You have a clean bill of health, but how do you maintain it? That’s a question that weighs on the minds of many. With a few helpful tips, you can help prevent common ailments.
1. Focus on a well-balanced diet: When planning your meals, keep the five basic food groups in mind – fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy. Choosemyplate.gov offers helpful information on portion sizes as well as healthy suggestions.
2. Get some exercise: Not only is exercise beneficial for warding off stress, it also helps keep your heart healthy and helps defend against high blood pressure, obesity and arthritis. Thirty minutes multiple times a week is best.
3. Allow yourself enough sleep: Sleep gives our bodies time to rejuvenate. The average recommendation for adults is about eight hours per night.
4. Establish a relationship with a primary care provider: By developing a relationship with a primary care provider, you and your loved ones will have someone to turn to with your medical questions and receive the personalized care you deserve.
For help finding a primary care provider who is right for you, call Affinity NurseDirect at 1-800-362-9900 or go online to Find A Doctor: www.affinityhealth.org/doctor.
January is National Birth Defects Prevention Month, and there is a lot of information to be had if you are pregnant or know someone who is and want to decrease your chances of having a child with a birth defect.
According to the National Birth Defects Prevention Network:
- Every 4 ½ minutes, a baby is born with a birth defect in the United States
- More than 120,000 babies born with a birth defect (approximately one in every 33 live births) are reported each year in the United States
- Birth defects are the most common cause of death in infants and the second most common cause of death in children ages one to four years old
- Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect. It occurs in one out of 100 births
Don’t let these statistics overwhelm you. The risk for many types of birth defects can be reduced through healthy lifestyle choices before and during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who are pregnant or want to become pregnant should:
- Consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily
- Manage chronic maternal illnesses such as diabetes, seizure disorders or phenylketonuria (PKU)
- Reach and maintain a healthy weight
- Talk to a health care provider about taking any medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, as well as any supplements Continue Reading »