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May Awareness
May: National Osteoporosis Awareness and Prevention Month

About 54 million Americans have osteoporosis and low bone mass. Osteoporosis causes bones to become weak and brittle, resulting in a higher risk of fractures. There are typically no symptoms of bone loss. Your doctor should start bone density tests for women after age 65 and men after age 70, repeating the test every two years.

Osteoporosis Risk Factors

  • Gender: women are at a higher risk than men
  • Age: as you get older your risk increases
  • Race: osteoporosis is more prevalent in white and Asian populations
  • Family History: a parent or sibling with osteoporosis puts you at a higher risk
  • Body Frame Size: smaller body frames have less bone mass to begin with
  • Hormones: too much or too little of certain hormones
  • Dietary Factors: such as low calcium intake, eating disorders, and gastrointestinal surgery all reduce calcium absorption
  • Steroids and other medications
  • Medical Conditions: celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, kidney or liver disease, cancer, lupus, multiple myeloma, and rheumatoid arthritis have all been linked to osteoporosis
  • Sedentary Lifestyle: weight-bearing exercises are beneficial for bones
  • Excessive Alcohol Consumption: regularly drinking more than two drinks a day
  • Tobacco Use: contributes to weak bones

Osteoporosis Prevention

  • Protein: one of the building blocks of bone matter
  • Body Weight: it is important to maintain a healthy body weight
  • Calcium: adults 18-50 need 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day, increasing to 1,200 milligrams for women 50 and older and men 70 and older
  • Vitamin D: helps improve your body’s absorption of calcium
  • Exercise: strength training is important for strengthening bones and muscles, and balance exercises are important in preventing falls

For more information on osteoporosis visit: https://www.nof.org.

For more healthy lifestyle tips, goal-setting techniques, and general health and fitness related questions, please e-mail Vantage’s Wellness Coordinator (VantageWellness@vhpla.com).




April Awareness
April: Community Service Month

Giving back to your community is one of the most rewarding things you can do. There are numerous organizations that need our help to continue serving our communities. Community service is a great way to help others, improve your community, meet new people, gain work experience, and experience personal growth. Here are some ways to help:

  • Help build a house with Habitat for Humanity
  • Donate your old clothes
  • Volunteer at a soup kitchen or food bank
  • Donate old eyeglasses
  • Donate food to a food bank
  • Donate blankets to a homeless shelter
  • Ask for charitable donations instead of birthday gifts
  • Donate blood
  • Hold a bake sale and donate the proceeds to charity
  • Read books to the visually impaired
  • Help deliver meals and gifts to hospital patients
  • Run errands for an elderly neighbor
  • Plant a tree
  • Participate in a local clean-up day
  • Help train service animals
  • Help babysit for a family in need

There are many ways to volunteer your time and skills. Reach out to local shelters, food banks, and clean-up efforts to find opportunities. You can also follow this link to find volunteer opportunities in your area: https://www.nationalservice.gov/serve/search.

For more healthy lifestyle tips, goal-setting techniques, and general health and fitness related questions, please e-mail Vantage’s Wellness Coordinator (VantageWellness@vhpla.com).




March Awareness
March: National Nutrition Month

March is National Nutrition Month. Use this time to focus your attention on the importance of making informed food choices and developing healthy eating and physical activity habits. Healthy eating looks different for everyone and is shaped by many different things, but there are still some general rules that anyone can follow.

  • Focus on variety, amount, and nutrition when choosing foods.
  • Choose foods and drinks with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugar.
  • Start with small changes to build healthier eating styles.
  • Support healthy eating for everyone.
  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat a variety of different vegetables.
  • Focus on whole fruits, not juice or smoothies.
  • Make half of your grains whole grans.
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt.
  • Try a variety of different protein foods.

For more information on healthy eating, visit: www.choosemyplate.gov.

For more healthy lifestyle tips, goal-setting techniques, and general health and fitness related questions, please e-mail Vantage’s Wellness Coordinator (VantageWellness@vhpla.com).




February Awareness
February: Eating Disorders

Thirty million Americans will struggle with an eating disorder during their life with millions more struggling with food and body image issues. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses that affect all kinds of people. These illnesses are widely misunderstood, and support is often inaccessible.

Warning Signs and Symptoms of an Eating Disorder

There are many ways that an eating disorder may present in someone struggling. These are some examples:

  • Preoccupation with weight, food, calories, and dieting
  • Skipping meals or taking small portions of food
  • Extreme concern with body size and shape
  • Depression
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Noticeable fluctuations in weight
  • Dizziness, fainting, feeling cold all the time, sleep abnormalities
  • Dry skin and hair, brittle nails
  • Extreme or excessive exercising to “burn off” calories

Early detection and initial evaluation are key for effective treatment and preventing an eating disorder sufferer from progressing to a more severe or chronic state. Eating disorder recovery is often a difficult and life-long journey and it is important to have a strong support system.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder you can call the National Eating Disorder Awareness hotline at 1-800-931-2237 or use https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-treatment/treatment-and-support-groups to find a treatment center near you.

For more information on eating disorders please visit: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.

For more healthy lifestyle tips, goal-setting techniques, and general health and fitness related questions, please e-mail Vantage’s Wellness Coordinator (VantageWellness@vhpla.com).




January Awareness
January: Blood Donor Month

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood donation. Only 10% of eligible individuals give blood annually. Blood donations are a lifesaving necessity for patients with cancer and other disorders, individuals undergoing surgery, and victims of accidents or violence. With the holiday season, blood donations often slow down. This January, consider making a lifesaving donation!

Tips Prior to Your Blood Donation:

  • Make an appointment
  • Eat iron rich foods such as: red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, and iron-fortified cereals
  • Get a good night’s sleep and drink extra liquids before you donate
  • Bring a friend to donate with you

Tips on Donation Day

  • Be sure to bring your photo ID
  • Know all your medications, both prescription and over-the-counter
  • Drink an extra 16 ounces of water before your donation
  • Eat a healthy meal
  • Wear a shirt with easy access to your inner elbow
  • Listen to music or read a book while you donate
  • Relax!

Tips for After Your Donation

  • Eat a snack
  • Tell others about your donation and encourage them to donate
  • Drink an extra 8 ounces of water and avoid alcohol for the next 24 hours
  • Do not do any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for the rest of the day
  • Report any additional health information or if any problems occur after your donation

For more information on donating blood, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

For more healthy lifestyle tips, goal-setting techniques, and general health and fitness related questions, please e-mail Vantage’s Wellness Coordinator (VantageWellness@vhpla.com).




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