Wellness Wednesdays – 9/4/19

WELLNESS TIP OF THE WEEK

Back-to-school checklist for healthy kids: Give your child a healthy start for the new school year. 

By Pentucket Medical

From the first day of kindergarten to the first year of college, an important part of being a parent/ guardian is helping your kids prepare for a productive and successful school year. Below is a handy checklist of health-related to-dos to tackle as your child heads back to school.

Confirm that vaccinations are up-to-date.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each state requires certain vaccinations for school-age kids at different grade levels, including college. In fact, some school districts require proof of up-to-date vaccinations before kids can attend classes. Link below.

Schedule an annual physical.
Preventive checkups can help assess your child’s overall health and give you a chance to ask your child’s doctor questions or follow up with any concerns about your child’s health.

Schedule a fall sports physical.
If your child plays sports, he or she may be required to have a pre-sports physical to determine if they’re healthy enough to participate in that particular sport. A sports physical may also focus on injury prevention.

Schedule an eye exam and vision screening.
Just like your child’s body grows and changes, their eyesight may be changing, too. Addressing issues early can help ensure that your child sees clearly and is prepared to perform their best at school.

Schedule a routine dental exam and cleaning.
During a back-to-school dental checkup, your child’s dentist will check for signs of tooth decay and gum disease. Identifying conditions like these early may help prevent more invasive — and expensive — procedures.

For information about scheduling an appointment with a Pentucket pediatrician and/ or view the annual immunization guidelines click here : https://pmaonline.com/specialties-services/pediatrics/

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WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB

Living Well While Aging: How To Maintain Your Vitality In All Stages Of Life

September is Healthy Aging Month, which is something we can all acknowledge since we’re all aging. Although there is no one “right way” to age, these five tips from Quad-City Times will help promote both physical vitality and mental well-being.

• Focus on “nutrient dense” foods. Counting calories is not enough when it comes to smart food choices. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and plant-based proteins (beans, peas) provide vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are essential to healthy aging. Get more bang for your buck by adding more color to your plate and sticking to lean proteins.

• Laugh more often, it can heal what ails you. Laughter is the equivalent to “internal jogging.” According to William Fry, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at Stanford University, one minute of laughter is equal to 10 minutes on the rowing machine. Laughter not only rejuvenates your mood, it also reduces blood pressure, relaxes muscles, strengthens the immune system and can lower stress in troubled times. Laughing is also contagious so it’s best we spread it around.

• Listen to your body and take preventive steps to protect your health. Every day we make hundreds of decisions about how we spend our time and what we choose to eat and drink. Make each decision count and choose foods that nourish and sustain and activities that invigorate. What are some self-care activities you engage in to protect your health? It could be as simple as getting regular health check-ups, putting on sunscreen and eating a balanced diet. Make prevention a priority.

• Stay active your way. You don’t have to run marathons to reap the benefits of physical activity. Walking, raking the leaves and house chores count toward your daily requirements. The point is to move more and sit less. Find activities you enjoy to keep the momentum going. If you’re able, aim for 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.

• Stay hydrated. Our bodies are made up of about 60% water but this number decreases as we age and so does our sense of thirst. Is your urine dark-colored or have you been feeling fatigued? These are signs of dehydration so don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink water and other fluids. Water is essential for joint lubrication, regulating body temperature and digestion. Proper functioning of these systems will help propel you through the day.

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Easy On The Eyes: Best Habits For Eye Care

If your like me, chances are you are staring at a computer, phone or TV screen during large portions of the day. These habits can be very taxing on the eyes, and  although eyestrain doesn’t have serious or long-term consequences, it can be aggravating and unpleasant. It usually goes away once you rest your eyes or take other steps to reduce your eye discomfort. Still, in some cases, signs and symptoms of eyestrain can indicate an underlying eye condition that needs treatment.

HeraldTribune.com has this to say about symptoms, as well as how to avoid intense eye strain.

• Signs and symptoms: sore, tired, burning or itching eyes; watery or dry eyes; blurred or double vision; headache; sore neck, shoulders or back; increased sensitivity to light; difficulty concentrating; feeling that you cannot keep your eyes open.

• Common causes: Looking at digital device screens; reading without pausing to rest your eyes; driving long distances and doing other activities involving extended focus; exposure to bright light or glare; straining to see in very dim light; having an underlying eye problem, such as dry eyes or uncorrected vision; stress or fatigue; being exposed to dry moving air from a fan, heating or air-conditioning system.

Consider these tips to reduce or prevent eyestrain:

• Adjust the lighting. When watching television, it may help to keep the room softly lit. When reading printed materials or doing close work, position the light source behind you and direct the light onto your page or task. If reading at a desk, use a shaded light positioned in front of you. The shade will keep light from shining directly into your eyes.

• Take breaks. When doing close work, take occasional breaks and rest your eyes by looking away.

• Limit screen time. This is especially important for children, who may not make the connection between extended viewing, eyestrain and the need to rest their eyes regularly.

• When using a computer, blink often. Many people blink less than usual when working at a computer, which can contribute to dry eyes. Blinking produces tears that moisten and refresh your eyes. Try to make it a habit to blink more often when looking at a monitor.

Visit HeraldTribune.com to learn more methods of eye care.

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LOCAL HEALTH HIGHLIGHTS & UPCOMING EVENTS

September 9

27th Annual Golf Tournament

Join Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce in their 27th Annual Golf Tournament.

Haverhill, Mass. | HaverhillMa.ChamberMaster.com

September 19

Dinner and a Presentation: Current Research Tends for Parkinson’s, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Nurse practitioners and physician assistants are invited to a dinner and presentation, featuring geriatric neuropsychiatrist Robert B. Portney and the chief medical officer of New England PET Imaging, Ruth Lim, as guest speakers.

Methuen, Mass. | ActiveMedResearch.com

September 28

3rd Annual Pitch for Prevention of PTSD and Suicide

Join Hidden Battles for their Cornhole Tournament and Family Day at the Billerica Elks Club. This is a free event with food, games and plenty of fun family activities.

Billerica, Mass. | HiddenBattlesFoundation.org

 

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