & consider it a privilege to serve you!!  And we'll keep doing what we enjoy most: delivering the very best care possible for our patients.

> Ben Franklin Pharmacy Team



Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.



  1. J.D. Power press release: “Health Mart, Publix, Sam’s Club, Kaiser Permanente Pharmacy Rank Highest in Respective Segments.” Available at: Accessed: 10-4-16.




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News about the Flu Vaccine – 2016

It’s really tough to stay on top of all the health news these days. Our pharmacy team at Ben Franklin Apothecary is here to help. Since the flu season is right around the corner, here’s a snapshot of recent news stories about the flu vaccine.


Health Concept: GET YOUR FLU SHOT

Flu shot helps people with diabetes. The seasonal flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone 6 months and older.1 But for some people it can be a matter of life and death.

During a seven-year study, British researchers looked at a group of nearly 125,000 people with type 2 diabetes—people who have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.2 In those with type 2 diabetes, the flu vaccine was linked with reductions in flu-season hospital admissions, including a:

  • 30 percent reduction in admission for stroke
  • 22 percent reduction in admissions for heart failure
  • 19 percent reduction in admissions for heart attack
  • 15 percent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza

Among those who received a flu shot, the death rate was 24 percent lower than in those who had not been vaccinated. The study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect connection between the two. But the results are pretty compelling.


Limits of the flu vaccine “twofer.” How do infants benefit when their moms have a flu shot during pregnancy? Previous studies showed a benefit, for sure. Now we know how long it likely lasts. Researchers in South Africa assessed more than 1,000 infants whose moms received a flu shot while pregnant. During the first eight weeks after birth the vaccines were 85.6 percent effective.3 After that, effectiveness ranged from about:

  • 25 percent at eight to 16 weeks
  • 30 percent at 16 to 24 weeks

It’s helpful to know this because current vaccines don’t work well in infants younger than six months, and infants have high rates of the flu. Talk to me about other ways you can protect your baby. That includes washing your hands often, keeping your baby away from sick people, and making sure everyone else in your family is vaccinated.1


 Get your flu shot! If you’re like many people, getting a flu vaccination can easily slip your mind. But a flu shot is too important to get bumped to the bottom of your priority list. Every flu season is different, and every person responds to the flu in a different way. The flu can lead to hospitalizations and even death. The flu season often begins in October, so there’s no better time than the present.


Long-term protection. More good news? Another study has found that flu vaccines offer moderate protection for about six months. That’s the length of most flu seasons. The study’s findings suggest that a flu shot in early fall may prevent the greatest number of cases.


Want to get a jump-start on that flu shot instead? Well, then, October is your month. Call your doctor or your friendly pharmacist at Ben Franklin for your flu shot options.  Walk-ins for flu shots are available from Mon-Fri from 10am-6pm and Sat from 10am-5pm.   If you do catch the flu this season, stop in for your flu needs and talk with our pharmacist about your symptoms.  As always, we are here to help.



Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.



  1. What You Should Know for the 2015-201 Influenza Season. Available at: Accessed 8-13-16.
  2. Flu Shot Tied to Fewer Hospitalizations, Deaths in Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Available at: Accessed 8-31-16.
  3. Pregnancy Flu Shot Protects Newborn for 8 Weeks: Study available at: Accessed 8-31-16.


When Kids’ Allergies Strike in the Fall

School is in session, and just like clockwork your 8-year-old starts sneezing, sniffling, and snorting—not to mention clearing her throat and blowing her nose like there’s no tomorrow. Poor thing! What’s going on?

Chances are it’s allergies—the immune system’s abnormal reaction to a substance that would normally be quite harmless.1 Up to 40 percent of children in the U.S. have nasal allergies.2

Sick Woman sneezing into Tissue. Woman Caught Cold.

How can you know for sure whether allergies are the culprit? One way is to have your child see the pediatrician, who may find clues in places like nasal mucous membranes. But the only way to identify specific triggers is to do allergy testing.1


Outdoor allergens. Also known as hay fever, seasonal allergies often bring images of springtime sufferers, so common when many plants begin to bloom. In the fall, however, outdoor allergens such as ragweed and tumbleweed may also release tiny pollen and wreak major havoc—especially in the morning.2,3


Indoor allergens. But that’s not all. In the fall, your child begins spending more time inside at school and home. That’s why many indoor allergens may then also rear their ugly heads.4

Here’s just a sample:

  • Dust mites, a microscopic insect that lives in bedding, sofas, and carpets
  • Mold
  • Animal allergens such as fur, skin, feathers, or saliva
  • Clothing and toys made or stuffed with animal hair
  • Latex in rubber gloves, toys, or balloons, as well as in the elastic found in clothing3,4


Avoiding triggers. You don’t have a lot of control over indoor allergens at school. But there certainly are some things you can do to protect your child. Here’s a small sample of steps you can take:

  • Use air conditioners and keep windows closed in your car and at home to reduce exposure to pollen.
  • Have your child avoid playing in piles of dead leaves if mold allergies are a problem.
  • Take steps to reduce mold growth in the home. For example, fix leaky plumbing, remove bathroom carpets, and control indoor humidity.
  • Vacuum upholstered furniture and wash linens weekly and other bedding every 1 to 2 weeks in hot water.
  • Limit stuffed animals in the bedroom. Yes, I know…. That might be a tough sell.
  • Replace pillows every 2 to 3 years.
  • Encase pillows, mattresses, and comforters in special covers that keep dust mites out. 1,3,4

Avoiding triggers is the best way to prevent the symptoms of allergies. But keep in mind that it can take three to six months to see an improvement in symptoms once indoor triggers are removed. 3


Talk time. Sometimes avoiding triggers is not enough to control symptoms. Before you stock up on loads of over-the-counter drugs, however, swing by and have a talk our pharmacy team.   Our pharmacist can point you to products in our store and guide you on their use. Also, make sure to have a conversation with your child’s pediatrician. Sometimes allergy testing or prescription medications are needed to bring real relief. 1

Ben Franklin Apothecary, 302 N. Main Street, Duncanville, TX  75116


Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.



  1. org: Sorting out Seasonal Allergies. Available at: Accessed 7-31-16.
  2. HealthDay: Easing Your Child’s Allergies. Available at: Accessed 7-31-16.
  3. UpToDate: Patient information: Trigger avoidance in allergic rhinitis. Available at: Accessed 7-31-16
  4. American Academy of Pediatrics: Seasonal Allergies in Children. Available at: Accessed: 7-31-16.

Training Tips for the Heart of Duncanville 5K

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to start running regularly and train for the 3rd Annual Heart of Duncanville 5K  (3.1 miles).  Setting this goal is an impressive and important first step. Though it may feel a little intimidating to begin training to run more than 3 miles all at once, have faith and confidence that you’ll get there.  Believe it or not, I used to dread running more that 40 yards.  Now it’s time to tell everyone you know about your new goal of running a 5K!  Why?  By sharing your goal, you now have motivation AND accountability to complete the upcoming race.  Not to mention, you’re going to reap the benefits of weight loss (running a mile burns approximately 100 calories), living an active lifestyle, a newfound joy of becoming a runner AND the mental strength of knowing you can make a decision / strive to make it happen!

Before you get started, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor to ensure you’re healthy enough to begin training. Once you have the green light, there’s little to prevent you from getting started as soon as possible.  If you're starting from ground zero…any steps you take on this adventure…are steps to a healthier and happier you.   BUT…with a little planning and preparation there’s no reason why you can’t run, and comfortably, the entire 5K distance on race-day.


 STEP #1 - Get the essential running shoes!

As a new runner, the variety of shoes and gear available can be completely overwhelming.  A trip to a big sporting goods store can leave you totally confused about what you should put on your feet.  It's important to understand that every shoe isn't for your feet! That new bright color may look great on display, but may be brutal for your feet!  It's a good idea to go to a specialty running shoe store (like Luke's Locker) where the rep will take a look at your barefoot, observe your gait (are you a pronator or supinator) and from there show you the proper type of running shoe for you.  Our friends at Luke's Locker are professionally trained & will help get fit for the proper footwear.


 STEP #2 - Schedule your training times!

When you first start your plan, you’re likely to be full of enthusiasm, even if you’re a little apprehensive. But there comes a point when that enthusiasm will fade, and you need to be prepared to stay focused and motivated through the rough patches. Scheduling your workouts in a way that is realistic and accessible will give you the best route to a successful race.

It may be stating the obvious, but schedule runs in a way that will work best for you now, not in some sort of ideal life scenario. Those rarely ever happen. Not a morning person? Don’t plan to start running at 5:30 a.m. every day. Stuck at work late on a regular basis? Maybe try a lunch run. Whatever time you choose, put it on your calendar, schedule it on your phone and make that time non-negotiable. Getting involved with a running group is also beneficial to those who are just starting to train.


STEP #3 - Stick with a training plan!

And now it’s time for the training plan! Consider using this six-week 5K run training schedule as your guide. This 5K run training schedule was created by Olympian Jeff Galloway. It's tailored for beginners or anyone who wants to complete a 5K race. You don't have to use this training schedule only for a 5K run.... it can also be adapted for a 5K walk

The 5K training schedule incorporates a mix of running, walking and resting. This combination helps reduce the risk of injury, stress and fatigue while boosting your enjoyment of physical activity. Remember, you should run or walk slowly to help your body adjust to this 5K training schedule.  Under this 5K run schedule, you'll spend a portion of your training walking. For instance, during week one on run/walk days, you'll run for 20 seconds and then walk for 40 seconds, repeating that cycle for 30 minutes.  As the weeks progress, you'll gradually increase the amount of time running and reduce the amount of time walking.

One day a week, which is Friday on this 5K schedule, is a day of rest from exercise, giving your muscles time to recover. On Sunday, you can either take a second day of rest, or you can enjoy a walk at your choice of distance. On this 5K run training schedule, race day falls on Saturday of your sixth week.


6 week training schedule2


Click here for a printable version of the training plan.  6 week training schedule


Most importantly, have FUN out there. While this program requires commitment and hard work, try to find some moments to enjoy the process and be proud of what you’re accomplishing.


Registration for the Heart of Duncanville 5K/1 mile run & walk on Saturday, Oct. 8th  is available in person at Ben Franklin or online at  - Fees to participate in the 5K are $20 and $15 for the 1 mile. All fitness levels are welcome!  This event is designed for the whole family to participate and to have fun.

HOD5K Flier page 1

The race will start and finish at Ben Franklin Apothecary located at 302 N. Main Street at 8:00 a.m.  Post race activities include a bounce houses, family-friendly activities and a concert featuring the Shane Bell Band.

Participants will receive an exclusive race t-shirt, goody bags featuring several giveaways from participating sponsors, the opportunity to win great door prizes, and much more.  For more information, call (972) 298-1147 or visit

- Kasey Cheshier


FYI: Kasey is the race director for the Heart of Duncanville 5K and an avid runner.  Once a former offensive lineman at a D-1 University, he has lost over 100 pounds, completed eight marathons and is currently training for the Rock n' Roll San Antonio Marathon in December. 


Back to School: A Handy Health & Safety Checklist

It’s just about that time again: Time to switch from swimsuits to school clothes and from beach bags to backpacks. That’s the easy part. What about preparing your child to have the healthiest and safest school year possible? Here’s a handy checklist to help.

A child is wearing a doctor uniform with health and medical icons around the boy for an education career concept.

  1. Schedule medical, eye, and dental checkups. Before school starts, check with the pediatrician to see if your child needs any immunizations. Vision and hearing tests are also a good idea, although schools perform hearing tests during certain grades.1 If your child is playing sports, ask the pediatrician whether a special checkup is needed. With certain sports, concussions can be a serious problem. Talk to the doctor about ways to protect your child.
  2. Organize your child’s medical history records. Provide copies to your child’s school or daycare providers. Our pharmacist can help you pull some of this together for our current patients, but the list should include your child’s:
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical problems such as asthma or allergies
  • Previous surgeries
  • Emergency contacts2
  1. Communicate about transportation. Some kids get dropped up and picked up by parents. Others carpool. Still others walk, bike, or take the bus. And, of course, teens may have their own wheels. Regardless, it’s important that your kids be—and feel—safe getting to and from school.
  • If you or another adult picks up your child, agree on a time and place for pickups. Explain what to do if the driver is running late.
  • If your child walks or bikes, do a dry run and explain any potential traffic hazards.
  • If your child or teen takes the bus, find a safe route and agree on a visible pick-up and drop-off spot. Ideally, this is a place where other kids are around and adults can clearly see them.
  • If your teen drives to school, be crystal clear about safe driving—including ditching that teen temptation: texting while driving.

Create an emergency plan in case anything goes awry. In fact, make sure your child knows what to do in an emergency—whether at home or at school or anywhere in between.2

  1. Remember that there’s more to school than hitting the books. For example, good nutrition and exercise are essential for brain health. Here are a few other reminders:
  • Be consistent about bedtime and wake-up times. Growing kids need at least 8 hours of sleep—and teens need even more.1
  • Make homework a habit by having clear routines. But don’t overlook free time and friend time.
  • Explain ways to prevent infection such as by regularly washing hands and by not sharing hats or other clothing. That’s one way lice get around!
  • Keep lines of communication open. Listen for signs of bullying or other concerns. Many parents find that car rides are a great time to have nonthreatening conversations with their kids. Contact the school if a problem like bullying does arise.3,4


Now about those school supplies…. Come by Ben Franklin Apothecary to stock up & take advantage of our pre-packaged school bags!  And while you’re here, we can talk over your health and safety plans for the school year.


Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.




  1. WebMD: Back-to-School Health Checklist. Available at: Accessed 7/3/16.
  1. EmergencyCareForYou: Homework for Parents—Your Child’s Back-To-School Health Checklist. Available at: Accessed 7/3/16.
  1. National Association Of School Nurses: Back to School Family Checklist. Available at: Accessed 7/3/16.
  1. CDC: Back to School Health & Safety Checklist. Available at: Accessed 7/3/16.





Pokemon Go Health Benefits

Confusion & bewilderment came across my face a few weeks ago as a very excited kid informed me that the Ben Franklin Apothecary "Clock Tower" was a Pokémon Go gym.  I literally had no clue what he was talking about and thought his parents let him have too much ice cream for lunch.  Weeks later, the Pokémon Go craze has swept across the nation & now has an estimated 21 million users who are daily actively playing the game (almost catching up to Twitter daily active users).   Confession time... I may have caught a pickachu & polywrath since my initial conversation with that kid.

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Pokémon Go is a game where players use their smartphones and GPS to walk around in the real world catching Pokémon characters. In simple terms, it takes live images of the real world from your "phone camera" and adds elements to them.  In the case of Pokémon Go, the app adds images of a Pokémon.  (Augmented Reality at its finest)   Ben Franklin Apothecary in Duncanville is a gym, where players battle other trainer's Pokeman. And trust us, we've seen an increase of folks walking the streets of downtown Duncanville to various locations, including our store in search of the next catch.


Since the games' arrival into the mainstream daily lifestyle of so many users, it has created a stir of media buzz & excitement around the county.  Along with being a fun game, this new craze may have some actual health benefits: 


  1. Encourages physical activity.

The major benefit of the game is that it helps increase physical activity through walking and built-in incentives to get players to walk 2, 5, or 10 kilometers to earn awards.  The game encourages individuals to get outside & walk to the next location searching for the next Pokémon.  It has not been unheard of for folks to walk at least 5 miles on weekends alone.  Anybody plan a marathon revolved around Pokémon Go yet?  (Sign me up!!)

Whether or not we can believe this or not, Pokémon Go may become a strong tool to combat childhood obesity in our nation.  It's low-impact and sustainable physical activity that is getting our kids outdoors & moving.


2. Keeps your brain sharp 

Younger players may gain the added benefits of cognitive development through game-play since the game incorporates elements of strategy and planning.  The game also exercises your visuospatial skills (ability to perceive and interact with items in your visual field) by dropping virtual elements into your surroundings and by encouraging you to explore new places.   Over the years, research has shown that playing video games can improve attention, processing speed and these visuospatial skills.

  1. Inspires a sense of community 

With an influx of individuals getting outside and playing the game, the game inspires a sense of community & you may see kids reaching out to others to find out where to catch a certain Pokémon.  (No, we're not kidding)  In fact, teams can even be created to allow friends or co-workers the opportunity to play the game together.  (To my team at Ben Franklin... don't even think about it.)   Bottom line, the game encourages positive predictors of mental health: social interaction and activity. 

Is that our pharmacist playing? :)

Is that our pharmacist playing? :)

  1. Encourages kids to adventure out & explore nature

Pokémon Go gets kids outside & allows them the opportunity to explore their communities & natural elements around them.  There is a big world out there and this game is taking some initial steps in getting our younger generation outside to explore.  Take note, users in search of their next catch may be vulnerable due to distraction and unfamiliarity with the areas they’ve wandered into.  Keep your head up & aware of your surroundings outside the view of your smartphone.


Safety Tips While Playing:
Although Pokemon Go may offer certain health benefits, players should take precautions to ensure their personal safety while adventuring.

  • Stay hydrated. It's Texas, it's summer, it's hot!  Need we say more?
  • Frequently remind children about “stranger danger,” since the game involves meeting and interacting with other players.  Set boundaries with establishing the "community"
  • Limit areas where children can wander or play along with your kids
  • Pay attention to your surroundings; watch out for cars, suspicious individuals, water and tripping hazards
  • Only play in well-lit public spaces at night
  • Travel as a group (It’s not only more fun, it’s also safer)
  • Don’t drive and play! (Kinda defeats the purpose, right?)
  • Keep phones adequately charged in case of emergency situations
  • Don't forget the basics... sunscreen, proper footwear, etc.


What are you reading this for... go find your next catch!!

What are you still reading this for... go find your next catch!!


Kasey Cheshier, Director of Operations

Ben Franklin Apothecary, 302 N. Main Street, Duncanville, TX

Ben Franklin Apothecary
302 N. Main Street
Duncanville, Texas 75116
Pharmacy: (972) 298-4936
Ben Franklin Apothecary
302 N. Main Street
Duncanville, Texas 75116
Pharmacy: (972) 298-4936