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Tips to Stay Healthy This Holiday Season

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Fall and winter are a time where you may have to admit, laziness can occur. The cold weather, Thanksgiving, holiday dinners and vacation can keep you from eating healthy and exercising everyday. Don’t worry: these tips will help you set your limit and keep you from going overboard.

Set your goal and limit:

If your goal to stay healthy is too general or vague, you will less likely to 100% reach your goal. Establish specific guidelines including a weekly meal and exercise plan. For example, you can allow yourself to eat one or two desserts a week and walk thirty minutes a day. Regularity and uniformity is key to helping you reach your goal.

Fall foods:

Eating fruits and vegetables based on each season are helpful because it is more affordable, more nutritious, and it tastes better. Pumpkins, apples, and Brussels sprouts are all in season!

Enhance your immune system:

It is typical that this season is known for people getting sick, especially children who are in school. To help you from getting sick this fall, eat simple and nutritious foods. Limit sugary foods and boost your vitamin intake!

Hydrate:

Even if it’s not hot like in the summer, it is still important keep yourself hydrated to keep your body running well and staying healthy.

At home fitness:

Just because it is cold outside, doesn’t mean you have to stop working out. You can create a small workout station in your home. You can do similar exercises that will keep you just as fit as you would if you were working outside.

 

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May is Arthritis Awareness Month

Arthritis is a very painful condition in which one or more of a person’s joints are inflamed. This campaign is to educate people on facts and prevention of the condition.

Affecting more than 50 million Americans, arthritis is the leading cause of disability in the United States. The condition is used to describe more than 100 diseases which affect a person’s joints, the area where two bones meet.

Arthritis is the result of a breakdown of cartilage. Joints are typically protected by cartilage, which allow them to move easily. Without an efficient amount of cartilage, the bones rub together causing severe discomfort, swelling, and stiffness.

There are two major types of arthritis. The first is Osteoarthritis, where the joint cartilage breaks down and causes pain and stiffness. The second type, Rheumatoid arthritis, is more severe and is a condition in which the body’s immune system attacks the membrane surrounding the joints, and can lead to joint destruction.

There are many different causes of arthritis; however, there are no known cures for it. The Arthritis Foundation is a non-profit organization working towards finding a cure through education and research.

Although there are no known cures, there are many types of treatment to help reduce pain, improve joint function, and prevent further damage. The types of treatment include exercise programs, such as muscle toning and aerobic activity. Along with this, physical therapy may be recommended. Heating or icing the area, support joints or splints, and massages are proven to help reduce inflammation and pain.

In honor of Arthritis Awareness Month, make sure you get plenty of sleep each night, at least 8 to 10 hours. You should also stay active, make sure you include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet, and participate in stress-reducing activities such as yoga or meditation.

April is Cancer Awareness Month

Cancer is that dreaded six-letter word that unfortunately most of us have experienced- whether through our own personal battle or through a family member or friend. This campaign is to educate people of the facts, prevention and advances in treatment.

After heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Over a lifetime about 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women in the U.S. will develop cancer. While that sounds like a lot, cancer rates and death have actually been on the decline since the early 90’s. In even better news, the top cancer scientists in the country are feeling optimistic about the ongoing battle with cancer, and DNA is the reason.

When given the DNA of two different patients, typically the samples are going to look more than 99.99 percent the same. It is in that tiny difference that the secret of what is causing cancer is hidden. What is needed then is a drug that can correct the problems caused by DNA damage.  Now, thanks to giant leaps in the science of DNA sequencing, there is hope. Scientists now have the technology to be able to see deep enough into the cells and that means they can create new drugs to target what they’re seeing.

While this news leaves us feeling hopeful and optimistic, we should always remember that when it comes to cancer, early detection and prevention is the best treatment. One-third of cancers detected are related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity and poor diet and nutrition. Be sure you are leading an active lifestyle and maintain and nutritious diet. Also, people who use tobacco, drink heavily and have prolonged and unprotected exposure to sunlight are all at increased risk for certain cancers.

Not only are there new advancements in the treatment of cancer, there are new and more accurate screening methods that allow for earlier detection. This will allow doctors to treat patients before the disease progresses, and the earlier the cancer is found, the better the prognosis.

In honor of National Cancer Awareness Month, implement a better diet and physical activity into your daily routine to lessen your risk of developing the disease and be sure to keep up with all routine screenings. In the meantime, happy –and hopeful- Cancer Awareness Month!