Thousands Participated in Healthy Lifestyles WeekHotel Voice - April 10, 2017
Members and Funds Office staff, including those seen here at the Queens Health Center, combined to make Healthy Lifestyles week a huge success. The next Health and Wellness event is Seniors' Days, to be held Tuesday, May 9th, at the Midtown Health Center, Wednesday, May 10th, at the Brooklyn Health Center, Thursday, May 11th, at the Harlem Health Center, and Friday, May 12th, at the Queens Health Center.
Thousands of members visited the Health and Dental Centers during Healthy Lifestyle week in March and they received useful tips on living longer, healthier and happier lives.
Do you have diabetes? What are the signs of a heart attack? Why is it never too late to give up smoking? Those who visited the Health and Dental Centers for Healthy Lifestyles learned why it is so important to know the answers to questions like these.
Presentations were held on a host of topics, with nutrition the subject that led the way. As we have reported before, there is plenty of scientific evidence showing that eating well can prolong your life and help you avoid disease. Low-fat, low cholesterol, low salt, high fiber diets are healthy, meaning that fruits and vegetables should make up a large portion of your diet. Do you have high cholesterol? If so, there is a list of foods that you certainly should avoid. Do you have high blood pressure? Avoiding foods heavy in sodium (salt) content is an absolute must. And while it is obvious that some foods like potato chips, pretzels and others go heavy on the salt, it helps to learn how to check for sodium that is hidden in food. There was a good deal of help available during the week to teach visitors how to check labels for nutritional information.
By now, most people know that proper diet can help prevent heart and blood vessel diseases. But not as many people understand that there is now ample evidence to show that a proper diet can help prevent cancer, too. There are also relationships between diet and other illnesses. A good example is the always painful gout, and another example is diabetes. That’s why we are happy to report that pamphlets and other information helped bring home the Healthy Lifestyles message.
Something else that can’t be emphasized enough is that exercise is important, too! Regular exercise has long been known to help prevent or ease heart and blood vessel diseases. But did you also know that regular exercise can help prevent cancer? Did you know that regular exercise can help reduce stress? Did you know that regular exercise can add years to your life? Important information on the health value of exercise was available at the Health and Dental Centers during the week.
Stress management is an important part of anyone’s life. Stress is related to many illnesses and it can cause difficulties in the home and on the job. Members who visited the Health and Dental Centers for Healthy Lifestyles could learn valuable information on managing stress. Information was also available on smoking cessation. As we have reported in the past, there are resources available to help members and their families quit smoking. While many smokers think that quitting is extremely difficult—if not impossible—the Health Centers and MHAP have a strong record of success in helping people stop smoking. The Health Centers’ smoking cessation program has even received recognition for its success from the City of New York’s Department of Health.
Members that attended Healthy Lifestyles also learned much about high blood pressure. As we remind members every year, this is a condition that is often called “the silent killer.” The name is appropriate because many people that have high blood pressure don’t know it. High blood pressure can lead to hardened arteries and strokes, and can also cause blindness or impaired vision, as well as kidney disease and heart problems. Members who visited the Health and Dental Centers for Healthy Lifestyles week could ask to be tested for high blood pressure and were taught simple steps to reduce it. Losing weight, increasing activity and exercise, eating a healthy diet low in salt and fats, and seeing your doctor regularly— and following his/her instructions—are all ways to keep blood pressure from being a silent killer.
While there was much serious information available to Health and Dental Center visitors during the week, there was plenty of lighter activity, too, including the serving of healthy snacks and refreshments—with the emphasis on “healthy.”
With so many members participating in Healthy Lifestyles week this year, it is obvious that they and their families are getting the message about the value of health awareness events, and that leads to many of us living better, healthier and longer lives!