As the New Year unfolds, here are some varied tips and suggestions to gauge your health (physical and mental) report card.
BODY MASS INDEX
Body mass index (BMI) is calculated using height and weight. It is used by health professionals as a screening tool to help identify weight problems that can lead to health problems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is not a direct measure of body fat but it is considered a fairly reliable indicator of body fatness for most people. Keep in mind, highly trained athletes and those who are very muscular can have a high BMI due to increased muscle mass, not body fatness.
ROUTINE CANCER SCREENINGS
Do you know what routine cancer screenings you should have? There are many different guidelines, based on things such as your age, gender, family history, and personal medical history. Your health care provider is the best person to help you decide which tests you need and when. He or she can talk with you about the risks and benefits of screenings tests, and address your questions and concerns.
KNOW THE SIGNS!
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Along with the advice of a doctor, these signs are important to detecting Alzheimer’s: 1) Memory changes that disrupt daily life 2) Challenges in planning or solving problems 3) Difficulty completing familiar tasks 4) Confusion with time or place
5) Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships 6) New problems with speaking or writing 7) Misplacing things and inability to retrace steps 8) Decreased or poor judgment 9) Withdrawal from social or work activities 10) Changes in mood and personality.
For more information, visit: www.alz.org.
HEALTH ON THE NET
The Internet is an easy place to find health-related information, but how can you know that what you’re finding is credible? As a rule, health-related sites sponsored by the U.S. government (Web addresses ending with “.gov”), not-for-profit health or medical organizations (ending with”.org”) and university medical centers are among many reliable sources of health information on the Web. You can also look for the red and blue “HON” seal, which means that a site meets certain standards set by the Health On the Net Foundation.
And to conclude .. if you’re struggling with a positive attitude during the long winter months remember this:
SEEING WINTER IN A POSITIVE LIGHT
If Old Man Winter leaves you feeling a bit gloomy, there are two simple and inexpensive ways to help you feel better: exercise and natural light exposure. Fight the winter blues by going for a brisk walk outdoors. Exercise and exposure to sunlight-even on cloudy days- can increase levels of serotonin in the brain to boost mood. Keep yourself feeling well by seeing winter in a more positive light.