An Apple a Day


Welcome to my blog – An Apple a Day! This is where I hope you and I can have a conversation about all things health-related.

This column is meant to be an opportunity for you to learn my thoughts on everything from healthy living and fitness to immunizations and protecting yourself from infectious disease.

It’s a chance for me to share my ideas on how to optimize all we know about the latest and greatest in health science and innovation to keep you and your family happy and well. And you’ll get to read up on all the many things happening here at the County of Riverside Department of Health. Of course, there are a lot of pretty incredible things happening here—community forums, informative programs and comprehensive services, all designed to support your health and wellness goals.

Check in every week for a new blog where we will begin a journey towards your best health – together. And be sure to follow me on Twitter: @rivcodoc and Facebook.

                                      Dr. Cameron Kaiser, Public Health Officer 


Set your health and wellness goals for the New Year

January 11, 2017

With the New Year comes new resolutions. Why not set some goals for improved health? The following are just a few easy, very manageable ways that you can start 2017 with the goal of your best health and wellness:

Move. Strive to do so every day. Choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Park a reasonable distance from your destination so that you will be compelled to walk. Throw the football outside with your kids. Take an extra lap around the mall. Whenever possible, get up and get moving.

Drink water. Lots of it. Water hydrates the body and is even good for brain function. Not only does it help to control calorie consumption; it energizes muscles and refreshes your skin. Drink water with every snack and meal. And always keep a bottle of water nearby.

Calm down. Put down your phone and let your mind wander. Turn off the television and have dinner with your family at the dinner table. Quiet mediation can bring peace and calm to your life. It’s just as important to pursue hobbies that make you feel happy and revitalized.

Eat well. OK, so you don’t have to be perfect; just be better. Sneak in a serving or two of fruits or vegetables at least once or twice a day. Splurge on a fresh salad. Sink your teeth into a juicy apple or pear.

Make a call. It’s always a good idea to make an appointment with your health care provider earlier than later. Keep your primary care provider informed of your health concerns so your provider can make sure you’re up to date on the preventative testing you may need. If you’re behind on your checkups or shots, there’s no time like the present.

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.

 


 

It’s time to make a commitment to your heart

December 29, 2016

As fans mourn the loss of Carrie Fisher, who reportedly died following a heart attack, there has been a new focus on the impact of heart disease on women’s health. And the news is not good.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, one in four women in the United States dies of heart disease, while one in 30 dies of breast cancer.  

So, what makes you at risk for heart disease? Unfortunately, age, gender, family history and a previous heart attack or stroke are risk factors that you cannot necessarily control.

But there are some that you can control. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “about half of all Americans (47%) have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high cholesterol and smoking.”

There is something you can do about these risk factors. The first is to practice healthy living habits, to include maintaining a healthy diet that is rich with fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Keep your weight down and your physical activity up. By keeping physically active, you will lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Finally, give up smoking and limit your alcohol intake for your best chance to reduce your risks of heart disease. 

Get started today by checking out these heart-healthy recipes and exercises.

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.

 


 

 

Five quick tips to reduce holiday stress

November 22, 2016

Stress levels have a way of increasing around the holiday season. Consider these five tips for a smoother and less stressful holiday:

  • Planning ahead is always helpful when it comes to the holidays. Set a budget, look up recipes and send out invitations to avoid last-minute disasters.
  • Movies and commercials always show the perfect family gatherings. Set realistic expectations and understand your own limits. No holiday celebration is perfect and inevitable missteps are possibilities. View them as opportunities to visit and create memories with one another.
  • Resolve complicated tasks first by setting priorities, and leave the easier ones for later. Purchase groceries and prep meals a few days early and create more free time for loved ones.
  • Holiday season is all about togetherness and bonding with one another. Dividing the workload among family members can reduce your stress, and it can also be a bonding experience for everyone. Send someone on errands, and another to set the tables. Use the extra time to relax and be with others.
  • Give yourself a break. It is common to feel the pressure to be there for everyone who is attending your holiday parties. Make time for yourself and remember that you are only one person. Take an hour break every few working hours. Go for a walk, get a massage, or listen to music. Self-care is important and can lead to increase in productivity and decrease in stress level!

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org

 


 

Happy Fall: Watch for health hazards as autumn settles in


November 1, 2016

 

It’s true – Southern California residents don’t experience a dramatic shift of the seasons. Most of the time, we really have to attune our senses to the slightest change. Still, there are some aspects to the fall season that can pose health risks:

 

Autumn is considered the start of the flu season. It is recommended that everyone 6 months and older get vaccinated to lessen their chances of getting the flu. Wash hands frequently. Eat well. Get your rest and drink lots of water. Check in with Riverside University Health System—Public Health as your best source for education, immunization clinics and flu shot information.

 

Shorter days mean longer nights. Be alert as you drive. Do not drink and drive and be sure to watch for pedestrians and bicyclists during your evening commute. In the same way, wear reflector badges on your clothing if you are strolling the neighborhood on your nightly walk or bike ride.

 

Exposure to cold weather can cause health problems. Dress in layers so that you can adjust your comfort level accordingly. And remember – the use of space heaters and fireplaces can increase the risk of household fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

Finally, stay vigilant when it comes to food safety. The holidays are all about big meals and lots of leftovers. Keep your food safe from food poisoning by cooking at proper temperatures and refrigerating promptly.

 

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.

 


 

Vaccination is your best shot at health during flu season

 

October 17, 2016

 

It’s that time of year again – time to get vaccinated against the flu. This should be an annual tradition for you and your family. That’s because the body’s immune response from vaccination can decline over time.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and updated to keep up with changing flu viruses.

 

Vaccination can help to protect pregnant women during and after pregnancy and is an effective preventative tool for people with chronic health conditions.

 

Getting the flu shot can also save you in work and sick time, help reduce risk of hospitalization due to flu-associated illnesses in children and older adults and can also result in milder symptoms if you do happen to get sick with the flu.

 

Ultimately, getting vaccinated against the flu gives you your best shot at avoiding influenza. You can’t get the flu from a flu shot, and very few people have any reaction at all.

 

Visit www.rivcoimm.org/ to learn where flu shots are being offered throughout Riverside County.

 

Riverside University Health System – Public Health wants your best health! Visit us on Twitter @rivcodoc or Google +.  And be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website at www.rivcoph.org.