Get Your Flu Shot Now!

doctor with female patientEdward Hospital Physician Dr. Jonathan Gibson says, ” First it’s back to school, then comes flu season.”

About this time of year doctors begin talking up the importance of flu shots, and with good reason – it’s an antidote that can reduce your chances of catching a flu virus by 70 to 90 percent.

You know you should get one, but when?

Flu shots are typically offered starting in September and October, slightly ahead of the usual October-May flu season. If you get it too early, will it wear off before the flu season ends? Although the flu season doesn’t peak until about January or February, a flu shot administered in early fall should carry you through most of the season, says Dr. Jonathan Gibson, MD, a primary care physician with Edward Medical Group.

“The earlier in the season you get your shot, the less likely you are to catch the flu,” says Dr. Gibson. “It’s also important to note that the vaccine can take up to two weeks to become effective.” Read more

Walk or bike to work to increase happiness

BTW2014_web_slider_1Walking to work is not only good for your body; it may also benefit your psychological health, a new study from England suggests, FOX News reports.

In the study, the researchers analyzed information from nearly 18,000 commuters in England who answered questions about their well-being, such as whether they experienced feelings of worthlessness, unhappiness or sleepless nights in the last few weeks. Based on those answers, the researchers gave each participant a well-being score. Participants completed the survey for at least three consecutive years between 1991 and 2009.

People who walked or cycled to work had higher well-being scores than those who drove. In particular, people who drove to work had a 13 percent higher likelihood of feeling that they were constantly under strain and unable to concentrate, compared with those who walked or cycled.

The findings held even after the researchers took into account factors that could affect well-being, such as household income, overall health and whether the participants had children.

What’s more, people who switched from driving to walking or cycling to work tended to experience an improvement in well-being, the study found.

“These results appear to suggest that avoiding car driving may be beneficial to well-being,” the researchers wrote in the Sept. 15 issue of the journal Preventive Medicine.

5 Healthy Back to School Tips

Back to schoolMaking back to school time healthy can be handled with ease when you incorporate these five healthy back to school tips into your children’s daily routine.

 

1. Don’t Short-Change Your Kids’ Sleep

According to the National Institute of Health, school-aged children and teens need at least 9 hours of sleep a night. You know how you feel when you sleep less than the 7-8 hours we as adults are supposed to get on average. So be sure to have an established bedtime that lets your kids get the proper rest so they are mentally and physically ready to take on the day at school.

2. Exercise Rocks!

Sadly, many schools have eliminated or reduced physical education classes.  However, just because physical activity may be lacking during school hours, it doesn’t mean your child should skip it.  If possible, have your child walk or bike to and from school, go to the local playground after school as weather permits, join a kid-friendly family gym or join a children’s sports or dance program.  Studies show that at least 60 minutes of exercise a day helps children maintain a healthy weight, build strength, stamina and self-confidence, reduce stress and sleep better.

Want your kids to be more active? Take the lead by exercising and setting a good example!  Or add some quality time by doing something active together each day.

3. A Great Day of Learning Starts with a Good Healthy Breakfast

A solid breakfast helps your children do well in school helping to support brain function, concentration and energy, and it also helps with maintaining a healthy weight.

An ideal healthy breakfast includes high quality protein like smoothies with whey protein, eggs (more egg white in proportion to whole eggs to balance cholesterol if they have them frequently) which can be made to go in a whole wheat pita, tortilla or English Muffin, turkey bacon (nitrate free if possible) or a quality energy bar like Quest Nutrition Protein Bars made from whey and milk protein (they have a cookies and cream bar that’s unbelievable).

Read more

Take action to prepare in September

SafetyKit-300x225September is National Preparedness Month and the DuPage County Health Department reminds residents that this is a good time to prepare for unexpected events by assembling an emergency supply kit for their homes.

 The Health Department works hand-in-hand with municipalities and other organizations throughout DuPage County to prepare for public health emergencies, including events that require the distribution of medications and other medical supplies to safeguard all county residents. This year’s national theme for September is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.”

In the event of an emergency, these items are recommended for a home supply kit:

  • One gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and a manual can opener
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a weather radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit; extra blanket
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • A dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities; learn the location of gas, electric and water shut-off locations and how to turn them off
  • Cell phone with chargers, electrical power converter or solar charger
  • Family and emergency contact information
  • Remember pets will need food and water

Why students need eye exams

eye examThe Daily Herald Newspaper posted this good advise on August 25, 2014:

As students head back to school, the American Optometric Association is reminding parents to schedule a comprehensive eye exam, NBC-South Bend reports.

One in four students in kindergarten through sixth grade has an undetected vision problem, which can interfere with their ability to read and learn, the group says.

It’s best to get your child’s eyes checked once they start kindergarten.

Although some schools do vision screens, complicated vision problems are often overlooked. A comprehensive eye exam can catch a lazy eye, farsightedness or even more serious problems that need to be diagnosed early.

Some key signs to look for this school season, if you think your child might have a vision problem, include often getting headaches or a child who does well on tests but doesn’t pay attention in class because he or she can’t see the board.

Be extra cautious against WNV over Labor Day

3495411871-1County residents are reminded to be extra diligent during the approaching Labor Day weekend and protect themselves from mosquito bites that could lead to West Nile virus (WNV) infection. The Health Department has raised its Personal Protection Index (PPI) from level one (low) to level two (moderate) because of an increase in the number of mosquito batches testing positive for WNV.

Level two indicates that there are high numbers of infected mosquitoes in most areas, which could potentially increase the likelihood for human cases to appear. At this time, there have been no confirmed human cases of WNV reported in DuPage County this year. Level two cautions residents to drain any standing water around their homes and defend by wearing an insect repellent containing DEET when outdoors, especially during prime times of mosquito activity like between dusk and dawn.

 

County residents will be enjoying the great outdoors and traveling during the Labor Day weekend and they are advised by the Health Department to be cautious, but not curtail any outdoor plans.

The Health Department encourages residents to follow the “4 Ds of Defense,” which include draining standing water, using insect repellent to defend yourself, dressing with long sleeves and pants to cover your skin and being especially careful between dusk and dawn, when mosquitoes are most active.

The PPI widget provides a real-time snapshot of WNV activity, which ranges from zero to three, zero meaning there is no risk and three announcing a high level of risk with multiple confirmed human cases of WNV.  View the PPI widget at  www.dupagehealth.org. Many community partners including townships, municipalities and park districts, also have posted the PPI widget on their websites. Residents who click on the widget will be linked to the Health Department’s “Fight the Bite” page for additional information.  The Health Department monitors WNV activity by collecting and testing mosquitoes in traps located throughout the county.

Fitness for Body & BRAIN

adultmainpage-r2You are invited to experience something NEW!
Peggy Kinst of Ageless Grace &
Tami Neumann of
VIRTUAL DEMENTIA TOURS
are inviting you to experience demonstrations of
AGELESS GRACE…
“timeless, fun fitness for body & BRAIN”…that “almost anyone can do!”…in a chair… based on the Science of Neuroplasticity and Movementplus

VIRTUAL DEMENTIA TOURS
designed to give you a hands-on insight into of how it feels to have Dementia.

Demonstrations every 30 minutes on September 6, 10am – 4pm
beginning with Ageless Grace at 10:00am

HOPE COVENANT CHURCH
14401 West Avenue, Orland Park, Il

 

Get Moving!

ch3The “A Year of Being Well”  Newsletters shared that some people dread the thought of physical activity even though adults need at least 30 minutes each day and kids ages 6 and older need at least 60 minutes. Reasons for lacking enough physical activity vary. Perhaps being active seems tough because you’re not in shape or you have trouble finding time in the day? Whatever your reasons, there are affordable ways to keep moving that can fit into your busy schedule. It’s important for families to understand that small, easy steps can significantly increase your family’s prospects for healthier lives.

Explore new ideas to get your kids moving more. Doing things as a family will help you ensure you’re all getting the amount of physical activity you need. Play ball or tag. Ride bikes. Take a Walk to Be Well. Physical activity doesn’t have to be something you dread. Find an activity you like and do it every day!

Balance Weight Center Presents Nutrition Session on October 4th.

balanceflyer

Click on the graphic above to download the informational flyer.

Registration and a participation fee  is required for this event. It will be held at the Balance Weight Loss Center located at 2525 Ogden Avenue. Downers Grove, IL 60515, Phone: 630-929-3009, Web: www.balanceweightcenter.com

Parent Education Session

  • Food demonstration

Learn about:

  • Energy balance
  • Portion size
  • Maintaining healthy weight

Kid Education Session

  • Hands on activities
  • Nutrition Education
  • Kids make a healthy snack.