Tag Archives: prevention

Get Moving for Senior Health & Fitness Day

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Staying active and maintaining good nutrition habits are key to healthy aging.  On Senior Health & Fitness Day, more than 120,000 older adults will participate in local events that encourage them to get moving!

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the decline in strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance that occurs with aging contributes to diminished independence, diminished vitality, and increased likelihood of disabling injury.

Here are some fun ways to be active today:

  • Walk, walk, walk! Whether you visit a park or walk around a mall, get those steps in!
  • Water aerobics Check your local community pool for classes.
  • Yoga Stretch those muscles and relax your mind.
  • Zumba Gold Zumba Gold is a class designed for seniors.  Search for classes in your area.
  • Golf Play a round or two.  Ditch the cart and walk the course
  • Dance Dancing is a way to exercise without even realizing its impact.

The South Carolina Department on Aging has many resources to assist with fitness, nutrition, social and recreational activities and more.  The population of older adults is growing and living longer than ever.  Make today the day to start or maintain a fitness regime to sustain your years.

Beat the Heat: Today is Don’t Fry Day!

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No, we aren’t talking about French fries!  Recognized every year on the Friday before Memorial Day, Don’t Fry Day was established by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to create awareness about sun safety and ultraviolet (UV) ray overexposure.  Protect yourself and kick off this Memorial Day weekend with sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, and umbrellas if you will be outdoors.

Dont Fry Day

Skin cancer has the 5th leading new cases of cancer in South Carolina.  Check the National Weather Service regularly for forecasts and heat index information. Follow these tips to ensure sun safety this summer and enjoy your holiday weekend!

What Do You Know About Arthritis? 5 Fast Facts for Arthritis Awareness Month

Most people think arthritis affects older adults, but did you know that more than half of adults with arthritis are actually younger than 65?  Arthritis affects about 1 in 4 adults in the United States.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as the population ages and obesity increases, the number of adults with arthritis is expected to increase to 78 million by 2040.

  • Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability. The term is used to describe more than 100 diseases and conditions that affect joints, the tissues that surround the joint, and other connective tissue.  Arthritis is common among people with other chronic health conditions, especially obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
  • Symptoms typically include pain, swelling and stiffness in and around one or more joints. Some forms of arthritis affect the immune system and internal organs.
  • Adults with arthritis in South Carolina has consistently increased from 2011 to 2016, still harboring above the national average (see Figure 6.13)
  • Women in South Carolina have a higher prevalence of arthritis (33.2%) than males (26.7).
  • Prevent arthritis by staying active and maintaining a healthy weight. Early diagnosis and appropriate management of the disease can help people live well without pain.  Simple movement, such as walking, is recommended for at least 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week is recommended.

Adults with Arthritis_SC Health Assessment

Take the CDC Arthritis Quiz to test your knowledge or visit https://www.cdc.gov/features/arthritisawareness/index.html to learn more about Arthritis Awareness Month.

Grill The Right Way This Summer

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Did you know that food poisoning peaks in the summer months due to warmer temperatures causing foodborne germs to spread?  Memorial Day Weekend is right around the corner.  Avoid food poisoning by taking the necessary precautions when grilling.  Follow these steps from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure you are cooking the healthy way:

  • Separate meat, poultry, and seafood in your shopping cart and grocery bags to guard against cross-contamination. Put packages of raw meat and poultry into individual plastic bags.
  • Keep meat, poultry, and seafood refrigerated until ready to grill. When transporting, keep below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in an insulated cooler.
  • Wash your hands with soap BEFORE and AFTER handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Wash work surfaces, utensils, and the grill before and after cooking.
  • Clean your grill and tools. Use a moist cloth to clean the surface before cooking.
  • When using marinades and sauces that have touched raw meat, pour out any residual juices. Those juices can spread germs to cooked foods.  Use clean utensils and a clean plate to remove cooked meat from the grill.
  • Use a food thermometer to ensure meat is cooked hot enough to kill harmful germs. When smoking, keep temperatures inside the smoker at 225°F to 300°F to keep meat a safe temperature while it cooks.
    • 145°F – whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal (stand-time of 3 minutes at this temperature)
    • 145°F – fish
    • 160°F – hamburgers and other ground beef
    • 165°F – all poultry and pre-cooked meats, like hot dogs
  • Refrigerate or freeze leftovers within two hours of cooking (one hour if above 90°F outside).

For more food safety information, visit:  https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/communication/bbq-iq.html

Reduce Your Risk of Stroke: Take Action Now During National Stroke Month

May is National Stroke Month.  Did you know that up to 80% of strokes in the United States are preventable?  Use this month to prioritize healthy lifestyle choices that lower your risk.

Stroke is the number five killer and leading cause of disability in America.  While there are some risk factors that are beyond your control (i.e. age, family health history, race, gender, etc.), take the necessary steps to pay attention to what you can control.  According to the American Stroke Association, these are the risk factors to watch:

  • High Blood Pressure/Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Diet
  • Physical Inactivity
  • Obesity
  • Carotid Artery Disease
  • Peripheral Artery Disease
  • Atrial Fibrillation
  • Other Heart Disease
  • Sickle Cell Disease

If you have some of these risk factors or are unsure of your risk, take the Stroke Risk Quiz now.

South Carolina had the sixth highest stroke death rate in the nation and is part of the “Stroke Belt,” a group of Southeastern states with high stroke death rates.  Stroke was the fifth leading cause of death in South Carolina, resulting in 2,627 deaths in 2016.  Although stroke deaths have decreased from 53.3 to 45.5 per 100,000 (see below), South Carolina had a substantially higher rate than the United States.

May 1 2019 Stroke Death Table

Take the time to educate your loved ones about stroke prevention.  Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s website:  www.cdc.gov/stroke.  For more information about South Carolina health statistics, view the 2018 State Health Assessment Report.