Monday, May 11, 2015

National Women's Health Week

National Women's Health Week starts each year on Mother's Day and encourages women across the country to make their health a priority. Take these steps to live a safer and healthier life!

Get recommended screenings and preventive care

Take steps to protect your health by getting the care you need to prevent disease, disability, and injuries. Regular check-ups are important. Preventive care can keep disease away or detect problems early, when treatment is more effective. Talk to your health care provider to learn more about what screenings and exams you need and when.

Keep moving

Get out and about and enjoy the spring and summer weather. Physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health and has many benefits including lowering your risk for heart disease—the leading cause of death for women.
  • Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity that requires moderate effort. Get it in for at least 10 minutes at a time.
  • Adults should do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week that include all major muscle groups.
  • Strength training can help reduce the chances for falls which means fewer fractures. Fall-related fractures among older women are more than twice those for men.

Enjoy healthy foods

Enjoy the taste, nutrients, bounty, and colors of fruits, vegetables, and other healthy foods. With all of the information about nutrition, food choices, and recipes out there, it's easy to have a healthy eating plan. Learn the basics and move toward a lifestyle of healthier eating habits.
  • Every woman needs folic acid every day for the healthy new cells the body makes daily – like skin, hair, and nails. It's also important to help prevent major birth defects when pregnant.
  • Almost everyone needs to eat more fruits and vegetables. Find out the amount that is right for you.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol . Binge drinking for women is 4 or more drinks in a single occasion.
  • Get started with a step-by-step guide to weight loss and better health.

Prioritize mental health

Keep your mind and body healthy. There is emerging evidence that positive mental health is associated with improved health outcomes.
  • Getting enough sleep is important for overall health, including mental health. It impacts how you feel and perform during the day. Adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Everyone experiences stress at times. Find healthy ways to cope with stress.
  • Learn about coping after disasters while pregnant.

Practice healthy behaviors

Daily decisions influence overall health. Small actions like washing your hands, and wearing a seat belt can help keep you safe and healthy, and set a good example for others.
  • Wear sunscreen and take steps to keep your skin beautiful. Ultraviolet rays can damage your skin, increasing your risk for skin cancer and premature skin aging.
  • Use prescription drugs only as directed by a health care provider. About 18 women die every day of a prescription painkiller overdose in the US.
  • Be smokefree. More than 170,000 American women[745 KB] die of diseases caused by smoking each year. If you are ready to quit, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569 for Spanish speakers) or visit Smokefree Women for free resources, including free quit coaching, a free quit plan, free educational materials, and referrals to other resources where you live. Get tips from former smokers.
**Article and image source: http://www.cdc.gov/features/nwhw/index.html**

Monday, April 6, 2015

April is National STD Awareness Month


The Communicable Disease Prevention Program, Utah Department of Health (UDOH), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recognizes April as National Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month (http://www.cdc.gov/features/stdawareness/index.html).

DID YOU KNOW:
- An estimated 20 million new STDs occur every year in this country with half occurring among young people ages 15-24 years.

- Chlamydia continues to be Utah's top reportable disease. In 2014, a total of 8,249 cases were reported, representing a 9% increase from 2013.

- Gonorrhea experienced a 53% increase from 2013, with 1,444 cases reported in 2014.

An estimated 20 million new STDs occur every year in this country with half occurring among young people ages 15-24 years. Chlamydia continues to be Utah's top reportable disease. In 2014, a total of 8,249 cases were reported, representing a 9% increase from 2013. Gonorrhea experienced a 53% increase from 2013, with 1,444 cases reported in 2014. 
During STD Awareness Month, the UDOH and CDC encourage everyone to know the facts and get tested and treated as needed. Individuals can find a testing location near them at: http://gettested.cdc.gov.

For more information about STDs, visit http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/std.html or contact the Utah Communicable Disease Prevention Program at 801-583-6191.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Sleeping Tips and Tricks

In commemoration of National Sleep Awareness Week and our sleep health event tomorrow, here is an article from the National Sleep Foundation:
Healthy sleep habits can make a big difference in your quality of life. Having healthy sleep habits is often referred to as having good “sleep hygiene.”
Try to keep the following sleep practices on a consistent basis:
  1. Stick to the same bedtime and wake up time, even on the weekends.

    This helps to regulate your body's clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
  2. Practice a relaxing bedtime ritual.

    A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep.
  3. Avoid naps, especially in the afternoon.

    Power napping may help you get through the day, but if you find that you can't fall asleep at bedtime, eliminating even short catnaps may help.
  4. Exercise daily.

    Vigorous exercise is best, but even light exercise is better than no activity. Exercise at any time of day, but not at the expense of your sleep.
  5. Evaluate your room.

    Design your sleep environment to establish the conditions you need for sleep. Your bedroom should be cool – between 60 and 67 degrees. Your bedroom should also be free from any noise that can disturb your sleep. Finally, your bedroom should be free from any light. Check your room for noises or other distractions. This includes a bed partner's sleep disruptions such as snoring. Consider using blackout curtains, eye shades, ear plugs, "white noise" machines, humidifiers, fans and other devices.
  6. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows.

    Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of allergens that might affect you and objects that might cause you to slip or fall if you have to get up during the night.
  7. Use bright light to help manage your circadian rhythms.

    Avoid bright light in the evening and expose yourself to sunlight in the morning. This will keep your circadian rhythms in check.
  8. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals in the evening.

    Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Eating big or spicy meals can cause discomfort from indigestion that can make it hard to sleep. It is good to finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  9. Wind down. Your body needs time to shift into sleep mode, so spend the last hour before bed doing a calming activity such as reading.

    For some people, using an electronic device such as a laptop can make it hard to fall asleep, because the particular type of light emanating from the screens of these devices is activating to the brain. If you have trouble sleeping, avoid electronics before bed or in the middle of the night.
  10. If you can't sleep, go into another room and do something relaxing until you feel tired.

    It is best to take work materials, computers and televisions out of the sleeping environment. Use your bed only for sleep and sex to strengthen the association between bed and sleep. If you associate a particular activity or item with anxiety about sleeping, omit it from your bedtime routine.
If you’re still having trouble sleeping, don’t hesitate to speak with your doctor or to find a sleep professionalYou may also benefit from recording your sleep in a Sleep Diary to help you better evaluate common patterns or issues you may see with your sleep or sleeping habits.

Friday, February 6, 2015

National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day - February 7, 2015


February 7 is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, an observance intended to raise awareness of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and encourage action, such as HIV testing, to reduce the disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on blacks or African Americans in the United States. Two of the three goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy are to reduce new HIV infections and HIV disparities (1).
Compared with other races and ethnicities, blacks had the highest HIV incidence in 2010, with an estimated rate of 68.9 per 100,000 population, which was nearly eight times the estimated rate of 8.7 among whites (2). By the end of 2011, an estimated 491,100 of the estimated 1.2 million persons living with HIV in the United States were blacks, accounting for the highest percentage (41%) of persons living with HIV, followed by whites (34%) and Hispanics/Latinos (20%) (3). Among blacks living with HIV in 2011, 85% had their infection diagnosed, 40% were engaged in care, 36% were prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and 28% were virally suppressed (4).
Information about National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is available at http://www.cdc.gov/features/blackhivaidsawareness. Information about blacks and HIV/AIDS is available at http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/risk/racialethnic/aa/index.html.

Article reposted from CDC.gov.