Health Tips

Spring Clean Your Health

Spring is a great time to refocus on your health and well-being. Here are a few tips to help you spring clean your health.spring-clean-health

  • Get outside. It’s time to get outside for a walk, bike ride, gardening, or just to sit and enjoy the freshness of spring. A little bit of sunshine and fresh air can do wonders for your emotional health.
  • Update or start your exercise plan. Spring and summer offer more options for activities that you can include in your routine. The more you mix it up, the less likely you’ll get bored with your exercise plan.
  • Eat fresh. Plant a garden or plan to shop your local markets. Late spring and summer are prime for farmer’s markets, and fresh produce at your local stores. Shop local, eat fresh and “enjoy the fruits” of your local farmers and stores.
  • Schedule your preventive care appointments. This includes your age appropriate cancer screenings, dental cleanings, and vision exams.
  • Organize your medicine cabinets. Take some time to sort through your medicine cabinet and properly dispose of any unused medications or antibiotics. Organize what’s left and be sure to separate vitamins or daily supplements from any prescription drugs.
  • Reorganize your pantry. Get rid of old and expired food. If there is anything you don’t see yourself eating in the next few weeks/months, donate it to your local food pantry. They are always in need of food this time of year.

Take Charge. Live Well!

Preventable. Treatable. Beatable.®

blue_ribbon_colon_cancer_awareness_month_card-p137107552919208707b21fb_400-400x300Among cancers that affect both men and women, colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Every year, about 140,000 Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and more than 50,000 people die from it.

 Screening Saves Lives

Colorectal cancer is highly preventable by getting screened beginning at the age of 50. This disease almost always develops from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Screening tests can find precancerous polyps, so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screening tests can also find colorectal cancer early when treatment works best.

 Risk Factors

  • Being age 50 or older
  • Smoke or use tobacco
  • Overweight or obese, especially if you carry fat around your waist
  • Not physically active
  • Drink alcohol in excess
  • Eat a lot of red or processed meats
  • Have a family history of colorectal cancer or colorectal polyps
  • Have a personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, such as ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Talk to your doctor about your colorectal cancer screening options. Early detection is key!

For more information, visit www.preventcancer.org.

Take Charge. Live Well!

National Children’s Dental Health Month

national-childrens-dental-health-month1February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Developing good dental habits at an early age is key to a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.

Babies and Toddlers
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), parents should start brushing their children’s teeth as soon they emerge. Use a little toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice, on a soft-bristled brush. Don’t forget that your child should have his first dentist appointment by his first birthday.

Preschoolers
Let your child pick out a new toothbrush and a great-tasting toothpaste. Kids that take the lead are more likely to make daily brushing a personal habit. You’ll still need to supervise his technique and help ensure that the teeth are cleaned at least twice daily.

Elementary-Aged
Kids at this age start losing their primary teeth. Just because these teeth are on their way out doesn’t mean kids can ignore the importance of dental hygiene. Schedule regular checkups with your dentist to detect any complications during this process.

Teenagers
Continuing with regular dental checkups can help remind your teen to keep brushing and flossing.

For more information, visit the American Dental Association at www.ada.org.

 

Take Charge. Live Well!

 

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Whether you prefer to walk during the day or night, in the city or a trail, winter walking can be enjoyable. The beauty of nature, the crisp, fresh air and movement are all beneficial to your overall health and well-being.

Winter walking also requires a certain amount of preparation and precaution. Follow these important tips to stay safe while enjoying the outdoors during the winter months.933-snowflake-winter-wonderland-2

Dress for the weather. Start with a thin, breathable layer, then add a thermal layer. Finally, add a thin outer shell to help keep out the wind and cold. Choose smart footwear that provides traction on snow and ice. Add accessories to stay warm and dry from head to toe.

Be safe. Carry a cell phone, tell someone your planned route, and think about walking with a buddy. Use a walking stick or pole to help with balance. Keep hands out of pockets when walking to aid in balance.

Be visible. Between shorter daylight hours and sunlight reflecting off the snow, it can be tough to see and be seen in the winter. Always wear bright, visible clothing. A reflective vest or gear is ideal any time of day.

Stay alert. Assume that all wet, dark areas on pavements are slippery and icy and proceed with extra caution. Wait for vehicles to stop completely before crossing a road.

With a little preparation, you can safely enjoy a winter walk.

 Take Charge. Live Well!

Source:  Health News from HAP, January Article.

 

Adults Need Vaccines, Too

August is National Immunization Awareness Month, a time to encourage people of all ages to make sure they are up to date on recommended vaccines.

Your need for immunization doesn’t end when you become an adult. Regardless of age, we all need immunizations to protect our health against common diseases that can be serious.

The specific vaccines you need as an adult are determined by factors such as your age, job, lifestyle, health conditions, locations of travel, and vaccines you’ve received in the past.

Vaccination is important because it not only protects the person receiving the vaccine, but also helps prevent the spread of disease, especially to those that are most vulnerable to serious complications such as infants and young children, elderly, and those with chronic conditions and weakened immune systems.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/ to view and print the recommended immunization schedules. These schedules list the age or age range when each vaccine or series of shots is recommended. Talk to your healthcare professional about which vaccines are right for you.

 

Take Charge. Live Well!

 

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