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April Awareness
April: Outdoor Activity Month

This month our focus is Outdoor Activity. Being outside has far too many health benefits to pass up! Spending time outside is proven to:

  • relieve stress
  • strengthen immunity
  • lower blood pressure
  • Increase Vitamin D

Taking hikes through the forest or climbing mountains can both be excellent outdoor activities but a simple walk outside or short visit to the park could be all you need to start improving your health. It doesn’t take a lot of equipment and is free or very inexpensive typically.

Bike rides, visiting parks, and outdoor games are all great ways to get the whole family involved and outside as well. Running, hiking, trail biking are excellent activities for those looking for a bit more of a challenge. Whether it’s climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro or taking a stroll around the neighborhood, getting outside is great for your health!

For more information check out https://www.greatoutdoorsmonth.org/.

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




March Awareness
March: Caffeine Awareness Month

This month is Caffeine Awareness Month. It doesn’t get much better than waking up to a hot cup of coffee to get the day started. However, too much of a good thing can be bad. Consuming more than the daily recommended maximum of 400 mg of caffeine a day can increase anxiety, insomnia, dehydration, blood pressure, and, in some cases, cause heart palpitations.

One cup (8 oz.) of coffee has about 95-150 mg of caffeine while a single Bang energy drink has 300 mg of caffeine. Caffeine is powerful enough that habitual drinkers can experience withdrawal symptoms 12-24 hours after the last dose. These symptoms can include headaches, anxiety, fatigue, and depression.

Caffeine does have benefits such as increasing energy levels or helping physical or mental performance but keep it under the recommended 400 mg, about 4 cups of coffee. So, next time you decide to pour that 5th cup of coffee or get another energy drink, take some time to drink water and examine sleeping habits instead.

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




February Awareness
February: Cancer Screening

According to the American Cancer Society, over the past 25 years the cancer death rate has fallen 27% from its peak in 1991. That means that over 2.6 million deaths were avoided between 1991 and 2016. The ACS attributes this incredible drop to the reduction in smoking, advances in treatment, and, early detection screening.

Preemptive cancer screening can be a truly lifesaving intervention through the early detection and treatment of possible cancers. Often, when symptoms actually start showing, the cancer may have already begun to spread and become more difficult to treat. A few of the main preemptive screenings the CDC recommends are:

  • Mammogram
  • Pap Smear test
  • Colorectal screening
  • Lung screening

Consult with your doctor to determine if these tests are right for you.

Not only are these screens important, but, being familiar with your body and the signs of possible issues can be critical in detection. Everyone should perform regular self-inspections to become familiar with our bodies and more easily detect if something is out of sorts. During these self-inspections be on the lookout for and inquire about:

  • Lumps
  • Abnormalities
  • Moles
  • Skin conditions

Stay vigilant, educate yourself, and take an active role in your health!

For more information on cancer check out https://www.cancer.org and for skin self-checkup tips try https://www.cancer.org/healthy/be-safe-in-sun/skin-exams.html.

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: New Year's Resolutions

The New Year is the perfect time to start new challenges. These resolutions can be an excellent kickstart to make changes happen and help motivate ourselves to improve in some area of our lives. The key is to make it stick! For every goal you have, find a way to break it down into more bite sized steps. For example: Losing 50 lbs. can seem like a daunting task but trying to lose 1-2 lbs. each week is a more realistic task. Do this for 3-4 months, and the pounds will add up. When trying to improve your diet, take a gradual approach. Try not to start with drastic changes; simply add some greens to each meal while still eating your favorite foods. Steadily reduce portion sizes to prevent overeating. When trying to exercise, it’s common to start out with a high intensity with the expectation of the best result. This, however, can lead to extreme soreness, potential injury, and discouragement due to high levels of difficulty. Ease into the workouts for a gradual build-up, expect some soreness, and try roping a friend in to add the comradery.

Resolutions are fun and exciting but true change lies with consistency. Start with smoking one less cigarette, drinking one less coke, working out for just 30 minutes every other day, and eating slightly smaller portion sides. Commit to yourself, stay consistent, and become a healthier and happier you!

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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