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The Berkeley County Health Department wants to help all of our citizens live happier, healthier and longer lives. We have put together the following monthly tips to help you achieve that goal:
You Can Do It!
Let this year be your best year ever by making good health a priority. Include regular exercise, nutritious eating, medical exams and sufficient sleep in your wellness plan. Learn ways to cope with stress that are best for you. Add to all this a positive outlook, a willingness to change and realistic expectations…and you’re on your way!
Be Good to Your Heart
A healthy heart can add years and vitality to your life. Have your doctor assess your heart-disease risk, and follow any recommendations given. Keep fit with at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity (e.g., brisk walking) five days a week, and with foods low in saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol and sodium. Manage stress and weight, and avoid tobacco.
Add Variety to your Menu
Ensure that you get all the nutrients you need by varying foods you eat. Sample a colorful range of fruits and vegetables, different whole grains and an assortment of low-fat cheeses and yogurts. For protein, try seeds, nuts and beans of all kinds as an alternative to meat. Be adventurous and find new, nutritional favorites!
Take Time to Laugh
Too much stress can wear anyone down. Fight back with an upbeat attitude, a sense of humor and relaxation strategies. Make time for family, friends, pets, your favorite activities and as many good laughs as possible-they’re instant tension relievers. Surround yourself with fun people and you’ll reap the benefits.
Stay Healthy to the Bone
You can do a lot to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis, the bone disease that leads to fractures. Protect your bones by getting enough calcium and vitamin D, avoiding excess alcohol, quitting smoking and exercising regularly. Weight training is especially valuable, as are weight-bearing exercises such as walking and stair climbing.
Get Fit For Life
Regular physical activity is a must for good health. Exercise reduces the risk of multiple diseases, including several types of cancer. It also strengthens bones and joints, helps lower blood pressure, boosts immunity, improves sleep and more. Experts recommend both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities (e.g., push-ups or weight lifting).
Protect Your Precious Skin
Summer days my lure you outdoors, but remember to guard against too much sun. Use sunscreens and lip balms with an SPF of at least 15-even on cloudy days. Also wear sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves and long pants. When possible, avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when UV rays are strongest.
Steps to a Healthy Weight
More than half of American women are overweight or obese. If weight is a health concern for you, start by taking steps to lose weight and keep it off. You’ll lower your risk for many diseases, and look and feel your best. Remember that successful weight loss calls for a combination of healthy eating and increased physical activity.
Keep Colds and Flu at Bay
Take preventive action to stay well through cold and flu season. Boost your immune system with sufficient sleep, exercise, nutrition and stress control. Wash your hands often and try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Avoid close contact with those who are sick. Ask your doctor about getting a flu shot, which is usually available starting in September.
Put Breast Care in Focus
Do all you can to protect yourself from breast cancer. Follow the recommended schedule of breast-care screenings. If you’re at higher than average risk for breast cancer, ask your doctor about additional screenings. Also discuss any lifestyle change you can make to help prevent the disease, including limiting your alcohol intake, losing weight and exercising.
Set a Positive Example
Be a role model for your family. Instead of watching TV, suggest a family walk or bike ride. Eat right and provide nutritious meals and snacks. Schedule immunizations and health tests on time for everyone, including eye exams and dental checkups. Help each other break any unhealthy habits, and work together to maintain a fitness routine.
Let the Holidays Shine
Put wellness at the top of your holiday list…and keep it there! Occasional small indulgences are fine, but get back on track by making smart food choices and staying active. Balance your commitments with the need for sleep and relaxation. Simplify the season as much as possible to let the true spirit of the holidays shine through.
We want to help all of our citizens live happier, healthier and longer lives.