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. 

 

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Let Us Be Your One Shot Stop

February 01, 2017

Imagine being able to tell your children they’ve got a superpower. It may not be as exciting as reading minds or flying, but if they get all their vaccinations according to schedule they’ll be immune to over 14 different diseases. Here at AltaMed we think that’s pretty heroic. 

Vaccines are the most successful and practical way to prevent diseases like the measles and whooping cough, and according to the Centers for Disease Control, the United States currently has the safest and most effective vaccine supply in its history. 

Getting your child vaccinated is important for their health and the health of your entire community in order to prevent possible outbreaks. Most vaccines need to be given before your child reaches 2 years of age, and your AltaMed provider is here to help you create an immunization plan. Children and adolescents also need vaccines between age 9 and 13. Your child’s wellness exams are a great time to check in and make sure you’re on track. 

Did You Know Vaccines…


…can save your child’s life?

…are safe and effective?

…protect others from spreading harmful diseases?

…save time and money by preventing missed school/work and possible medical/hospital bills if your child gets sick?

…are typically covered by health insurance plans or are available at no cost to low-income families?

…protect future generations by hopefully one day eliminating these diseases from our world?

 

For more information or to schedule an appointment with your provider call (888) 499-9303

 

 

Don’t Let Fear Get in the Way of Your Health

March 01, 2017

Ask yourself this: Would you rather risk having a life-threatening cancer or undergo a simple procedure? The answer seems rather obvious, doesn’t it? Despite this basic truth, only one in three adults are actually getting screened for colon cancer, which, when discovered early, is highly treatable. 

Cancer of the colon or rectum is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death, taking more than 50,000 lives per year. Here’s the good news—there are currently more than one million survivors living today thanks to tests such as a colonoscopy, a simple and safe procedure that only needs to be done every 10 years. There is also a stool test which can be done at home and mailed to our lab or dropped off at your AltaMed location. It’s that easy. Check with your provider to see which one is best for you.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately 140,000 cases of colorectal cancer are diagnosed a year. Because its physical symptoms are often silent, many of these individuals were completely unaware of the changes taking place in their bodies. That’s why screenings that can detect polyps are essential. You should contact your primary care physician immediately, however, if you experience persistent stomach pains, aches and cramps, unexplained weight loss or blood in your stool. 

Six out of 10 deaths could be prevented with proper testing, so pay attention to the following risk factors and talk to your PCP to see if it’s time for you to get screened: 

  • 50 years of age or older (90 percent of cases)
  • Family history of polyps or colon cancer
  • Diet high in red meat and fat, low in calcium, folate and fiber, and low in fruits and vegetables
  • Inactive lifestyle (daily physical active can reduce risk by 5 percent)
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease