Seasonal Health Tips
Seasonal Health Tip: Making Changes, Setting Goals
Keep in mind, small changes can make a big difference over time.
For more information, visit kp.org/healthyliving.
January: Making Changes, Setting Goals
February: American Heart Health
March: Nutrition for You
May: High Blood Pressure
June: Skin Protection
July: Women’s Health
August: Stress Reduction
September: Controlling Cholesterol
October: Breast Cancer
December: Healthy Holiday
It’s that time of year again. We try to set goals to make ourselves better in one way or another! Our goals sure sounds like nice ideas, but it doesn’t always happen as we’d like. Here are some tips to make your next goals a reality.
Improving or maintaining heart health starts with our daily choices. Making the healthy choices in activity and nutrition make all the difference. Eating healthy and becoming more active will help improve your overall heart health by:
- Decreasing bad cholesterol
- Decreasing high blood pressure
- Reducing blood sugars
- Increasing good cholesterol
What are you waiting for…get moving! For more information and advice visit the Health Education Center.
Everyone knows how to eat better. The problem is actually doing it. If you are interested in making some changes to improve your eating habits, try one or all of these:
- Add one extra serving vegetable
- Choose leaner proteins
- Decrease your portion sizes
- Replace dessert with fruit most days
According to recent studies, the best way to try and prevent cancer is to:
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially dark green leafy vegetables
- Reduce your stress
- Become more physically active
- Maintain a healthful weight
- Drink alcohol in moderation
High Blood Pressure is something we need to pay attention to. Both the systolic and diastolic numbers are equally important. Our blood pressure goal should be 120/80. If you would like to test your blood pressure, feel free to visit our San Rafael or Petaluma Medical Center. Our volunteers at health education centers can help you test your blood pressure.
Limit your exposure to the sun, especially midday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Seek shady areas, and avoid direct sunlight.
Wear protective clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat, a long-sleeved shirt, and pants. Dark, tightly woven clothes are best.
Wear sunglasses that block out ultraviolet (UV) rays. Use a sunscreen every day, all year, even when it is cloudy.
A sunscreen should block ultraviolet rays (both UVA and UVB) and have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to 30. Apply sunscreen:
- 30 minutes before going out into the sun.
- Every 2 hours, and reapply after swimming.
Many women underestimate the threat coronary artery disease poses to their health. Coronary artery disease is this country’s number one killer of women. Yet, in a recent survey, 50% of women replied that they still considered cancer their greatest health threat.
- Stop smoking, and avoid secondhand smoke.
- Do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity, such as brisk walking, on most days of the week.
- Eat a heart-healthy diet and limit saturated fat to less than 10% of calories, cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg, and avoid trans fats.
- Keep your body mass index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9 and your waist circumference less than 35 inches. To determine your BMI, see the healthy weight chart for adults
- If you have coronary artery disease, be evaluated for depression.
- If you drink, do so in moderation (an average of one drink per day for women). If you do not drink, don’t start.
- Adopt the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan, and reduce daily salt intake if you have high blood pressure.
To deal with stress, you need to identify its sources in your life. You need to recognize how stress affects you, understand how to avoid harmful stress, and know how you can deal with it when it occurs. You also need to realize that some events are out of your control. You want to reduce the stress you feel and help eliminate the emotional, mental, and physical problems it may cause.
Strategies to avoid stress include managing your time and commitments; establishing a strong system of social support and effective coping strategies; and leading a healthy lifestyle, including getting adequate sleep and eating healthfully.
Techniques to relieve stress include physical activity and exercise, breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, and massage. Visit our Health Education Center for classes to help decrease stress.
Dietary therapy, combined with regular exercise and weight loss, if needed, is the cornerstone of treatment. Diets designed to lower your cholesterol are called dietary therapy or medical nutrition therapy because this approach is more than just “going on a diet.” Your doctor and a professional dietitian will give you specific advice about eating a balanced diet, including how much total fat and saturated fat you may eat every day. As a part of your dietary therapy, you will learn that not all fats are created equal. There are several different types of fat, each of which has a different effect on your cholesterol levels. For more information call about our Heart Health Class.
Breast Cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast start to grow rapidly in an uncontrolled manner.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women, although lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. About 1% of all breast cancer occurs in adult men.
The most common risk factors linked to the development of breast cancer include:
Age. This disease is uncommon in women under the age of 35. All women age 40 and older have an increased risk for breast cancer. Most breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50. The risk is especially high for women over age 60.
Race. Breast cancer occurs more frequently in white women than in black or Hispanic women.
Gender. Although breast cancer can occur in men, 99% of all breast cancer is found in women.
Type 2 diabetes is caused by insulin resistance, which occurs when the body’s cells and tissues do not respond properly to insulin. Your weight, level of physical activity, and family history affect how your body responds to insulin. People who are overweight, get little or no exercise, or have diabetes in their family have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
If you are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, you may be able to prevent or at least delay the disease by getting regular exercise and eating a balanced diet that spreads carbohydrates throughout the day to prevent high blood sugar after meals. Modest weight loss of as little as 5% to 10% of your body weight can lower your body’s resistance to insulin and increase its ability to use insulin more effectively. Quitting smoking and getting treatment for high blood pressure or high cholesterol also may help prevent type 2 diabetes.
The holidays are here. This month consist of spending and eating. These are all great; however, we don’t want them to affect our health negatively. Spending too much can lead to stress. Eating too much can lead to weight gain. Weight gain leads to increased cholesterol, higher blood sugars, higher blood pressure, and higher stress.
The best thing we can do for ourselves during the holiday months is to “Keep Moving”. Getting regular physical activity can help burn the extra calories, give you extra energy, help you sleep better, decrease stress, decrease blood sugars, blood pressure, and bad cholesterol; just to name a few.
Happy Holidays and Stay Healthy!