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Mother and Son Smiling

Tips to Stay Healthy this Summer

Summer conjures images of carefree fun, soaking in the sunshine, splashing in the waves, and enjoying those summer nights.

You can do all those things but still stay healthy with a few tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Women Walking in the Park

Keep Moving

Take advantage of better weather by getting outside and going for a stroll, hike, or bike ride. Just 30 minutes a day can do a world of good. You can plan to do it earlier in the morning or closer to dusk when it won’t be so hot. It’s good for your heart, helps reduce anxiety, and will help you sleep.

Watch Your Skin

You need to protect yourself not just from the sun, but from biting insects.

Spend time in the shade, wear wide-brimmed hats, cover up, and use sunscreen to keep from getting burned. Use insect repellent or wear long-sleeved shirts and pants to protect against ticks and mosquito bites.

If you plan on wearing both sunscreen and insect repellent, apply the sunscreen first, then apply the repellent. Always check for ticks after hiking in the woods.

Roasted Vegetables

Eat Right

So many delicious fruits and vegetables are in season in the summer. They are packed with water to help keep you hydrated and refreshed. Pair them with lean proteins and you won’t feel weighed down for your summer activities. You want to feel fueled up for the fun.

Keep Cool

Don’t overdo it outside. Take breaks to get out of the heat. Drink plenty of water as well. Check the weather to see what temperatures will be like if you have outdoor activities planned.

Father and Son Washing Hands

Think When You Drink

Water is always the best choice for hydrating. Sugary sodas and energy drinks only add calories. Infuse your water with fruit like lemons and limes, or maybe add some cucumbers to make things a little different. It will be a refreshing change of pace while keeping you hydrated.

With You All Year

AltaMed is with you year-round from infancy through your golden years. You can get started with AltaMed. We’re here for you at any stage of life. Contact us today at (877) 462-2582.

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Skin Cancer

Everyone Needs Protection from the Sun

A problem with any of your organs is troubling. Heart, liver, kidney, or lung issues would be a cause for alarm. 

That doesn’t seem to be the case with skin. It’s the body’s largest organ but we’re often dismissive of taking better care of it. That is probably why skin cancer is the most common form of cancer. It is, however, entirely, and easily, avoided. 

Skin Cancer Basics

Skin cancer is caused by the uncontrolled growth of cells on the epidermis — the outer layer of skin. It is triggered by overexposure to ultraviolet rays from either the sun or tanning beds. 

Protecting skin with sunscreen, a hat, or covering up with clothing are among the best methods for protecting against skin cancer. Sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is recommended for everyone, no matter your complexion or how much time you expect to spend in the sun. 

Woman Putting on Sunscreen

One in five adults will develop one of the following types of skin cancer before they turn 70: 

  • Basal cell carcinoma 

  • Melanoma 

  • Nonmelanoma skin cancer 

  • Squamous cell carcinoma of the skin 

Basal Cell Carcinoma

This is one of the most common forms of skin cancer. It starts in a specific type of cell that produces new skin layers as the old skin layers die. 

It’s most common on the face, head, and neck since they get the most exposure to the sun. Basal cell carcinomas most often appear as: 

  • A shiny skin-colored bump 

  • A lesion that’s black, brown, or blue 

  • A flat, scaly patch 

  • A white, waxy, scar-like lesion 

See your doctor if these ever appear on your skin. 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma

This is also a very common form of skin cancer. This develops from cells in the middle and outer layers of skin. It’s caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight or artificial ultraviolet (UV) radiation. 

While not usually life threatening, it can be aggressive and spread to other squamous cells which are found in multiple places on the body. This includes places NOT exposed to sunlight. 

Symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic, include: 

  • A rim, red nodule 

  • A flat sore with a scaly crust 

  • A raised area or sore on an old scar 

  • A rough, scaly patch on the lip that becomes an open sore 

  • A rough patch or red sore inside the mouth 

  • A wartlike sore on the anus or genitals 

See a doctor if you develop a sore that won’t heal after a couple of months. 

