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Happy Veterans Day!

Veterans Day is November 11, and is a very special day here at AltaMed. Our veterans put everything on the line to protect our freedom. We may never be able to repay them for their sacrifices, but we can show them just how much we appreciate all they’ve done.

If you're looking for a way to honor a veteran in your life, or would like to contribute in a way that's meaningful for veterans everywhere, here are a few ways you can say “thank you for your service”:

  • Volunteer at a VA medical center or facility: Like any other hospital or nursing home, VA medical centers need volunteers. Whether you talk to a veteran at the facility or help prepare lunches, volunteering is a simple and feel-good way to show appreciation for those who have served our country.
  • Make a donation: There are many organizations that support veterans and their families. These organizations focus on helping veterans financially with employment, education, wellness or any of the various challenges they face after returning home from service. Research a credible organization or charity and donate. It doesn’t have to be much, but any amount helps!
  • Send a care package: Care packages are the best way for loved ones to send a little piece of home to deployed service members. Including items like board games, movies, snacks, or even sentimental gifts are all a great way to show your appreciation. Though your loved ones may be far away, care packages help make that distance feel a bit shorter.

AltaMed would like to give a huge thank you to all of our veterans who have work so hard to protect our rights and freedom, and we would like to wish them all a Happy Veterans Day!

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Mental Illness Awareness

Help Remove the Stigma of Mental Illness

Organizations around the country are using the first week of October to honor Mental Illness Awareness Week and raise awareness of mental health, which affects approximately a quarter of adults in the U.S.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a mental illness is a condition that affects a person’s thinking, feeling or mood. Such conditions may affect someone’s ability to relate to others and make it difficult for these individuals to perform everyday tasks. Each individual will have a different experience, even if they share the same diagnosis.

Remove the Stigma

Unfortunately, mental illness is often viewed in a negative light. Many individuals who suffer from mental illness are afraid to discuss it with family or friends, as they are afraid of being judged or looked down upon. By discussing mental health, you are raising awareness and helping boost the confidence of those suffering – you could also be saving a life.

Speaking openly about mental illness is not the only way to raise awareness. You can also educate yourself and learn the facts. One of the best ways to remove the stigma of mental illness is to understand what it is and what it is not. Understanding mental illness makes it easier to learn how to help those suffering, and also allows you an opportunity to speak up if someone expresses a stigmatizing attitude or opinion.

Speak with dignity and respect when discussing mental illness. Choose your words carefully, use respectful language, emphasize abilities rather than limitations, and refer to the person rather than the disability or illness.

Take a Stance

At AltaMed, we strive to fight the stigma, provide support, educate the public and advocate for equal care. If you or someone you know may need a mental health assessment, anonymous online tools are available on the NAMI website. You can also join NAMI’s StigmaFree campaign by taking a pledge in the effort to end stigmas on mental health and create hope for those directly affected by mental illness.

Get Fit on a Budget

Get Fit by Working Out on a Budget

Being a mom can be incredibly rewarding, but it’s not always the easiest job. Sometimes you are so focused on running to your child’s next soccer game or trying to ensure everyone is eating a healthy dinner that you forget to take care of yourself.

With gym memberships being expensive, there are ways you can repurpose every day household items into weights and benches, and transform your home into a gym for a fraction of the cost.

Here are four household items you can use in place of expensive exercise equipment:

  • Milk Jugs: One gallon-sized jug of milk weighs about 8.5 pounds, which is a good amount of weight to use when working out your arms. Try doing two or three reps of 10 bicep curls with each hand.
  • Chairs: You can get a great workout with chairs. To tone your arms, try tricep dips by standing in front of a chair with your back to it. Slowly lower yourself in a downward motion until your legs are at a 90 degree angle, and place arms behind you, gripping the edge of the chair’s seat with your hands. With controlled movements, raise your lower body to form a 90 degree angle with your arms. Try to do three sets of 10 to 15 reps.
  • Broom: Want to slim down your waist line? Try waist twists, which can be good for slimming down your waist. While seated, hold the broom behind your shoulders and twist to the right and back to the center. Do this again, but this time twist to the left. Make sure you are using slow and controlled movements to ensure you do not pull any muscles.
  • Towels: Don’t throw the towel in during your workout. Instead, use the towel to strengthen your shoulders. Stand up and straighten your arms over your head, while holding an end of the towel in each hand about 18 inches apart. Keeping your hands over your head, pull with each hand as hard as you can, creating resistance. Hold for 20 seconds and repeat. Try to go longer if you can!

With these exercises, you can save time and money, all while getting a great workout in the luxury of your own home. As a reminder, always stretch before and after your workout to prevent any muscle or joint strains and remember, just have FUN!

Happy Veterans Day!