Continue the Fight Against Childhood Obesity

September 01, 2017

Now that school is in full swing, AltaMed wants to ensure your child is consuming the right foods to remain happy and healthy in the classroom. Whether it’s playing games with their classmates or dedicating time to complete homework, we always want to ensure our children make the right choices. This includes making the right decisions for their health, as childhood obesity is a problem within the United States.

September is National Childhood Obesity Prevention Month and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in five school-aged children (ages 6-19) have obesity. Childhood obesity has immediate and long-term effects on physical, social and emotional health of children. Including:

  • Health conditions and diseases such as asthma, sleep apnea, bone and joint problems, type 2 diabetes and risk factors for heart disease.
  • Chances of being bullied or teased, as well as social isolation, depression and lower self-esteem.
  • Possibility of being obese as an adult

Here are a few ways to ensure your child is receiving the proper exercise and nutrients to live a healthy life.

  • Be Active: It’s hard to pull your child away from their beloved video games and cell phones, but sometimes they need to enjoy the fresh air! Take your child to the park and let them explore. This provides the opportunity to release some built-up energy and reduce stress levels. This also is a way for children to meet new friends and practice their social skills, face-to-face.
  • Encourage Healthy Eating Habits: We all know that children are tempted by junk food. Give your child snacks filled with fiber and nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. Try carrots and hummus dip, celery or apples and peanut butter, or even frozen grapes (which is a yummy snack for the summer and fall).
  • Be a Role Model: Show your children that physical activity and healthy eating habits have great benefits like strengthening bones, decreasing blood pressure and increasing self-esteem. Go outside and play soccer or basketball with them. You can even do something not so competitive, like play jump rope or hula-hoop!

AltaMed takes childhood obesity seriously, which is why we will continue beyond September to find the education and resources to help improve our community members’ lives. We have programs such as STOMP to empower children (ages 2-18) and their families to set healthy habits. Additionally, AltaMed participates in the Healthy Communities, Healthy Lives initiative, which encourages local businesses and grocery stores to provide healthy options to their customers.

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Don't Let the Flu Get to You!

September 01, 2017

With nearly 200,000 Americans being hospitalized each year after a flu diagnosis, it’s important to ensure that you and your family are protected this flu season.

Influenza, also known as the flu, is an incredibly contagious respiratory illness caused by the flu virus. It can cause mild or severe illness and, at times, can lead to death. Though many people believe the flu is the same as a cold, they are very different. The flu usually comes on suddenly and causes some, if not all, of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)

Unfortunately, anyone can get the flu – even if you’re the healthy. Serious problems related to the flu can happen at any age, but some people have a higher risk of developing serious flu-related complications if they get sick. This includes people 65 years of age or older, those of any age with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, pregnant women, and young children.

Getting a flu shot can lower your risk of getting the flu and needing to see a doctor, according to a report published by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To decrease your chances of getting the flu, make sure you call us at (888) 499-9303 to schedule an appointment for your flu vaccination.

Spring Into Action!

March 01, 2017

With colder weather and rainy days, winter can turn the best of us into couch potatoes. Which is why it’s good not to just give your home, but also your body, a good spring cleaning. 

There is, however, a right and a wrong way to do this. Don’t just dive in head first—your body has settled into a more sedentary lifestyle so it’s important to take it slow and work up to a healthy weekly exercise schedule. 

Pre-Check All Systems

Spring is also a great time of the year to make your annual physical appointment. You’ll be able to get things like your blood pressure and cholesterol checked out to make sure you’re ready for take off. It will also give you a chance to talk to your PCP about any questions or concerns you might have, and what he or she thinks is the best way for you to get back into a physical routine. 

Be Equipped

Check the soles and overall condition of your athletic shoes. Worn out shoes can lead to injury, so be sure to replace them on average about once a year, more often if you clock in extra mileage.  

Fuel Up

You can’t drive your car without gas and the same applies to your body. This means avoiding processed foods and eating plenty of healthy proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables. Staying hydrated is also really important—the more you sweat the more water you need to drink, about four to six ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise.

Walk Before You Run

Take it slow and start off with a brisk walk 10 minutes a day, at least three to four times a week. Once that feels comfortable, increase by five-minute intervals weekly until you’re up to about 30 to 40 minutes. A month of conditioning will build up flexibility and endurance, which is necessary before moving on to more strenuous activities.

Stretch It Out

 It’s just as important to cool down as it is to warm up. Stretching increases blood flow to the muscles and can help prevent post-workout soreness. Once your heart rate has slowed down after cooling off, you’ll want to stretch the muscles you just used. Hold every stretch for at least 30 to 60 seconds, two to three times. For intense stretches go no longer than 15 seconds. If you did overdo it, practice RICE: rest, ice, compression and elevation. 

Stick to a Plan

Set realistic daily and weekly goals for how long and how often you’d like to be active. It’ll make it harder for you to give up if you get a family member or friend on board, too. Remember, just the fact that you’re making an effort to get moving a few times a week is great.