Melanomas

This is the most serious type of skin cancer and forms in the cells that create melanin or skin pigmentation. Melanoma risk is increasing for people under 40, especially women. The exact cause is unclear, but exposure to UV light from the sun or tanning lamps increases the risk. 

Melanomas can develop anywhere, including places not exposed to the sun, like the soles of the feet, palms, or fingernail beds. These “hidden” melanomas are much more common in people with darker skin. 

Symptoms include: 

  • Changes in a mole 

  • A new pigmented growth on the skin 

Dermatologists recommend using the letters “ABCDE,” to help identify moles that may be melanomas or other skin cancers. 

  • A is for asymmetrical shape 

  • B is for irregular border 

  • C is for changes in color 

  • D is for diameter 

  • E is for evolving 

Nonmelonoma Skin Cancer

This includes basal cell carcinoma and squamous along with about six others that form on other parts of the skin. 

Skin cancer can be successfully treated with surgery for removal. But patients who believe they have cancerous cells on their skin need to contact their doctors immediately. Left untreated, skin cancer can spread and be fatal. 

Protecting the skin from exposure to ultraviolet radiation is the BEST way to prevent skin cancer. 

Doctor Checks Patient Skin

Check Your Skin

Early detection of skin abnormalities is the best way to identify, then develop a treatment plan to prevent skin cancer from spreading. This improves the chances of treating or even curing it. 

The best way to stay healthy and make sure you are getting the screenings you need is to get regular health checkups. Depending on your personal and family health histories, your doctor may recommend additional screenings for you. 

Contact AltaMed at (888) 499-9303 for more information about the health screenings you need.  

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Family in Beach

Ways to Keep the Whole Family Active, Together

The demands of our daily lives make it tough to get motivated to move for our health. There’s already enough demand of our time with work or school, maintaining a household, and making sure the kids do what they need to do. It’s so much easier to unwind in one place with your eye on everyone.

But if family time is at a premium, adding movement to the routine can be a great way to create some lasting habits that get everyone moving toward better health.

Family Enjoying a Bike Ride

Active Parents Create Active Kids

Kids are truly mirrors of their parents. They will do what they see you do. If you sit around eating fatty foods, glued to the television, they will sit around eating fatty foods, glued to the television.

But if you’re active, they will be active. We understand that can be hard to do when you’re working long hours and taking care of a household on top of that. But the New Year creates opportunities to get yourself moving and make the kids part of the action. Even better, there’s plenty of easy ideas.

Family Holding Hands

Get outside

You might have to schedule some time early on. But make sure to go for a walk as a family right after they get home from school, or after dinner. You might not have to schedule the time after a while.

Limit screen time

It’s an easy way to keep kids occupied but two hours a day is MORE than enough. Keep televisions and electronic media out of your kids’ rooms to encourage them to engage with you.

Dad and Son Playing Basketball

Choose toys wisely

Gaming systems may be the rage, but balls, skateboards, jump ropes, and kites require kids to get out of the house and move. And you need to go with them.

Do chores together

There’s always work to do around the house. It gets done faster when everyone chips in. It keeps people moving and it keeps your household sharp.

Family Playing Golf

Schedule play time

Think of activities that require movement: a weekly trip to the park, monthly minigolf, or bowling. It’s a fun activity that’s outside the norm, but it requires everyone to move.

Plant a garden

Take advantage of any property you have access to or involve the children in your community garden. It teaches kids about the food system, and they will be excited about eating what they grow. It can also help boost healthy eating habits.

Mom and Toddler Walking

Get Moving

You don’t have to run a marathon or turn into a world-class athlete. You just need to get moving. Getting your kids to move with you will be a great way to keep everyone in the family motivated.

Look around your house and see if there are any items you can incorporate into an exercise routine. You just need a little creativity and the wherewithal to get started.

AltaMed has all manner of resources to help you eat right, move right, and take better care of yourself and your entire family. Let our team of bilingual certified enrollment counselors help you explore program options that work best for you and your family. 

Get started by calling AltaMed at (877) 462-2582.

Tips to Stay Healthy this Summer