May 8th, 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org
May is Melanoma/Skin Cancer Detection and Prevention Month®
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. About 90% of skin cancer cases are caused from the sun’s ultraviolet light and are largely preventable. Just 15 minutes of exposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage your skin. Although sunshine and summertime go hand-in-hand, protect your skin from harmful UV rays this summer by taking extra precautions.
- Using SPF 15 or higher, apply one ounce of sunscreen, about the volume of a golf ball.
- Sunscreen can lose potency when exposed to heat or light. If an expiration date can’t be found, toss it out and buy a new bottle.
- Cover up exposed areas with a wide-brimmed hat or sun protective clothing.
- Protect your eyes from glare by choosing sunglasses that block 99-100% of UVA and UVB rays.
- Avoid peak hours, as the most harmful rays are between 10am and 4pm.
Monthly head-to-toe skin exams can help identify any unusual changes or new growths on the skin. When found early, skin cancer is nearly always curable. During a self-examination, check for changes in color, shape, size, border, or texture. Other warning signs include a mole or spot appearing after the age of 21, or growths larger than the diameter of a pencil eraser. Spots or sores that don’t heal within 3 weeks should also be brought to a doctor’s attention.
May 4th, 2013 by email@example.com
More than 15 million Americans suffer from some form of food allergy, an immune response that occurs after eating a trigger food. These reactions can include hives, difficulty breathing, digestive problems, and even life-threatening anaphylaxis. Common allergies are seen in a growing number of foods including peanuts, shellfish, wheat, eggs, and milk.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control indicates that food allergies are on the rise. However, there is speculation about what is causing the increase. Some researchers point to less exposure to good bacteria like probiotics found in yogurt and fermented foods. Others speculate vaccines and sterile environments could be a contributing factor. Some doctors even encourage exposing children to common allergens like tree nuts and shellfish at an earlier age to build immunity.
Food allergies are not the same as food intolerances and should be managed differently. If you suspect a food allergy, it is critical to get a professional diagnosis and discuss reaction treatments with your doctor. Antihistamines may be suitable for mild cases, but severe situations may require an epinephrine injection. Visit the Food Allergy Research & Education site to learn more about managing and treating food allergies.
April 11th, 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Spring marks the annual undertaking to open the windows and deep clean the whole house. Let your cleaning and organizing efforts carry over to the pantry this year as you throw out unwanted food and make space for healthier options.
- Medications- Properly dispose of expired prescriptions or over-the-counter medications.
- When in Doubt- Throw it out! If you don’t know how long a food item has been on your shelf, get rid of it.
- Junk Food- Read the labels and discard any foods that contain trans fats, artificial dyes, and ingredients you can’t pronounce.
- Don’t Forget the Fridge- Remove all the items from your refrigerator and freezer and wipe down the shelves. Frozen casseroles should be used within 3 months, and if frozen properly, meat should last up to a year.
When purging your pantry, donate any unused and undamaged items that aren’t past the expiration date to your local food pantry or homeless shelter. For more food safety information, visit the USDA fact sheet.
April 8th, 2013 by email@example.com
Enjoy the great outdoors this season by taking a picnic to the park. Spring brings fresh air and fresh fruits and vegetables. Enjoy both by following these tips to plan your next picnic:
- Work Up an Appetite- Hike to a remote location for your picnic or let the family loose at a park before dining.
- Play it Safe- Pack hand sanitizer, insect repellent, and sunscreen.
- Slow Down- Enjoy nature, the company, and the food. Eating slowly helps recognize fullness.
- Pack Healthy Foods- Plan your menu ahead of time to include healthy options like fruit kabobs, veggies and hummus, bean dip, or turkey wraps.
WebMD offers more healthy picnic recipes and tips. Get creative with your menu and find unique ways to introduce healthy seasonal foods to the whole family.
April 2nd, 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Just as a smile is contagious, humor is infectious. In this modern plugged-in era, bad news, natural disasters, and health fears can send our minds into a tailspin. This April, as we celebrate National Humor Month, practice focusing on the positive aspects in life and fostering an environment of a light-hearted mood.
Humor can strengthen relationships, relieve anxiety and depression, and improve immune function. Surround yourself with those who have a good sense of humor. You can’t stay mad at someone who makes you laugh. Children in particular have an innocent perspective and contagious smile.
Using humor can help overcome obstacles that once appeared undesirable. To find the silver lining, learn to discover irony and humor in situations, don’t take yourself too seriously, and surround yourself with pictures, keepsakes, or images that evoke fun memories.
March 17th, 2013 by email@example.com
Environmental wellness is one of the many components of a well-balanced life. Having a healthy physical being requires having a healthy surrounding. Our daily habits and attitude toward the environment have a large impact on the world we live in.
Carry over the spirit of St. Patrick’s day this month by going green and being accountable to the environment’s needs. Participate in one of these environmentally responsible activities:
- Plant a Tree- Trees clean the air and provide oxygen. Strategically placed trees can prevent soil erosion, provide shade, and prevent water pollution.
- Recycle- If you don’t currently recycle, now is a great time to start! Learn what items can be recycled.
- Pick up Litter- You don’t have to adopt a highway to make a difference. If you see a piece of trash where it doesn’t belong, pick it up!
- Conserve Nature- Calculate your carbon footprint and learn ways to reduce it.
Sustainable living requires individuals to maintain resources and conditions to thrive. Do your part in sustaining our future and help protect our natural environment.
March 10th, 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Start your day off right by giving your brain and body the energy it needs to succeed. Breakfast’s literal meaning is to break the fast from not eating during the night. After an 8-10 hour nightly fast, breakfast can jump-start the metabolism. Studies show that breakfast eaters tend to be thinner than their counterparts and also make healthier decisions through the remainder of the day. Those who skip breakfast are more likely to reach for high fat snacks by mid-morning, and also consume more calories throughout the day.
A healthy breakfast doesn’t require much effort. Choose a high fiber cereal, Greek yogurt, fruit and oatmeal, or hard boiled eggs. If you have to eat on the run, plan ahead by packing a high protein granola bar or prepare a fruit smoothie the night before. For quick and healthy breakfast ideas, visit our ‘Most Important Meal‘ board on Pinterest.
March 1st, 2013 by email@example.com
Every March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spotlights National Nutrition Month®. This year celebrates the 40th annual campaign of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits.
This year’s theme, “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” encourages personalized healthy eating styles. Personal food preferences, lifestyle, cultural, and ethnic traditions all impact individual food choices. Because nutrition isn’t a one-size-fits-all message, emphasis is placed on making healthy choices that work for you.
If you are interested in hosting a National Nutrition Month® event at your workplace, download a toolkit here. For additional tools and resources, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics at EatRight.org.
February 25th, 2013 by firstname.lastname@example.org
When faced with the decision to take the stairs or elevator, which would you choose? Making conscious decisions to incorporate activity into your day can add up to significant health benefits. Physical activity recommendations encourage at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. However, that activity doesn’t have to be all at once. Incremental activity, such as climbing a flight or two of stairs, can accumulate throughout the day to reach the physical activity recommendations.
Those who climb stairs frequently have greater leg strength and aerobic lung capacity. Studies show that the risk of cardiovascular disease is lower in those who regularly climb stairs. The weight loss benefits of stair climbing can significantly add up as well. Climbing two flights of stairs daily could result in a weight loss of 6lbs in a year! If possible, use a photo copier or restroom on a different floor and step your way to better health!
February 5th, 2013 by email@example.com
Nearly one third of those who have high blood pressure aren’t aware of it. Often times, there are no signs or symptoms of high blood pressure, also known as hypertension. If left untreated for long periods of time, hypertension can lead to heart disease, an increased risk for stroke, and even kidney failure. Although high blood pressure is often hereditary, there are many lifestyle factors that can improve or prevent hypertension:
- Eat a heart healthy diet- Include potassium and fiber, and drink plenty of water.
- Aerobic exercise- Aim for at least 30 minutes daily.
- Quit smoking- Or try cutting back if you aren’t ready to quit.
- Limit alcohol- One drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men.
- Limit salt- Aim for less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.
- Reduce stress- Take breaks, enjoy leisure activities, and practice stress management techniques.
Hypertension can occur at a blood pressure level over 140/90. For more information on hypertension, visit The American Heart Association.